The name of the Yuyuan Garden means 'Garden of Peace and Comfort', a slightly ironic moniker these days. Owing to its position in the center of the Old Town and its reputation as one of China's finest and best-preserved gardens, Yuyuan is crowded to bursting point every day. And yet, somehow, it manages to maintain something of its air of serenity.
The garden has a touching history. It was built in the 16th century by a government official. He spent 20 years perfecting the garden as a haven for his father in his old age.
Flowing dragon walls encircle a relatively small space - the garden measures up at only 2 hectares (5 acres). And yet, what a lot is packed in to that space! Tall rockeries emulate cliffs and crags. Ming-era pavilions invite repose. Bamboo sway in the wind. Koi thrash the waters of the pools in their feeding frenzies. Zig-zag bridges foil evil spirits (who can only travel in straight lines).
Don't miss the Exquisite Jade Rock. Legend has it that this rock was on its way to the court in Beijing when it went down in a shipwreck. It was later retrieved from the Hupuang River and ended up here. It's weathered and honeycombed, so much so that water and incense smoke will flow through holes in its surface.
The Yuyuan Garden is at the center of Nanshi, Shanghai's Old Town. To get there, take the subway to Henan Zhonglu station or Yuyuan station.
Tours & Tickets
See all the main sites of Shanghai, 'Paris of the Orient'. Your fully guided coach tour includes lunch as well as entry into the Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Spend an entire week exploring the best of eastern China! With a private guide to show you around the different attractions in Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and ... Read more
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Got only half a day to explore Shanghai? Discover the 'must-see' sights such as Jade Buddha Temple, Fresh Water Pearl Gallery and Shanghai Museum on the ... Read more
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
From the busy streets of Shanghai to the tranquil canals of Suzhou – you will have three-day’s worth of interesting activities and sightseeing experience ... Read more
Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Get a taste of traditional Shanghai on this private guided tour. On this full-day sightseeing tour, visit Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Chenghuangmiao ... Read more
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)