Shanghai is a city of 23 million people and zero touristic blockbusters – there, we’ve said it. If you’d like to dip into some ye olde worlde Shanghai try the 16th century Yu Gardens. (Here we score zero points for originality.)
It is less of a garden and more a complex of pavilions and temples cunningly formed around rockeries, water features and bridges designed to replicate mountains, lakes etc. Carp abound. The whole get-up seems made for the amateur photographer and if you are so foolish to visit on the weekend, you will need to battle it out with thousands for a viewpoint.
Nb: claustrophobics should avoid the surrounding (and somewhat ghastly) Yu Bazaar as much as possible – it is packed.
Afterwards, reflect on the inter-balance of the elements (light and shadow, water and stone), over tea on the top floor of the Old Shanghai Teahouse (385 Middle Fangbang Rd), which is charming despite its overt and shameless touristyness.
137 Anren Jie (nr Fuyou Lu )
Open Daily 8:30am-5pm
Metro: Yuyuan Garden