Play with the Exquisite Jade Rock: burn incense below it and watch if spout out from the hole above; pour water in form above and it will jet out those below
The Yuyuan gardens are ancient. It took the Pan family 18 years to coax them into existence during the Ming Dynasty of the 16th century. The delicate arrangements were trashed once by British bombardment during the Opium War in 1942, and again by the French in response for attacks on their nearby concession during the Taiping Rebellion. Now finely restored, there are few better examples of Ming garden design to be found.
Cool pavilions and shaded alcoves offer shelter from the elements; mirror-like pools ripple and glitter with the tail beats of roving fish; the scents of spring and summer blossoms are carried on the breeze. Luohan pines, willows, gingkos, cherry trees and great dawn redwoods fill the gardens. It’s a divine place, and a piece of traditional Chinese culture that has persisted, even as fast food joints and designer label shops proliferate around it.
Right by the garden entrance you can find the Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse, which is one of the most famous teahouses in China. There is also a bazaar is full of curios and trinkets but can get rather busy — as can the the entirety of the gardens, if you come at the weekend. For a more peaceful experience, coming during the weekdays would be a safer bet.
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