Monday, October 16, 2006

Yuyuan Gardens

Yuyuan Gardens is one of the tourist areas of Shanghai. It's an old Chinese-style garden, with scenic rocks, old buildings, and beautiful vistas. One of the most interesting parts of Yuyuan Gardens will be talked about sometime in the future: Old Town, the area of Shanghai it's located in. It's a series of narrow alleyways and oldish, often decrepit buildings, that have a unique and interesting character to them, that maybe vaguely conform to old American stereotypes of China.

Despite the disrepair to the picture above, I kind've dig the look of the area. I really hope it gets fixed up, rather than torn down, although I wouldn't want to place any bets. Check out the flat fronted buildings facing the street, the shop on the first floor, it gives a homey feeling to the place. I also really like the tile roofs. The immediate surroundings of Yuyuan gardens are done in a similar, if over-the-top, recreation of this style. It kind of feels like Disney China. They sell the cheesy Chinese sort of stuff you buy on the main drag of San Francisco's Chinatown. While it could be worse, really the less said about the surrounding markets, the better.

Going into Yuyuan Gardens, you see the tile rooves, out in force:

I also like the dragons, used as massive cornerstones for the roof tiles:

Chinese gardens often have large collections of whimsical rocks. I view it as very odd, although they add an ambience to areas that otherwise wouldn't have anything going for them. Here, they're decorated with some flowers, altough they haven't been the other times I've gone:

Here is a old-style building, looking out over some water:

The water is stuffed solid with koi fish, they're real fat!

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