Yu Garden is one of the most famous gardens in China and is national heritage listed. It was built in 1559 and extended in 1577. Each section of the garden is separated by curved white walls crowned with the head and body of a dragon. It's named after the original owner.
Yu Garden is decorated with rocks. One of the rocks is said to have been the property of Emperor Hui Zong (AD1082--AD1135) in the Song Dynasty. Rock buildings, such as the Grand Rockery and the Hall of Mildness, are the sites you shouldn't miss. Beside Yu Garden the Bridge of Nine Turnings zigzagging across an ornamental lake leads to Shanghai's most famous tea house. Bill Clinton, Gerhard Schroeder and the Queen of Great Britain have been guests there.
The famous Nanxiang restaurant is near the entrance of Yu Garden, selling various types of delicious steamed dumplings. The tasty food attracts a swarm of locals and tourists. The Temple of the City God, Shanghai Old Street and Chenxiangge Nunnery are also near Yu Garden and all these sites represent typical Shanghai. Don't miss the shops lining the streets selling handicrafts, teas, silk clothes, calligraphy, jade decorations and china. Picking up one or two pieces as gifts for family, relatives and friends is definitely a good idea – even if at inflated prices.