Some tourists immediately see the word "yuan" in the name - this is the name of the Chinese currency . Usually, they ask: "What does this have to do with money?" We reply that absolutely none. This is the peculiarity of the Chinese language, that each word can be pronounced in different tones, and its meaning changes from this. Yuan is both "money", and "round", and "garden", and "wall", and "real", and several other words. However, back to the garden itself Yu Yuan.
Opening hours and how to reach
The garden is open from 8:30 am to 16-45. In 17-15 the territory is guarded and asks all visitors to retire. To inspect the entire area of the attractions, and this is two hectares, it takes about an hour of time. If you want to walk around the Yu Yuan Garden without hurry and stay longer in the most interesting places, then it's worth planning two hours.
Getting here is easiest on the subway. The station is called - Yuyuan Garden (YuYuan Garden). It is located on the 10th (purple) branch of the Shanghai Metro (see picture ). When you exit go to the exit number 3, it is closest to the sights.
Also, there are several other tourist places nearby, from where you can walk to the Yu Yuan Garden on foot. Puxi District is the historical center of Shanghai , and it is convenient for tourists because everything is close by.
From Nankin Street to the garden is only one kilometer. You need to turn off Nanjing Street at the junction where the East Nanjing Road subway station is located (East Nanjing Road). You need to go to the south. Where is the south? Turn around facing Pudong skyscrapers , and you need to go to the right. Go to the intersection of the street with the highway, and after the highway in 200 meters there will be a metro station Yuyuan Garden.
This building (pictured on the right) is a good landmark, it can not be confused with anything. If you see it, then the Yu Yuan garden is already close.
You can also walk on the waterfront of Beyton . From the place where Nanking Street goes to Waitan, go about a kilometer to the south. This way is the most difficult. It is also the most interesting, as there are many interesting buildings along the embankment.
Go along the embankment for about a kilometer (15 minutes), until you notice the park on your right. Behind this park is the Yu Yuan Garden. Crossing roads in this place is difficult, suffering is guaranteed.
What awaits you on the way from the metro to the entrance
You are waiting for the biggest tourist market in Shanghai, but you should not rejoice over it. First of all, put purses and documents in your inner pockets, since pocket thefts are not uncommon here.
As soon as you step onto the market, you will be immediately "flogged" by merchants offering counterfeits of Rolex watches and other expensive brands. They call it the proud word "replica", and want for them 100 Chinese yuan. Never get into conversation with them. If you do this, they will not be left behind.
Trying to say the word "no" is also useless. We tried it in English, Chinese, German, Russian and French, and it only got worse. The less you interact with them, the faster they will lag behind. If you're lucky, then after 100 meters they will get rid of you. They have such a strategy - to take izmorom.
The second obstacle is the classical Chinese divorce of tourists with an invitation to drink tea or coffee. On such invitations should not be answered in any way, just ignore.
The market consists of buildings in classical Chinese style architecture. Do not flatter yourself, they are not ancient and of great cultural value do not represent. On the ground floors there are shops, on the upper teahouses, cafes and restaurants.
All stores on the market are divided into ordinary and FixPrice. If you love and know how to bargain with the Chinese , then the first option is preferable. If in an ordinary store you are told a price of 100 yuan, then in FixPrice it will cost 60. If you bargain, then buy for 30. Here such arithmetic rules this place.
In the market you can find a lot of entertainment. It sometimes shows a Chinese opera or performances about Sun Wukong, which are very popular with children.
A very interesting sight is the cooking of Chinese noodles. This is a long process of stretching the dough. This show is simply mesmerizing, and you can stand for half an hour watching how the cook does it.
In the market you can find some very interesting fast food. On the street you can buy a whole baked pork roll, which, you see, is unusual for a snack. Here they sell special large dumplings, the contents of which must be drunk through a tube. By the way, we have not succeeded, apparently, for this we need to be Chinese.
If you still decide to try something, but are afraid of Chinese cuisine or do not know how to use chopsticks , then choose fruit in caramel - a win-win option for a tourist. Prices for Chinese souvenirs here are quite high, and they should be bought only if you are good at bargaining.
The entrance to the Yu Yuan Garden costs 40 yuan between April 1 and June 30, and the rest of the time you have to pay 30 yuan. Children up to 1.3 meters in height or up to 6 years of age can go inside free of charge, accompanied by adults. I wonder where they saw a child under 6 years old and taller than 130 centimeters?
A little bit about the history of the Yu Yuan Garden
The story began with a failed exam. This is not a joke, so it was.
Pan Yunduan served in the city as a treasurer. He came from a wealthy family of officials, and his father was in the past minister. At that time in China, senior officials were appointed according to the results of special examinations, which he failed.
Realizing that he would not receive an important post at the court in Beijing, he decided to build a garden for his parents, so that they could spend their old age. It is believed that the Yu Yuan Garden was created in the likeness of the Imperial Garden in Beijing in the Forbidden City .
The garden was laid in 1559. But some time after the construction began, Pan Yunduan was appointed governor of Sichuan, and could not control the project. Construction of the Yu Yuan Garden was delayed by almost 20 years, it was completed in 1577, when his parents had already died.
Pan Yunduan spent all his money on this project, which he had, and which he earned. In the end, he even sold family lands and jewelry.
The garden was inherited by the husband of his granddaughter Zan Zaolin, who could no longer keep it and sold it. Since then, Yu Yuan's garden has "walked on hands", replacing several dozen owners. Do not think that the owners were disappointed in the purchase, not at all. This was the period of the most severe crisis in the Chinese economy, when many peasants were dying of hunger. The Chinese then were not up to the gardens, the problems were more important.
In 1709 several wealthy citizens bought a garden and made it part of the Temple of the City Deity. In 1780 after the repair part of the garden was opened for free visiting by the townspeople. Completely the park was opened for all comers only in 1961 year after the next restoration.
The Yu Yuan Garden has been destroyed many times. In 1842, he suffered during the First Opium War. In 1953-59 during the Taiping uprising there was the headquarters of the Society of Short Blades. The Qin forces defeated the insurgents and almost completely destroyed the Yu Yuan garden. In 1942, the next destruction brought troops of Japan.
A little summing up, Yu Yuan's garden does not have exactly age. It has been restored many times, some of its parts are over 400 years old, and some are completely new.
What to look inside
Inside the tourists expect great difficulty. It is almost impossible to navigate, as there are no schemes on the territory, and where to go is not clear. Especially this problem becomes urgent when you want to get out of the Yu Yuan garden. Of course, this is not a Cretan palace-labyrinth , but a pleasant little.
The garden is divided into six parts. These areas are separated by a special fence, called "dragon". It really looks like a dragon. The fence is meandering in height (see this photo ) and at the end of each wall ends with a dragon's head (pictured left).
These parts are the Sansui Hall, Wanghua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huitin Hall, Yuhua Hall and Inner Garden.
There is no point in memorizing these names. We recommend simply walking without any plan, looking at bas-reliefs, going into buildings and enjoying the beauty of this place.
What to look inside - stones
The greatest value of the Yu Yuan Garden is the stones, which you will see hundreds. They have a bizarre shape, and in China at that time they were of great value.
We have long been asking our Chinese friends about the reasons for the huge price of these stones, and eventually found the truth. Now you do not understand what might be valuable in them, but we will try to explain.
Of course, this is beautiful and unusual, but this is not an excuse to buy such a stone for the price of the whole house. It is important that the stones were used as a tool for long-term investments.
Imagine yourself a Chinese Ming. You have earned a large amount of money and want to invest it profitable. The fact that you buy them, should be expensive, increase in price over time and do not require maintenance costs. This is logical.
Of course, you can buy gold or precious stones, but they can be stolen. A thief will come to your house and take your wealth. You can buy land or livestock and earn income, but they need to be controlled, and they need to be managed.
You act simply - you buy such a stone. It rises in price with time, because the richer the story of the stone, the more expensive it was. It will not be stolen by thieves, it will not be possible for them to stealthily take away a cobblestone weighing two tons. It does not need to be supported, "it does not ask", it does not need to be controlled. He just stands still and becomes more expensive. Insanely convenient tool for long-term investment of money. Look below a few photos of such fanciful stones and figurines from them.
What to look inside is the ancient jade stone of Kurrow
This is the "pearl" collection of garden stone Yu Yuuan. He is one of the three famous "Stones of the South from the Yangtze River". Pan Yunduan was very proud of this particular stone. Yuhua Hall is opposite, and this building was built just to admire this stone.
European tourists rarely distinguish it from the rest. Of course, if you look at the photo on the left, you can already recognize it on the spot.
This stone has amazing properties. There are 72 holes in it. If you light a wand of incense next to it, the smoke will pass through the stone and come out of all 72 holes. To light anything in the Garden of Joy is forbidden, and you will not be able to see this effect.
If you pour water on top of it, it will pour out of all the holes. This effect can be seen if at the time of the excursion you will find rain.
According to legend, this stone was intended for the imperial garden in Beijing. It was found on Lake Tai near the city of Wuxi. For a long time he was in the imperial collections - beginning with the Song dynasty, that is, more than 1000 years ago. The boat that sailed him sank near Shanghai, but later the stone was taken out and he found himself in the Yu Yuan Garden. With a weight of 5 tons and a height of almost 3.5 meters, it is not surprising that the boat could not stand it.
What to look inside is a large stone composition
It sounds amazing, but in rich Russian there is no word that would describe such a design. We translated as close as "a stone composition".
This is a construction of stones and buildings with a total height of 12 meters. This is a real work of landscape art, equal to which in southern China there. This part of the Garden of Joy is considered an "exclusive".
Climbing up, you can see the panoramic view of the Yu Yuan Garden. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit to the stone composition was not allowed, and at the entrance there was a forbidding sign.
We can not say for sure whether tourists are allowed there or not. This we could not find out. Local people say that only organized excursion groups are allowed to go up.
What to look inside - Dianchun Hall
This place served as the headquarters of the "Society of Short Blades" in 1853-1855 during the Taiping uprising. This uprising has ended pitifully. The troops of the Qin Empire were stormed by Shanghai and massacred. This place is a monument to the heroic resistance of the inhabitants of Shanghai.
The hall contains documents, weapons and other items used by the insurgents. See the small gallery below.
What to look inside - different rooms and rooms
Each building inside the Yu Yuan Garden had its purpose. An educated man of the Ming dynasty had to be skilled in four classes. This is calligraphy, drawing, playing Go and owning stringed musical instruments, usually it was Goochin (see photo ). In the Yu Yuan Garden, there are halls for each of these activities.
Some chambers and halls were meant for meetings, reception of guests or negotiations. You will recognize them by refined furniture. See the small photo gallery below.
In the Yu Yuan Garden, there are a lot of ancient works of art - bas-reliefs, calligraphy on stone, sculpture and painting. See the small photo collection below.
The Joy Garden is interesting because it is a quiet place in the heart of the huge metropolis of Shanghai. Do not miss the chance to relax and unwind in this beautiful place. Do not rush back, because after the exit you are waiting for the importunate merchants to fake the clock.
Good luck visiting the Yu Yuan garden, and read our other interesting articles about China ( links below ).
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