Tale of Three Cities Home
It was the most deserted garden, it was the most crowded shopping bazaar
After walking thru the Shanghai Old Street, we arrived at the Temple of the Town God (Chenghung Miao). If you don't know, you probably thought that this is an very old and historical building. There were actually moss and weed growing on the roof. Surely they have been there for the past 500 years. Nope. This building was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The whole area was devastated. In was only in the 1990's that the area was re-vitalized. Shanghainese always have a reputation of being good businessmen. They sure know how to surround a historical site, like the Temple of the Town God or Yuyuan Garden with circles upon circles of shops and restaurants. We actually had trouble finding the entrance to the Yuyuan Garden because there were so many restaurants and shops around the area. Not that I am complaining because Theresa was able to bargain for a hand-made bracelet for $1 and three cross-stitch kits for $1 each. She also bought some postcards for $1. When is the last time that you bought something for just $1? :-)
After 20 minutes of stumbling around and fighting thru the hordes of shoppers and tourists we finally found our way into the Yuyuan Garden. Other than a few other tourists, it was relatively peaceful and quiet. I was able to take some nice pictures. Yuyuan was built by a Ming dynasty official for his father. It was completed in 1577 after 18 years of construction.
After our walking tour we had lunch and of course enjoyed the famous Nanxiang dumplings stuffed with crabmeat. We in fact had too much to eat so we shared the 3 remaining dumplings with this French family whom I helped order from the Chinese-only menu. The daughter was studying in Shanghai for a year, and her parents were visiting. I was also helpful in helping another tour group to get sugar for their tea. I was a tour-guide in the making. I know that in my next life I will be a tour guide. :-) This was also the restaurant that we were served cups of eight-treasures tea. I was so impressed that I even bought a package of tea bags. After Yuyuan Garden, we went to the Bund.