Strolling the Yu Garden like stepping into a photo album
Located in the downtown Shanghai, Yu Garden (or Yuyuan) is a one of the most famous landscape gardens in China. It was first built in 1559 (Ming Dynasty) with a history of about 400 years. The amazing buildings, pavilions, corridors, flowers, trees, and ponds make it unique among all of the landscape gardens in China.
The designer of the garden used the space brilliantly. Strolling through the Yu Garden is really like walking through a photo album of ancient China and every page is a totally different scene. Every single corner you take a turn, you are taken into an entire new picture. For instance: If you are looking at a beautiful rockery, and turn the corner, suddenly you are facing a large pond filled with goldfish with a pavilion. Turn another corner, and you are standing alongside of a small stream surrounded by bamboo groves. Turn another corner, and you are suddenly in a small courtyard built around an ancient tree and filled with flowering plants.
In larger gardens you can see what is coming, but not here. You never know what is coming and are surprised every time. The person who designed the garden was a genius. It works so very well. The buildings are beautiful and filled with traditional Chinese furniture which makes visitors feel like they are visiting someone's personal garden and the owners are just not there at the moment. Each time visitors turn a corner a whole new view appears before them making the garden full of wonderful surprises, and they will totally forget they are in a small garden.
There are six main tourist sections in Yu Garden. Each section has its own special sights. After entering the garden, tourists may see a big rockery with springs and small waterfalls. It has a reputation that it is the best rockery in Southern China. The building "Cui Xiu Tang" is the main sight in this section. From the building "Yu He Xie" to "Wan Hua Lou", there are full of exquisite corridors, rivers, rockeries, and courtyards. The stone hill - Jade Exquisite (Yu Ling Long in Chinese) is the treasure of the Yu Garden. There are a lot of brick carvings, stone carvings, mud sculptures, and wood sculptures in the Yu Garden.
Originally built during the Ming Dynasty, the Yu Garden itself is a priceless cultural relic that contains a great variety of Chinese cultural components. Over the centuries the garden has been upgraded and rebuilt many times. Each rebuilding has only added to the overall beauty of the garden. Although the garden is relatively small in scale compared with some classic Chinese gardens, it does not detract rather enhances its beauty. The buildings, rockeries, and water features of the Yu Garden are extremely exquisite and no less attractive than the most famous gardens in China. All of these give the Yu Garden an irresistible charm making its visitors always want to come back to see it again.