Shanghai is probably one of the most cultural diverse cities in China. The old port city has been a major trade city due to its location. The city in the edge of the Yangtze River.
Shanghai is a great example of old and new. The modern skyline along the Bund and the old Shanghai at the Yu Gardens. The Yu Gardens was built in the mid-1500s and has been ravaged throughout the years due to multiple wars. Old Shanghai has been declared a national monument and one of the few places you could walk through to experience old Shanghai.
The Yu Garden is located within old Shanghai and next to the City God Temple. The old Shanghai is a delight to walk through and marvel at the architecture; the old Chinese buildings and its occupants selling food and souvenirs. It’s like a typical Asian night market except its engulf in rich culture or scenery.
The Yu Garden and the City God Temple charge entrance fees. It’s insignificant for the experience of walking through some of the oldest landmarks in the city. Both areas would take at least an hour to walk through if you are going at a leisure pace. The first thing you will notice when you enter the Yu Garden is the pond and waterfall (picture below).
The Yu Garden is filled with old Chinese landscaping and rooms with antique Chinese furniture. There are many benches throughout the garden to sit and relax while listening to the flowing waters. The best thing is you could barely hear the hustle and bustle of the old city within the Yu Garden. It reminded me of Seoul’s Hanok Village.
The old city’s laneway is filled with shops and food vendors. The detail of the decor is amazing and really gives you the feeling of what it might have been like to walk the laneways back in the 1700-early 1900s. The food vendors were all selling the same type of deep-fried goodness and softball sized dumplings. There were a bunch of shops selling tapioca desserts to help you cool off from Shanghai’s humidity.
There are only a few places in this world where you could experience old world treasures and those places include Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia. These old treasures can’t be seen in North America, Australia, or even some parts of South America. Old Shanghai is a must stop while in Shanghai and its only a few blocks from the Bund.
Check out our other Shanghai articles here.