Located at the heart of Shanghai’s old town, the Yu Garden (‘Garden of Happiness’) is a prime example of a classical Chinese garden. Started in 1559, during the Ming Dynasty, it took 18 years to complete and eventually bankrupted the family, Pan, who commissioned it. It became the largest and most prestigious garden in the city. Damaged during both the First Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion, the park today is just 2 hectares but is packed full of rockeries, bridges, gates, alcoves, pavilions and ponds full of fish.
Designated a National Monument in 1982, the garden is exceptionally popular – a small respite from Shanghai’s bustle. A wander through its maze of classical features, spread through six main garden areas in the Suzhou style, allows you to catch a glimpse of the horticultural trends of the Ming Dynasty. The garden is particularly pleasant to explore in the spring and summer, when blossom adds colour and fragrance to the air. By the entrance to the garden you will find the Huxinting Teahouse – one of the most famous in China.
What better way to experience it than on a Wendy Wu tour?