Yu Garden,also called Yuyuan Garden, is located in the Middle Fangbang Road,Shanghai City. It is an ancient property owned by a Ming dynasty official and is the only Ming garden in the northern part of the Old City. Built in 1559, the 2-hectare garden has been around for over four centuries. It boasts over 40 ingeniously conceived, well laid out ancient buildings, which have interesting names like Iron Panther, Moon Tower and Hearing-Waves Pavilion.
The garden park includes such highlights as the Hall of Jade Magnificence, the Hall of Heralding Spring, the Ten-Thousand-Flower Pavilion, the Gathering the Moon Pavilion, the Pavilon of Spring, the Inner Garden, the Lotus Pool, and the Grand Rockery, to name only a few. The windows of the halls reveal glimpses of trees, ponds, streams and corridors. The eaves of the halls and pavilions are decorated with dragons, dogs and elephants in an amusing arrangement (e.g., the dragons are depicted with wide-open gapes as if trying to swallow the corners of upturned eaves). The overall arrangement of the individual elements of the garden, from the placement of the trees and ponds to the halls and pavilions, is carefully planned so as to enhance the garden's harmony and ambience, yet nothing about this arrangement seems forced or unnatural.
The Pavilion of Spring in the northeast corner of the park has an interesting history as the headquarters of the anti-imperialist "Little Sword Society", which, in 1853, led an uprising against the Qing Dynasty rule. The society occupied Shanghai for 17 months. A number of artifacts from this historical period, including weapons, coins and other objects used by the Little Sword Society are now housed in a special exhibition hall.
A major restoration of Yuyuan Garden was commenced some years after the establishment of the PRC. The garden park was formally opened to the public in 1961. Yuyuan Garden's Huxin Ting teahouse is very popular with locals and tourists alike, and there are numerous nearby kiosks and stalls that sell delicious Chinese snacks and desserts.
With its pavilions, artificial mountains and ponds, it’s widely advertised as a gem of classic Chinese gardening and an oasis of calm marooned in the urban bustle. It is not only a tourist attraction, but also a worth-a-dedicated-trip shopping destination where trinkets, local products and famous snacks attract those ready to shell out.
The City God Temple
Also called Chenghuangmiao ,the City God Temple, is located in an eponymous tourist-centric zone, is Shanghai’s most important Taoist temple. It has stood there for nearly six centuries since it was built in Ming dynasty’s Yongle period (1403-1424). Numerous halls are spread out in an area of about 2,000 square meters.
Shanghai Old Street:
Shanghai Old Street is a unique scenic spot near Yu Garden. On this street, visitors can appreciate sights to all sides, shop, relax, and get to know the traditional culture of Shanghai. In history, Shanghai Old Street used to be named “Miao Qian Da Jie” (meaning “the street before the temple”). The earliest money shops, old-style Chinese private banks, restaurants, teahouses, theatrical stages, and trading companies all gathered on this street. It has always been the corridor that connects Shi Liu Pu (Little East Gate), the City God Temple, and Yu Garden. The unique location and landscape of society along the way give Shanghai Old Street much priceless cultural and commercial significance. Getting there by bus: Bus 11, Bus 926, or Bus 920
Chen Xiang Pavalion (Eaglewood Pavilion):
Chen Xiang Pavilion is well-known for the eaglewood Avalokitesvara (Buddhist bodhisattva enlightened being) protected and worshipped in within. Actually, the original Avalokitesvara statue was destroyed in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Chinese Cultural Revolution) that lasted from 1966 to 1976. The Avalokitesvara statue that is enshrined and worshipped in Chen Xiang Pavilion today was donated by Hong Kong believers.