After our early afternoon at Pudong’s largest fake market, we made our way to Yuyuan Garden (豫园, yù yuán) (mainly for the shopping area).
We took Subway Line 10 to Yuyuan Garden Station, Exit 1, and walked east to get to Yuyuan Garden.
Upon exiting the subway gantry, you’ll see this sign:
It doesn’t matter which exit you take because you just end up at a different side of the road – exit 1 is on the same side as Yuyuan Garden but exit 4 is on the other side; you wouldn’t get lost here because you can just follow the crowd OR the road signs:
Walk east along Renmin Rd (人民路) towards this building ahead and you’re on the right track to Yuyuan Garden:
The crowd at the bottom of this building caught our attention:
These shops are selling stuff for RMB 10!
If you walk south along Lishui Rd (丽水路), which is where you’re on, and make a left turn on Fuyou Rd (福佑路), you’ll uncover an entire street of RMB 10 shops!
If you walk along and explore this RMB 10 ‘square’, you’ll end up back at the building you were walking towards! (That’s why we called it a ‘square’.)
After we were done with the RMB 10-square, we continued making our way to Yuyuan Garden by walking south towards Jiuxiaochang Rd (旧校场路):
We hit a “split road” and decided to go left to check out the ‘bazaar’ in there:
The choice we made left us in an entire “arena” of shopping/eating/souvenir shops/stalls/pushcarts!
They’re all ready for CNY!
There was a wide array of lanterns:
An entire stretch of lantern riddles (灯谜 (dēng mí)) decorated the “street”, flanked by 2 rows of artsy handicraft stalls:
Yes, it was pretty crowded, as you can see from our photos…
As we walked on, we found 南翔馒头店 (nán xiáng mán tou diàn) (Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant), which is highly recommended by Shawn and apparently something to try in Yuyuan Garden.
There was quite a queue but because we weren’t hungry yet, we proceeded with exploring the area instead.
This is Hu Xin Ting Teahouse, 湖心亭 (hú xīn tíng), apparently the first and oldest existing teahouse in China:
The bridge in the foreground on the left is the Jiu Qu Bridge (or the Bridge of Nine Turnings), 九曲桥 (jiǔ qū qiáo), a zigzag bridge that leads to the teahouse, and apparently so because it’s supposed to stop evil spirits on the basis they can’t turn corners…
The zigzag bridge gives you a good view of 南翔馒头店 (Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant), which is across from Hu Xin Ting Teahouse.
To the left of Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant is 挹秀楼 (yì xiù lóu), which we think is a hotel?
There’s some kind of beauty to Chinese architecture…
Something caught Darien’s attention:
J’s fugly expression would tell you how much she enjoyed (or more like did not enjoy) the fermented beancurd, 臭豆腐 (chòu dòufu):
We walked on and finally found the entrance of Yuyuan Garden:
You’ll need to pay for entry:
Opening Hours: 830 am to 5 pm
Ticket price: RMB 30
A little wee peek of Yuyuan Garden:
Nope, we aren’t very botanist-ish and so don’t want to enter…
We walked by a 上海滩 (shàng hǎi tān) photo-taking area, which was bustling with crowd!
We found Starbucks too! Its name absolutely translated from English…
More CNY lanterns/décors:
It’ll be the Year of the Horse after CNY:
That little hole in the wall is where tickets are purchased:
This is the introduction on the board above the ticket outlet,“Shanghai City God Temple is an important Taoist temple in Shanghai was built in the Ming Dynasty Yongle period and is 600-years-old. Shanghai City God Temple reached its apogee in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty, covering 49 亩 (mǔ, Chinese unit of measurement for ‘acres’) and consists of the Taoist Temple, Garden, and Market as a whole. The temple is dedicated to God Cheng Huang Qin Yubo (1295 – 1373), who during his lifetime was a Mongol Yuan Dynasty Scholar and Ming Dynasty Imperial Academy Bachelor Holder. After his death, the Emperor anointed him the City God of Shanghai, in charge of Shanghai urban security, people’s lives, wealth, health and safety. The Temple was closed in 1966 and reopened in 1994, with more than 10 existing halls now.”
Jasmine tea buds, which “bloom” to different styles when soaked in water, are in those “tea boxes”:
Apparently after consuming the tea, the flower buds could be left in glasses as display!
The lady in the corner (in the picture above) is preparing fresh 龙须糖 (lóng xū táng), dragon’s beard candy:
Shop that sells interesting products spotted:
We think this is the South Gate, which looks more “legit” than where we were just now…
How the temple looks on the inside:
We walked on east along Fangbang Middle Rd (方浜中路) and saw a stretch of RMB 2-10 shops!
Walking on, we ended up at what seemed to be a street food/market, 四牌楼 (sì pái lóu):
This scene of the 2 men using a huuuuuuuge hammer to hit that pot of candy caught our attention:
That’s 牛皮糖 (niú pí táng), directly translated to ‘Cow Skin Candy’ or Google translated to ‘Obstinacy’. =.=
The sign at the bottom left of the photo states that this candy is made using traditional methods and of high workmanship.
These fermented beancurd, 臭豆腐 (chòu dòufu) look even worst than the earlier one:
We could even smell them before we saw them!! 😡
Lots of seafood:
We were somehow doubting their freshness… 😐
All those cables running overhead and the old buildings really gave us an “authentic” feel of Shanghai/China:
We’ve probably hit the fresh produce area of the market…
We were soon done with the street food/market “square” (again, it’s because we just ended up back at stretch near the South Gate of 上海城隍庙 (shàng hǎi chéng huáng miào), Shanghai City God Temple.
We (especially J) were disturbed to see Kopi Luwak here.
We’re relieved to see that it isn’t operating! 😀
There is indeed some kind of beauty to the architecture…
The crowd has dispersed from the 上海滩 (shàng hǎi tān) photo-taking shop:
We were back in the heart of Yuyuan Garden Bazaar.
We considered for a moment to get a stone carving pendent, 石刻挂件 (shí kè guà jiàn):
“Stone carving handicraft is renowned for its long history and delicate beauty. As a widely-used vehicle to convey and record ideas from ancient time, stone carving handicraft has made itself a significant component of brilliant Chinese culture. The pendent, with carved paintings gilded with golden powder on the surface of tiny jade, shines dazzling lustre thanks to the harmonious contrast of colour and texture, having stirred sensation among fashion lovers, especially young people.”
China non-material cultural heritage, 拉洋片 (lā yáng piān):
“‘拉洋片’ (lā yáng piān), commonly named ‘西洋镜’ (xī yáng jìng) dates from Tongzhi Year of Qing Dynasty. It is one of the “Eight oddities” in Tian Qiao of old Beijing and one of the most interesting entertainment of old China. 拉洋片 (lā yáng piān) had been fashionable in Shanghai in the 1920s-30s. The performer, talented in speaking, singing, teasing and imitation uses language which is not only humourous but also easy to understand. This form of art has been lost for a long time but fortunately, its posterity carries it on, though with difficulty. One of the artists, Mr. Tian, preserves and hands down this national heritage with his own hard-working and long-term intensive study. He succeeded in reating a special art of ‘西洋镜’ (xī yáng jìng), combining ancient form with modern practice and feature. It’s a really good opportunity for you to watch this unique show, enjoying this distinguished Chinese performance.”
As the crowd had dwindled, we decided to take a picture at the Jiu Qu Bridge (or the Bridge of Nine Turnings):
A proper photo of the décor on the zigzag bridge:
We were feeling hungry and so decided to head for dinner at Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant:
There are 4 levels to Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant.
This is the menu for eating at level 1, which is the area where we saw the long queue earlier on, kind of like take-out:
There are only 3 choices available, so we decided to check out the other levels.
Their accreditation hangs from the ceiling of level 1:
This sign greeted us on the second level:
Curious about the greater varieties of steamed bun on level 3, we decided to check out level 3.
Another sign greeted us on the third level:
To the left, “The mid/high-range area supplies signature steamed buns and various Shanghai local dim sum.”
To the right, “The mid-range area supplies part of the delicate steamed buns and top-notch set menus in dining rooms or seats.”
The service wasn’t quite what we expected as well – they were rude and aloof (their response to questions we asked about the differences between the 2 restaurants were not helpful).
After checking out the menu for the restaurant at the different levels, we think they are like the different classes of an airfare – budget (level 1), economy (level 2), business (level 3 right) and first-class (level 3 left).
We eventually decided to have dinner on level 2, not only because it seemed way too expensive and illogical to be spending that amount of money eating steamed buns on level 3 but also because we were not keen on the varieties of steamed buns available.
Chopsticks are served like that:
Vinegar served in a pot:
We had to place our order at the cashier and then wait for it to be served.
Comparing what we saw patrons get on level 3 and what we received on level 2, we think they’re paying (a lot) more for service too…
Our order of fried spring roll:
Steamed pork bun/dumpling, 鲜肉小笼包 (xiān ròu xiǎo lóng bāo):
Steamed bun with crab roe soup stuffing, 蟹黄灌汤包 (xiè huáng guàn tāng bāo):
It is to be consumed with a straw:
We also had to be careful not to push the straw too deep into the bun:
Overall, we didn’t really like the experience (the service crew on level 3 weren’t very helpful and were quite aloof), and also prefer the 小笼包s (Xiao Long Bao / XLB) from 佳家汤包 (jiā jiā tāng bāo).
Nonetheless, we’re glad we headed for dinner on level 2 because we got a better view of the Jiu Qu Bridge:
南翔馒头店(豫园路店) (Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant)
黄浦区 (Huangpu District)
豫园路85号 (85 Yuyuan Rd)
After dinner, we decided to do some souvenir shopping.
D loved this 老婆饼:
After trying some samples, we bought these 豆酥糖 (dòu sū táng), a kind of ground peanut candy/cake:
We were also told that products with the above logo is the most authentic.
We tried these nougat-like candy and they are absolutely delicious!
We bought 1kg of it. 😀
上海老城隍庙食品有限公司 (Shanghai Old City Food Pte Ltd)
黄浦区 (Huangpu District)
豫园老路80号 (80 Yuyuan Rd)
It was getting late and the stalls on the folk-handicrafts street were packing up:
When we were leaving, we walked by the “food court”, 老城隍庙 小吃广场 (lǎo chéng huáng miào xiǎo chī guǎng chǎng), again and now decided to check it out since it was not so crowded. (It’s located beside the 上海滩 (shàng hǎi tān) photo-taking area):
“The Old City God Temple Snacks Square is located in Yuyuan Tourist Mart Centre Square, total building area being 19000 square metres. Here, there are over 800 sorts of feature special-flavoured snacks of the whole country. As the biggest snacks centre of Yuyuan Tourist Mart, the Square is an integrated place of traditional and fashionable Chinese cuisine and has more than 60 brand-name products honoured with China Famous Cuisine and Dim Sum, Shanghai City Extra Grade Prize and Shanghai City Gold Prize. The enterprise aims to make alls sorts of Chinese Dim Sum available to foreigners, all sorts of Shanghai Dim Sum to outlanders and all sorts of Dim Sum of the world to Shanghai people.”
There’s more fermented beancurd here…
There’s 牛皮糖 (niú pí táng), the one we saw of 2 men hitting the pot of candy earlier on, here too:
We were too full to try 海棠糕 (hǎi táng gāo), baked rice cakes:
Baked rice cakes have a generous red bean filling, a slight crackle from molten caramel on the crust and a soft, pancake-like texture.
Look what Darien bought as we were leaving!
More fermented bean curd…
We also finally saw a map of the Yuyuan Tourist Mart, somehow we did not see it in the day though we’ve walked by this stretch before:
The buildings are nicely lit:
Night has fallen and the crowd has dwindled to naught:
As we walked west along Renmin Rd (人民路) towards the metro, we walked by a group of line-dancers:
Dancing on a cold winter evening with beautiful (but blocked) view of The Bund:
Here’s a map of our trail:
It’s not the exact route we took (had difficulty trying to get the street food/market around 四牌楼 (sì pái lóu)), but our route is about the above; just walk along and you should be able to intuitively get around. 😉
Though it’s been an insanely long afternoon of walking and exploring the Yuyuan Tourist Mart and its surrounding area, it was an absolutely fruitful session which we enjoyed tremendously! 😀
We hope you have as much fun as us exploring the Yuyuan Tourist Mart and its surrounding area! 🙂