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Yu Yuan garden and the Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse (新天地和湖心亭)

Tranquil settings with a lot of people

sunny 18 °C

The gardens are located in the Old Town of Shanghai (Nan Shi or Southern City), Yu Yuan is a classical Chinese garden originally built in 1559, with a maze of pavilions, pines, rocks and pools filled with carp.


Yu yuan Garden is very accessible and draws huge crowds of tourists since it is one of the big sites to visit in the city. With a total area of less than 5 acres, it has more than 40 attractions in the inner and outer gardens. It is believed to have been built in the Ming Dynasty by the Pan, a family of officials, between 1559 and 1577. The gardens are in traditional Chinese style with numerous rock and tree garden areas, ponds, dragon-lined walls and numerous doorways and zig-zagging bridges separating the various garden areas and pavilions. To the gardens themselves there is a zig-zag of walkways over ponds of carp fish. These are made this way on purpose. The idea is that spirits are not supposed to be able to cross because spirits can only move in straight lines.



There is a famous rock there with an interesting legend saying that the rock was found some 1000 years ago and it was originally one of the Emperor Huizong's private collections before it found its way in the Yu yuan Garden. The exquisite layout, beautiful scenery, and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights in Shanghai. We thoroughly enjoyed the traditional decorations, sculptures etc in form of dragons, lions, little warriors and what not that are spread all over the park. Even though the park is fairly small, it feels big due to a smart layout of the architecture and landscaping. You always find something new and can almost get lost there.


Next to the entrance of the gardens is the Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse which once was part of the garden and now is one of the most famous teahouses in China. According to the lonely planet even Queen Elizabeth and Bill Clinton were there. Now they can add us to that list...



Fredrik and Sabrina


Posted by fredrik_p 20:38 Archived in China

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