Yuyuan Gardens
By chinadaily.com.cn
Updated: 2004-01-15 10:37

The Yuyuan Gardens are located in the southwest of the city. Although the gardens have been dubbed slightly tacky, they are still worth a visit. Try not to visit them on the weekend because they are very crowded.

The gardens were completed by the Pan family in 1577. The originals were destroyed twice in the 1800s and have now been restored. Today, the gardens attract hordes of Chinese tourists. Opening hours are between 8.30 am to 4.30 pm daily.

The area surrounding the gardens makes up the Old City God’s Temple Area, which was known in colonial times as the "Chinese City". Today, the area directly around Yuyuan has been "renovated" somewhat tastelessly and is a mass of tourist shops and tacky decorations. Many dignitaries, such as the Queen of England and former US president Bill Clinton, have taken tea in the famous Huxinting Tea House. The Tea House is something of an institution around these parts, and while it is very quaint and interesting, it is extortionately over priced.

There are numerous antique markets and small side streets around this area, which have yet to be renovated by authorities. There is a great antique market just off the Shanghai "Old street" and another in a small alley called Dongtai Lu. Be prepared to bargain hard in these places. Keep in mind that some of the products here may be genuine antiques, while others may be fakes. The most popular English expression in these places seems to be: "Very old, very cheap"!

This area is fair sized and includes the streets around Fuyou Street, Dongtai Lu and Henan Lu.
How to get there: Walk south along The Bund then swing a right at Jinling Dong Lu. The Old City is to the south.

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