Anyway, Shanghai. Back in August, my grandfather and one of my brothers hopped the Strait (from Taiwan) and paid me a visit, yay! Too bad they brought with them a sort-of typhoon. We checked out Yu Garden (豫园), a supremely touristy food-and-shopping place:
It was PACKED. I dislike crowds.
But it is gorgeous and interesting. Peddlars hawk all different sorts of wares: my favorite was a kind of glass artwork in which artists take small glass bottles and draw intricate designs or pictures on the inside of the bottles using the tiniest sliver of a brush. Visitors line up for half an hour to get their hands on the food at a famous Shanghainese tourist snack place.
We also entered Yu Garden proper, a stone garden that required an admission fee to enter. But it was so worth the 30rmb, because the insides were lovely, all stone walls, classical architecture, and water that flowed from one area into another.
The fish were freakishly aggressive! Visitors would sometimes toss crumbs to the fish, whipping them into such a frenzy that they would swim over one another and out of the water in order to get closer to the source of food.
The wonderful thing about Yu Garden proper was that, within its walls, the madness of the city seemed to fade away, replaced by an utterly lovely sense of tranquility, even despite all the tourists wandering around. I could totally see why the Chinese of the past would want such private gardens. It's a place that I would definitely consider revisiting for its calming sights, that's for sure.
Pretty pretty, even in spite of the gloomy skies, no?