Shanghai Attractions: Yu Garden
Yu Garden 上海豫園
Yu Garden (also known as Yuyuan Garden) is Shanghai's best known public garden. It was completed in 1577 by Pan Yunduan, a government official during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Like Shanghai, the garden has seen its fortunes wax and wan. With the decline of the Pan family, the garden and grounds became run down in the late Ming period. It was purchased in 1760 by local merchants who spent decades refurbishing it.
During the Opium War, the Garden was badly damaged by French forces in the 1840s. The current Garden was most recently restored in the 1950s.
Yu Garden is roughly five acres in size. In that relatively small space, it contains many pavilions, ponds, key-hole gates, clipped, manicured bushes, and temple-like structures. It is packed with tourists and tour groups --but well worth the trip.
You enter via a shopping bazaar from Fuyou Road. The bazaar is narrow and teeming with tourists and locals. The market area is filled with shops selling trinkets and food.
The lanterns and splash of red everywhere will alert you that you have come to the right place. Pickpockets are rumored to frequent the area. The reconstructed shop buildings are modelled after Qing and Ming dynasty structures and house modern restaurants, fast food joints and antique and souvenir stores.
During an early March visit, the many plum trees were in bloom. The garden is open year round.
Yu Garden Access
218 Anren Lu