When you combine a bustling market place with historic style, a zig zag bridge and beautiful landscape you create the wonderful Yu Yuan Garden Shanghai.
This has often been one of my favourite stops for what to see in Shanghai due to the beauty and character of the place. The hustle and bustle of the busy streets merely reflects how popular it is.
Yu Yuan Garden means Garden of Happiness and it is easy to see why. The location has a wonderful mix of things to make you happy.
It is believed that the location dates back more than 400 years to the Ming Dynasty and at times it does feel as though you are going back in time.
As you enter you will be greeted with an array of pagoda like buildings. This is the vision you might have of China when you’ve not been to China before.
Yu Yuan Garden Shanghai Market
I had to show patience as I manoeuvred around the shops and street stalls of the Yuyuan Garden market. Typical of any tourist spot in Shanghai, I was greeted with strangers approaching me saying “Watch. You want to buy watch?” I tend to ignore these people and they will eventually leave me alone. Alternatively I point out how happy I am with my current watch that is great for a traveller like myself.
The shops offer a range of street food, Chinese lanterns, decorations, political posters and art, magic toys, cuddly toys, jewellery and so much more. As with many of these shops (non-food) in Shanghai be prepared to haggle on price. You can read my article on haggling in China here.
There are more than 10 streets of windy lanes at the Yu Gardens Shanghai so be prepared to enjoy getting lost in this wonder land.
Signs will guide you as you stroll around and discover the open squares along with the narrow lanes.
The Zig Zag Bridge of Yu Yuan Garden Shanghai
The Yuyuan Garden market also leads towards the famous Shanghai zig zag bridge, known as the Jiu Qu Bridge. The nine turn bridge in Shanghai is very popular and will often be crowded.
Crossing a lotus pool with lots of fish and birdlife, the Jiu Qu Bridge leads to what is known as the Yeshi Tea House (otherwise called the Huxin Ting Tea House). This is a very popular spot and I’ve often enjoyed time out to enjoy authentic Chinese tea here. As you enter the tea house you will see pictures of visits from various political dignitaries. If it is good enough for them it is good enough for me.
Just beyond the tea house and nine turn bridge is the actual Yu Garden. There is an entrance fee however it is worth it to explore and lose a few hours.
History of Yu Gardens Shanghai
The gardens were first created in the late 1500s and have gone through a checkered history ever since. Repaired and reopened in 1961 they were declared a national monument in 1982.
Now they provide a place of tranquility among one of the largest cities on earth.
With steep inclines, wonderful flora and fauna. There are a collection of hall buildings and the Great Rockery is about 14 metres high. The overall inner gardens are around 20,000 square metres and a fantastic piece of historic greenery.
Other highlights of the Yu Yuan Garden in Shanghai include the City God Temple. There is a small fee to enter and all are welcome. Please be respectful of Buddhist traditions and remove any hats.
I often find Buddhist temples a very calming place and would recommend a visit if you ever get a chance. You can begin planning your visit to China now.
More pictures of the Yu Yuan Garden Shanghai
Getting to the Yu Yuan Garden in Shanghai
The Yu Yuan Garden Shanghai is easy to get to being located relatively close to The Bund. You will find it located on Line 10 of the Shanghai subway metro system. Come out of exit 1 of the Yuyuan Station. I wrote an article about using the Shanghai Metro system which you can read here.