It is hard to believe that is has been two weeks since I was in China it felt like only last week I was returning home. This year has gone by so quick!
Throughout my travels around China I had the opportunity to see a lot of different attractions and only a few gardens. Out of all the gardens I had the chance to visit this was by far my favourite and left me feeling the most impressed. This garden is beautifully landscaped with man-made hills that flow naturally into the scenery and has a great diversity of plants. The Yuyuan Gardens are located in the Old City of Shanghai. As you wonder through these gardens there are many unique artistic styles to discover from the paintings to the placement of plants. I found myself excited to discover what may lie around every corner!
Yuyuan Gardens (also referred to Yu gardens) was first constructed during the Ming Dynasty, 1559, by Pan Yunduan. He wanted to build a garden for his father to comfort him in his old age. But the construction of the gardens was postponed for 18 years until 1577, due to Pan Yunduan being appointed as the new Governor of Sichuan.
Once the gardens were complete they were the most prestigious and largest gardens of its era in Shanghai.
In the 19th century the gardens suffered damage from the First Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion, with almost all of the original structures completely destroyed. From 1956 – 1961 the gardens were repaired by the Shanghai Government, and were reopened to the public.
If you find yourself travelling to Shanghai in the near future I would highly recommend that you visit the Yuyuan Gardens. I only got to spend about an hour seeing these gardens but I would recommend spending a bit more time to absorb the beauty of this landscape if you can. This was my third favourite sight in all of China after seeing the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army.
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs