The Yu Garden in Shanghai
Located in the middle of the old town of lively Shanghai, the venerable Yu Garden is pretty much the last thing you would expect here. Chinese gardens are actually more likely to be found in Hangzhou or especially Suzhou, but Shanghai also offers a beautiful, traditional Chinese garden that can compete with the most beautiful gardens in the country.
The Yu Garden was designed and built in 1559 by the high Chinese official Pan Yunduan, who had the two hectare garden created for his father. “Yu” was an ancient name for Henan Province, from which Pan’s family came. The magnificent garden was badly damaged by British and French troops during the First Opium War (1840-42). The Taiping uprising in the 1850s and 1860s also left its mark, and the Japanese devastated the garden during World War II. The garden was not restored until the end of the 1950s and then opened to the public as a memorial.
The layout of the Yu garden
The garden is surrounded by a large white wall, which is covered in a wave shape with black tiles, which is supposed to represent the stylized back of a flying kite. There are a total of 28 buildings in the garden area, for example teahouses, bridges and pavilions. The garden is divided into different areas by walls and accentuated by water, rocks and ever new lines of sight. Due to the strong structure, the garden resembles a labyrinth, in which one continually discovers new views and points to pause for a moment, which have flowery names such as “Hall of 10,000 Blossoms”, “Pavilion of the Happy Fish”, “Summer Pavilion” or “Hall des.” Light snow “. Through turrets, rocks from Lake Taihu, flowers and bushes arranged in a fixed system,
The best time to visit
It is best to visit the Yu Garden on weekdays. On weekends or public holidays, the garden is completely overrun with tour groups and Chinese tourists.
A special experience during a stay in China is the Li Jiang, often also referred to as the Li River. This river is located in the autonomous Guangxi landscape and has an impressive length of 437 kilometers. Xing’an County in the Mao Mountains gives rise to the Li River, which then flows through Guilin and on to Yangshuo. Finally it flows into the Gui Jiang. The Li River enjoys a great reputation, especially because of the landscape it creates, where the karst landscape around Guilin or the Xingping village and the sights of nine horses, frescoes, hills or yellow cloth scarf are particularly worth mentioning. A magical canal has been connecting the Li River with the Xiang Jiang since the 3rd century,
Various trips on the water are special experiences on the Li River due to the wonderful landscapes. There are numerous cruises and the possibility of renting a boat privately to enjoy the idyll from the water. Raft rides, bamboo boats and rafting tours are also among the highlights on the Li River, which can also be experienced wonderfully on hikes, for example from Xingping to Yangdi. The impression Liu Sanjie, which is a night show staged by Zhang Yimou on the Li River, is also fantastic. An overnight stay in Yangshuo is worthwhile for this, in order not to miss this event. Once or twice every evening there is this show, which for about an hour puts the Li River in a very special ambience in the dark. The Li River and the impressive karst mountains become the backdrop for a spectacle in which light effects and music as well as dances and ethnic songs create an attractive atmosphere. This allows you to get to know the already fascinating river from an even more beautiful and unforgettable side.
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Victoria Harbor and Victoria Peak
Hong Kong is always an enchanting and impressive destination when on vacation in China. The wonderful experiences include in particular the sights of Victoria Harbor and Victoria Peak, which make it possible to explore Hong Kong by boat and cable car. Victoria Harbor is located between the Kowloon Peninsula and the Hong Kong Islands and is the third largest in the world and the largest in China itself. Huge container ships, passenger ships, sightseeing boats and the small fishermen’s ships determine the appearance of the port, which also captivates with a very large sea surface within a beautiful landscape. Especially when the lights come on at night, the harbor shines in an enchanting ambience that is often compared to an oriental pearl.
Victoria Peak is considered Hong Kong’s local mountain, which used to be the residential area of the rich who discovered the cooler air for themselves, while today it is particularly popular with the fascinating view of the Hong Kong skyline. Today this view is also a magical attraction for tourists, who from up there can see and marvel not only the skyscrapers, but also the harbor and the green hills. What is already remarkable during the day turns into a dazzling sight in the illuminated evening hours. In addition to its function as a vantage point, the Victoria Peak with the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria offers other highlights. In addition, the legendary Peak Tram can be used,
The hutongs of Beijing
A trip back in time
If you want to get to know the original Beijing, you should plan a stroll through the hutongs, the historic alleyways around the Forbidden City. With their narrow, winding corridors that no car can fit through, the hutongs provide fascinating insights into the history of ancient China.
Hutongs – Beijing’s traditional home decor
The hutongs originated during the Ming Dynasty and connected the entrances of the so-called courtyard houses of the residential area that had been laid out around the Forbidden City. Of the 6000 hutongs at the time, only about 600 are left today. A large part is under monument protection and a lot of money is invested in the restoration.
The Siheyuan houses are located on both sides of the alleys, they usually only have a few floors and are made of unadorned, gray stones. Siheyuan literally means “four-enclosed courtyard”. And so it really is, around an inner courtyard there is an apartment on all four sides. All entrances to these apartments lead into the inner courtyard, where there is a lot of common life for the residents. Some of these Siheyuans can even be visited by tourists.
Where the heart of Beijing beats
No other place brings customs and traditions closer to the visitor than the hutongs, here there is a lively but peaceful life. Many small shops offer everything that is needed for daily needs. Fruit and vegetable stalls are set up right in front of the house, there is haggling and goods to be sold, and residents crouch in front of their houses and watch the hustle and bustle. At the end of the day there is a smell of Chinese delicacies everywhere, which are grilled by street vendors and cafes and bars lure you into the dazzling nightlife with music and karaoke.
Visitors can enjoy a particularly beautiful view of the hutongs from the 47-meter-high drum tower or the 48-meter-high bell tower opposite. Both were used to announce the time in imperial Beijing.
The hutongs of Beijing are a must on any tour or study trip, in order to better feel the original atmosphere, they should best be explored on foot.