Chinese Narnia

The tour portion of my China trip is officially over. A few of us (myself, Sydney, Chantal, Pip and Andrew) remained in Shanghai for a couple extra days before making our way back home (or on to the next country, in Pip and Andrew’s case). With our first free day in Shanghai, obviously the only thing we want to do is…sleep in. So we did. This decision was also motivated by the fact that Pip and I had woken up with nasty colds. I would go as far to say it was the worst cold I’ve suffered from over the last decade (still not completely recovered, twelve days later).

Sydney, Pip, Andrew and myself unintentionally met at Zoo Coffee around nine o’clock in the morning. We had agreed to try and visit the Yuyuan Gardens and it seems that we all craved a pick-me-up beforehand. Tina was leaving later that morning, but was able to come for a coffee and breakfast.

Zoo Coffee: One of the most interestingly decorated coffee shops I’ve been to.
Early morning coffee friends

On our own now with no Yang Yang or Monkey King to lead us, Sydney, Pip, Andrew and I walked to the subway station and rode it a whole two stops to Yuyuan Station. That was the easy part. Andrew had loaded a map onto this phone prior to leaving the hotel and we followed that to the gardens. Great! Where is the actual entrance to the Yuyuan Gardens though?

For future travellers to the Yuyuan Gardens: You have to walk through the busy market street to get to the Yuyuan Gardens. It is very hidden. You might think you’ve reached the gardens because you are looking at a lovely pond with lilies and other pretty flowers, but you have not actually made it yet. There is a ticket booth; pay the entrance fee and enter into the actual Yuyuan Gardens. I don’t know how they hid this rather vast landscape inside of the market, but they did. It’s basically Chinese Narnia.

Walk through the beautiful and busy market…
Lovely pond with pretty flowers, but nope! You’re not there yet. C’mon Isaac!
We’ve made it! This is the back of the gate after walking into Yuyuan Gardens,
Left to right: Andrew, Pip, Sydney & myself
Isaac did not get to see much of Shanghai, but he thoroughly enjoyed the Yuyuan Gardens.
Sleep deprived and sick…that’s my excuse.
I don’t know what this says, but it was nice to look at and I’m sure it means something very important and tattoo worthy.

It was so peaceful and quiet inside the gardens. Not too many people and endless photo opportunities. I loved the Chinese landscape architecture; someday when I have my own landscape to architect, I would like to add some Yuyuan touches.

From the Yuyuan Gardens, we took the subway just one stop to Nanjing Street. Pip had not been with us the day before, so she wanted to check it out. Not to mention, it’s a good place to find a pharmacy and some western medicine to treat these terrible colds.

Seeing as we now control our own schedule, we chose to return to our hotel rooms and nap. Pip and I especially needed it, as did everyone else after an extremely busy, yet fun-filled eight-day tour with Yang Yang. After naps, we met up again and walked to Papa Pasta for a cheap meal.

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