Yu Garden Shanghai : Discover the secrets within!

Yu Garden Shanghai (also known as Yu Yuan 豫园) is a garden attraction in the old city of Shanghai. It was built some time in the 16th century but had swapped owners several times before finally being rebuilt, reopened and reinstated as a national monument in 1982.

Today, Yu Garden Shanghai is not only a must-visit attraction in Shanghai, but is also a garden with several secrets for visitors to discover…

 Old City Shanghai
Old City Shanghai

 Description of Yuyuan Garden
Description of Yuyuan Garden

 Jiuqu Bridge @ Yu Garden
Jiuqu Bridge – Bridge with 9 bends @ Yu Garden

 Huxin Pavilion - Teahouse in the centre of the lake at Yuyuan
Huxin Pavilion – Teahouse in the centre of the lake at Yuyuan

 Yu Garden ticketing office
Yu Garden ticketing office


Yu Garden Shanghai Attractions

Before we move on to uncover some secrets within Yu Garden, here are some main attractions of Yuyuan Garden…

 海上名园 - Famous garden, north of the river
海上名园 – Famous garden, north of the river

The engraved stone that greets you at the entrance to Yu Garden

 First hall of Yu Garden Shanghai
First hall of Yu Garden Shanghai

 Picturesque Yu Garden Shanghai views
Picturesque Yu Garden Shanghai views

One of the many garden views in Yu Garden
One of the many garden views in Yu Garden

 Platform made of stone in Yuyuan
Platform made of stone in Yuyuan

 Bridge across a lake in Yu Garden
Bridge across a lake in Yu Garden

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The famous 玉玲珑 of Yu Garden

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Zooming in on 玉玲珑

玉玲珑 is the famous centre piece of Yu Garden. Also known as the “Naturally Hollowed Jade Boulder”, it embodies a saying “瘦漏皱透“ meaning, Skinny, Leaky, Wrinkled and Transparent. In essence, the saying describes the jade boulder and its uniqueness, with a word play of these 4 words that rhymes. The saying describes the jade boulder as skinny and wrinkled-looking and because of the holes formed in it, it allows light (transparent) to shine through and water (leaky) to seep through.

 Yu Hua Hall
Yu Hua Hall

 Description of Yu Hua Hall
Description of Yu Hua Hall

Yu Hua Hall was the study room of the original owner of Yu Garden – Pan Yun Duan. Constructed in the Ming Dynasty, approximately in the 16th century, you’ll soon realise the uniqueness of the furnitures within. They are firstly entirely carved out of wood, no nails used. But more interestingly, you’ll find that the bold outlines of the furniture actually resembles the outlines of modern furnitures today. Meaning to say, trends will return to fashion 500 years later?

 Zhao Wall within Yu Garden Shanghai
Zhao Wall within Yu Garden Shanghai

 Description of Zhao Wall
Description of Zhao Wall

 Ancient Opera Stage Yu Garden
Ancient Opera Stage Yu Garden – whose secret we’ll reveal later…

 Another view of the Yu Garden Opera Stage
Another view of the Yu Garden Opera Stage


Secrets within Yu Garden Shanghai

In this section, we’ll reveal some secrets which you may otherwise not notice if you do not look at them carefully…

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蝙蝠鹿豫园

This mosaic placed on the floor of exits actually signifies (through the deer), 出路平安 – safety when you leave and enter the house. The bats on the other hand (because of the 2nd part of the word in chinese) signifies 福 or fortune (blessings). The coins surrounding the entire mosaic signifies 财源广进 or influx of wealth.

Talk about significance of a picture eh?

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Zoomed in view of the Ancient Opera Stage

Now for the secret of the ancient opera stage…If you take a closer look at the centre of the ancient opera stage, you’ll realise that there’s this spiral cone-shaped structure that is painting in gold. In fact, it acts as an olden day “amplifier” that increases and amplifies the sounds of the performers so that the audience can better hear the performance even though they may be seated a distance away!

 Window in Yu Garden Shanghai
Window in Yu Garden Shanghai

Is this window really just a window? If you notice closely, the words 福禄寿喜 are written on the four corners of the frame signifying fortune, prosperity, longevity and happiness!

 Framing with a window
Framing with a window

This window was created so that when people look through it, they may see an alternate view of the garden, as though the garden is “framed” within the window. How cool is that?!

Dragons of Yu Garden Shanghai

Yu Garden Shanghai is said to be “protected” by many different dragons all around its premise. The different dragons have different characteristics and also tells of which era they are from…

 Dragons guarding the entrance to the inner gardens of Yu Garden
Dragons guarding the entrance to the inner gardens of Yu Garden

 Smiley playful dragons - one of the oldest ones in the garden
Smiley playful dragons – one of the oldest ones in the garden

 Another pair of dragon guarding an entrance
Another pair of dragon guarding an entrance

 A majestic looking dragon
A majestic looking dragon

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Anything interesting about this dragon? Not unless you look behind…

 Yes, a dragon with a spine!
Yes, a dragon with a spine!


How to get to Yu Garden Shanghai


Map of Yu Garden Shanghai

Yu Garden Shanghai is located at 218 Anren St, Huangpu, Shanghai, China

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Yu Garden Shanghai
Yu Garden Shanghai

The next time you visit Yu Garden Shanghai, we hope you’ll look out for these “hidden secrets” and hopefully discover some secrets of your own as well!

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2 Comments on Yu Garden Shanghai : Discover the secrets within!

  1. Great post! There are so many great things to see in Shanghai, it’s one of my favorite cities. The Yuyuan Garden, was one of the best places to relax, as its name says (yu means ‘peaceful’ in chinese). Some friends and I spent an afternoon there with a tour guide who told us about the Ming Dinasty and the Pan family, who were the owners of this great gardens. I highly recommend it.

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