Old town architecture – Yu Bazaar
From the Bund we headed to Yu Yuan Garden and Bazaar. The buildings in the Bazaar are old style classical Chinese architecture with modern shop fronts, and very appealing. Yu Bazaar area has well-preserved and restored residences dating from Ming and Qing dynasties,very attractive with grey roof tiles,white walls and dark red trimmings. Lao Miao Jewellery store has a very welcoming presence entering the square and is a fine example of classical architecture with a modern shop front. I just love the ancient traditional Chinese roof-lines with the upturned curves. A lot of fun wandering through the stalls at the Bazaar, so much to look at. You need to haggle, prices at the Bazaar are a bit high, but bargains to be had!
Yu Yuan Garden
Near the Bazaar, the Yu Garden has a magnificent bronze lion guarding the entrance gate. Yu Yuan Garden is a beautiful classical Chinese Garden with exquisite pavilions linked by a maze of Ming dynasty rockeries. Colorful shrubbery,red maples,purple wisteria and green topiary; arched bridges and goldfish ponds; all enclosed in a wonderful undulating dragon wall. The pavilions are for viewing the garden and pond from different aspects; the brightly colored goldfish in the water, moonlight on the pond, the scent of the flowers and shrubs, listening to the rain, or just relaxing.
Classical Chinese Gardens
The four main aspects of a Classical Chinese garden are architecture, rocks, water, trees and flowers, combined to create an idealized garden landscape enclosed by walls. Pavilions and halls in the gardens are usually named for the aspect of their use; the Hall of Distant Fragrances, Listening to The Rain Pavilion, all have very poetic names. The rockeries represent mountain peaks and are a part of a classical Chinese Gardens. During the Tang Dynasty rocks became a highly prized object for gardens, these were limestone rocks sculpted by erosion.In that period eroded rocks became objects of art.
I noticed quite a few of these weathered rocks in different places in Beijing. In particular, the Imperial Garden in The Forbidden City has “Duixui”, an artificial hill made from eroded rocks,with a cave entrance and pavilion on top. The Imperial Garden also has a huge rock garden with heavily eroded limestone rocks. The use of artificial rocks to create mountains and grotto’s reached it peak during the Ming Dynasty. Yu Yuan garden created during this period and has its own ancient stone, a limestone boulder 3.3-m in height and weighing 5-ton (and I don’t remember seeing it..ooops?).
Toad and Dragon – bizarre bazaar
How bizarre, a spotted toad sitting on the wall next to the dragon’s head. There is an ancient legend about the toad and Dragon, that says they cannot survive without one another, I’m not sure why though? An odd couple!
The Yu Garden divided into six sections, each separated from the other by “dragon walls”, undulating dark gray tiled ridges, each ending with a dragon’s head, hence the maze effect. I’m not sure we weren’t going around in circles at one stage so perhaps I missed the giant rock entirely!
Did you notice the dragons in the Yu Garden have only four claws on each paw? Why is this you ask?…well..because only Imperial dragons are allowed to have five claws. The Emperor of China used the five-clawed dragon as a symbol of his imperial power and strength. Commoners are only allowed four-clawed and three-clawed dragons. During the Ming dynasty it was a treasonable offence, punishable by death if anyone used the five-clawed dragon symbol.
Dumpling Dinner-Yu Bazaar Old Town
Worked up an appetite by now so chose a typical Chinese restaurant in the Shanghai Old Town in the Yu Bazaar area, decided to have dumplings for lunch, as couldn’t recognize anything else on the menu. Good choice, we enjoyed a dumpling dinner in Xian early in the tour. The dumplings freshly made at this restaurant too, and very tasty.
Perhaps tea at Huxinting Tea House later…
- Port of shanghai-Jin Mao Skywalk
- Yangshuo impressions sanjie liu open landscape theatre
- Yangshuo countryside and fisherman li river yangshuo
- Boat trip limestone peaks li river guilin to yangshuo China
- Dragons backbone terraced rice fields Pingan village Longsheng
- Journey to Longsheng Rice Terrace
- Attractions Guilin fountains-and-silver moon pagoda guilin china
- Reed flute cave and grotto Guilin China
- Top Five Attractions in Beijing
- Visit the Jade Belt Bridge
- The Marble Boat
- the long corridor at the summer palace
- the fascinating summer palace in beijing china
- The Forbidden City China
- The temple of Heaven Park
- Lama Temple
- Great Wall of China
- Top ten places to visit China
- Xian City Wall
- Discover Xian|Big Wild Goose Pagoda Xian China
- Terracotta Army Emperor Qin
- Emperor qins terracotta army challenges and discoveries