Shanghai: YuYuan Gardens and City of God Temple


I took over 400 photos in the 3 days of my trip.  People say I’m my Father’s daughter for my puns, and my Mother’s daughter for alllllllll the photos I stop to take.  I’ve been very interested in taking photos of building since my Mom gave me my first camera for our trip to France.  While all of these were taken on my Samsung Galaxy Grand Max phone, I still think I’ve managed to get some great shots (not hard in a gorgeous city like Shanghai!).

After visiting People’s Park and People’s Square, we continued walking along to the Yu Gardens (Yu Yuan) and the City of God Temple.  I had done some research in advance of the trip, and none of this was looking familiar quite yet.  On the map it appeared like we had arrived at exactly the right spot, so we decided to explore the area.

There were tons of stores for little knick-knacks, ice cream (there’s a Dairy Queen there as well as a Starbucks…sad), dumplings (I had wanted to try the Soup Dumplings from the Shanghai episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown but we were still full from the dumplings we had had for breakfast.  Spoiler alert: I didn’t manage to see ’em again throughout the trip.  This seems to be the only place you can get these dumplings).

Admission to the temples and gardens was anywhere from RMB 10 – 40 ($2 – $8).  It’s such a steal to be able to see all these magnificent places at such a low cost.

The City God Temple or Chenghuang Miao (Chinese上海城隍庙pinyinShànghǎi Chénghuángmiào) is a temple located in Shanghai,China, within the old walled city. Today the “City God Temple” not only refers to the large temple complex, but also the traditional district of commerce in the city, surrounding the temple. There are over a hundred stores and shops in this area, and most of these store buildings are nearly a century old.[1] The temple connects to the Yuyuan Garden, another landmark of the old city.



Upon leaving the Temple we continued to walk through the old city grounds to find the Yu Gardens (Yu Yuan).  This was what I had expected from my research, so it was really exciting to see all these awesome spots!  The area was absolutely packed, and on this beautiful, sunny Saturday it was a wonderful place to be.


Having read online about a ton of scammers in this area (girls who will want a photo with you then chit chat, build rapport, and take you to an expensive tea ceremony and essentially rob or threaten you) I was a little worried walking through the grounds.  Once we got to the entrance of the gardens I was really surprised at how few people were there.  We bought our tickets and waltzed right in.  I didn’t interact with any scammers the entirety of my trip, and the subway wasn’t even as busy as the Busan Metro.  Obviously be aware of your surroundings, but in my short experience Shanghai is quite safe.
Yu Garden the forbidden city’[1] or Yuyuan Garden[2] (Chineset s p Yù Yuánlit. Garden of Happiness[3]) is an extensiveChinese garden located beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of ShanghaiChina. It abuts the Yuyuan Tourist Martand is accessible from the Shanghai Metro‘s Line 10 Yuyuan Garden Station.[4]
A centerpiece is the Currow ancient stone (玲珑Yù Línglóng), a porous 3.3-m, 5-ton boulder. Rumours about its origin include the story that it was meant for the imperial palace in Beijing, but was salvaged after the boat sank off Shanghai.[5]

The gardens are really beautiful and the whole area reminded me of my time in Cheng-du in 2009.  It wasn’t incredibly busy, and B spent most of his time climbing rocks and crawling into crevices.  


B was a monkey all throughout the gardens…

…my attempt ended up with a little boy posing under my “wheel”, which I thought was hysterical.

Just beyond the gardens there were tons of little shops with Chinese outfits for kids and beautiful dresses.  I kind of wanted to bring one home, but the thought of trying something on in that heat was out of the question.

We continued walking and found a Bamboo forest right in the middle of Shanghai.  It seemed so out of place and beautiful.

All of a sudden, beyond the bamboo, the Oriental Pearl Tower appeared.  This was the moment we really felt like we were not just in China, but definitely in Shanghai!  Our afternoon came to a close on a beautiful rooftop terrace on The Bund.

Stay tuned…

2 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *