Today my goal was to visit the Yuyuan Garden. When I was in Shanghai years ago visiting a friend, who lived here, we tried to visit the garden but got there just about 10 minutes too late. So, this time I wanted to make sure I got it done!
The hotel has free shuttle service that will take you to the metro station.
From there I only had to change trains once to get to the Yuyuan Garden metro stop, and it’s just under a half mile walk to get to the garden from there.
The Yuyuan Garden was commissioned in 1559 by Pan Yunduan; it was his aging father, Pan En, and was meant to bring him comfort. The garden is approximately five acres, and they fit a lot into that five acres! Everywhere you turn it seems like there was another section of the garden to explore. I think I got it all, but there could have been more hiding around a corner I didn’t see.
In the garden is Exquisite Jade Rock, which has 72 interconnected holes in it. (Middle rock.)
There are plenty of ponds around filled with a lot of koi. I did see one guy trying to pet the fish. That little bit of evil in me kinda wanted the guy to fall in, but he didn’t. Ultimately that’s good, he might have hurt the fish!
I also want to give major kudos to the designer who decided that rectangular doorways were overrated and decided to mix it up!
The inside of buildings all seem pretty, but much the same. With uncomfortable looking chairs, and some tables.
I spent more than a couple hours in the garden. There were quite a few people also touring the garden, but there were still plenty of places to just sit and enjoy the beauty around you.
Outside of the garden gates is a pond with a 200 year-old teahouse situated in the middle of it.
To get to the teahouse you have to cross a zigzag bridge. According to ancient lore, spirts cannot walk on water, and they also can’t made sharp turns. So, crossing this bridge is the perfect way to shake any spirits that might be on your tail.
After my time in the garden I wandered through the Yuyuan Bazaar. This is a very popular shopping area for domestic and foreign tourists alike. One article I saw said that they get 200,000 visitors a day. When I was here previously and we visited at night, not only was it beautifully lit up, but it was also so packed that sometimes you didn’t really decide which way you wanted to walk, so much as the crowd just kind of made the decision for you. But since I came during the day, it wasn’t quite that packed. It was still somewhat crowed.
Here they sale everything from handmade crafts to high end items. And of course, you can get those knock offs you’ve always wanted! I did do a little souvenir shopping here, just know when you come to places like this the sellers can be a little aggressive. They’ll call out to you or have people out in the roads trying to send you to their shops. And you have to be ready to negotiate. I’m not great at negotiating, but I do think I ended up with a pretty fair price on what I got.
Another thing to note is that there is a KFC Tower here.
After my wandering and shopping was done, and I had gotten some lunch, I headed back to the hotel. Disney is actually quite a way out of town, so it took close to two hours each way!
I have an early morning tomorrow as I head back into the heart of city to take a day tour of Shanghai.