Saturday, March 12, 2011

China: Gucheng Park and Yuyuan Market

The next destination we had on our itinerary was the Yuyuan Market and Garden. Yuyuan is located in the old city area of Shanghai. Yes, buildings along The Bund are old but here, buildings were older. The traditional Chinese structures in the old city area date back to the 1500's, all fully restored into their original grandeur.

Yuyuan Market and Garden

Yuyuan has a metro stop. So that's a no-brainer. But, if you're like us, who has Yuyuan on their itinerary right after The Bund, then we recommend just strolling along The Bund north to south until you get to Renmin Road. Take that street and to your left, you will see a park—Gucheng Park. Cross the park to get to Yuyuan Market.

Yuyuan Market and Garden

Yuyuan Market and Garden

Yuyuan Market and Garden

There are a lot of things to see and do in Yuyuan. Since we were there during lunch time, we decided to have us some dimsum at one of the many restaurants along the market alleys. Ordering is basically carinderia style. You enter a restaurant, pick a table (if you're lucky to find one that's empty), choose your dimsum a la turo-turo, pay for it and one of the servers will bring your food to you. Conveniently simple, especially since locals do not speak a lot of English, even in very touristy places like this.

Yuyuan Market and Garden

Yuyuan Market and Garden

Yuyuan Market

We didn't really get a chance to explore the garden part of Yuyuan that much. The place was packed. I mean, packed. You would have to shove your way through the crowd to get from one place to another. Defeats the purpose of a traditional Chinese garden, I think. So, after lunch, we decided to leave and head our way back to the less crowded Gucheng Park.

Yuyuan Market and Garden

I liked Gucheng Park. It had more of a locals-only air to it. Which was nice. Families whiling away the weekend afternoon. Kids roller-blading through the walkways. Of course, visitors are by all means welcome to walk through. But most seem to bypass the park in favor of Yuyuan on the other side. We recommend the contrary, naturally. Take a seat on one of the benches and do what the locals do. Take a breather and enjoy the rest of the day.

Gucheng Park

Gucheng Park

Gucheng Park


* More photos in my Flickr set: China: Gucheng and Yuyuan.

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