Probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen: Yuyuan Garden. I can’t believe this is only 5 stops away from me on the tube.
Yuyuan Garden (or Yu Garden) was first built in 1559 and is surrounded by it’s famous bazaar, which sells every jade Buddha, lucky cat, Chinese painting and steamed dumpling you could ever wish for (if you’ve got time to queue for it)! You could really easily get lots walking round these endless market stalls, I think I was walking round in circles for about 2 hours. It was so strange seeing such traditional, typical Chinese buildings among ordinary buildings on the street.
For 40 RMB, you can enter Yu Garden itself, following the paths round the ancient temple chambers and huge koi-filled ponds. I went alone this time, which I appreciated as I could really take my time to enjoy it on such a beautiful day, but I’d love to go again with someone else just to share the beauty.
After visiting the gardens, I tried to follow the route set out by the Lonely Planet Shanghai guide book. It took me through some very narrow streets where I felt a little too close to the passing motorbikes and lonely chickens wandering around so I gave up in the end. Again, it’s amazing how local everything is. On my taxi ride home, I passed The Bund again, which is just as amazing in daylight, if not even more otherworldly.