I remember that my first flight to Shanghai was delayed more than 5 hours because of the heavy smog from the pollution. The dense fog hang over the city for more than a month. This smog gives people a gloomy feeling and apprehension. I wonder whether there’s a place to relax for a while in a hustle bustle city of Shanghai. My friend from Hunan recommend me a place called 豫园 pronounce YU-relax/comfortable and YUAN-garden. My friend said that this garden is the best garden which which was built to enjoy tranquil in Ming Dynasty.I decided to came alone to the garden on Sunday because it’s the only free day during my work hours in Shanghai. The garden is located hidden in the Northeast of Old City of Shanghai and south of the Yangtze river. The garden has the pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters all with unique characteristics. The garden are well-sculpted with traditional Chinese architecture complimented with amazingly landscaped gardens and ponds. The rocks inside are special because it is said that in ancient times they take the rocks from the mountain and put into lakes for 200-300 years to erode the weaker soil and rock in order to get an artistic limestone shape.
Many dragon decorations can be found on the garden because dragon is a special symbol for Chinese people. Since the garden was dedicated for royal blood status Pan Yunduan, the dragon symbol is suitable for the garden. Yu Garden also has beautiful doorways such as circular, arched, and vase-doorways mirroring each other. The diverse plants are also spread around the garden to give the balance of the heavy atmosphere from the stones.
At that time I might be a bit lucky because I could enjoy the garden with less people. The garden is on a visited list of the group tour and usually crowded by people around the world even on weekdays. Maybe I came there on low season and I could only find local tourist inside. There’s a grandpa and grandma from Beijing approaches me and ask me to take their picture in front of the calligraphy exhibition inside the garden. They took a lot of pictures near the calligraphy and I wonder why the love that artwork. They show their book about China’s calligraphy and there’s the eng translation of their favourite quote. It is stated that
“When you have an original calligraphy, you have created an elegant atmosphere of art. As a kind of silent honor, it not only reflects your high quality personal life but also fully display your noble personality and status. This is the real value of the originals works of art.”
China always surprised me with their artwork, heritage and great stories. I wish someday I could speak fluently in Mandarin, communicate well and understand their great stories.
Have you ever had great experiences in China? Please share your stories.
Last, my picture in Yuyuan 😀