Friday, October 28, 2011

Yu Garden: A Tourist Necessity

Oh, hi there, from your favorite neglectful book/travel blogger. I just checked my archives and it's been over two months since I posted about my new life here in Shanghai. Heh. I'm telling you, I'd much rather talk about the fictional worlds I travel to in books, rather than the actual worlds I live in. October has also been a craaaaaaaaazy month for work, what with the November 1st ED/EA deadline. Work six days a week, work from home in the evenings, work work work... like, I love my job, but I'm not at my most efficient when it comes to constant exposure to the same elements...

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?


  1. Ohhh, the pics look so pretty! I definitely wanna visit someday!

    Saying hi from Twitter! :D (@Vi3tI3abe)

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe

  2. That looks so awesome. I would love to visit China. The pictures are really pretty btw!

  3. Hey Steph Su!

    I just ran across your blog and decided to contact you about my new philanthropic organization called Gone Reading International.

    We market a line of gifts for readers and donate 100% of company profits to fund new libraries in the developing world. You can read more about us at

    Any chance you can mention us in your blog???

    We’re finding that readers love what we’re doing, but spreading the word on a philanthropic budget is a challenge! Let me know what you think, and thanks in advance for your time.



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  4. Wow, I didn't realize you lived in Shanghai. That's pretty amazing. And you get to live near all that. It's so beautiful.

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  5. SO pretty! I remember I went there when I visited Shanghai, definitely a lovely place :) Awesome recap Steph!

  6. EEEEH I've been there before! Wow, it makes me feel strangely proud to say that. The fish are HUGE, aren't they? They're practically a solid mattress. I just wonder how they can swim with all that weight. :P

  7. Beautiful! I try to hit as many "touristy" spots as I can, though it's always good to step away from the madness and just enjoy the tranquility of places off the beaten path, too. Though I reason that they're tourist destinations for a reason: they're usually awesome!


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