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Nanxiang - Off the Beaten Track in Shanghai

Nanxiang - Off the Beaten Track in Shanghai

Old Oct 4th, 2017, 10:55 PM
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Nanxiang - Off the Beaten Track in Shanghai

Most travelers to China and Shanghai tend to see the usual places like the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden (Yu Yuan),...and similar. While these places are definitely worth visiting, Shanghai offers many more opportunities to explore, see, and enjoy both beautiful flowers, and lush greenery, as well as ancient and new architecture.

With that in mind, I wanted to post a summary on the recent trip I took with my family to Nanxiang (in the north west part of Shanghai). What is special about Nanxiang you would ask? Well, it has one of the five classical gardens (Yu Garden in Shanghai is another one of the 5 except most of the time very crowded), one of the larger Buddhist temples in this part of China - the Yunxiang Temple (also known as Liuyun Buddhist Temple), the Tan Gardens and of course the Old Street.

Getting to Nanxiang is not difficult - assuming you are already in Shanghai, you need to get to the number 11 subway line. Once on 11, look for the stop labeled as Nanxiang Station. If you go to Jiading (multiple stops there) you have gone too far.

Disembark at the Nanxiang station and walk out - through a big shopping mall - and use your google maps and you will find easily the path to the first site to explore:

1) Gu Yi Garden (Ancient Yi Garden)
The place is really interesting - The garden is one of the five classical gardens in Shanghai.  It was built during the reign period of Emperor JiaJing in the Ming Dynasty. The park is large - with an approximate area (per signs inside) of approximately nine hectares.  It is divided into six scenic sections based on very different landscapes.  Based on that there are several key halls, lakes and areas - the Hall of Interest of the Wild, the Goose Playing Pond, the Pine and Crane Garden, the Verdant Green Garden, the Mandarin Duck Lake, and the Nanxiang Wall.  The Yi Garden is also famous for its many different types of bamboo...

There are plenty of places to explore while in the Garden - more than 20 halls, pavilions, chambers and verandas.  Then there are the Mid-lake Pavilion, Lacking-one-Corner Pavilion, the Hall of Interest of the Wild, Fragrant Snow Pavilion, Plum Blossom Hall, the Stone House, and some I did not even visit and did not record.   

Then there are the water lilies - there are tons of them in different colors and sizes.  You will really enjoy them.   Additionally, there are great shrubs and trees everywhere - and of course wonderful scenic spots all across the park.

I think the place is an oasis in the city of Shanghai - you can come here and enjoy some time to reflect and enjoy the beautiful scenery

Here are some of the photos from the visit to the gardens: http://travel-photos-52.com/index.ph...ent-yi-garden/

2) Yunxiang Temple (also known as Liuyun Buddhist Temple): The temple is located at 100 Renmin Road, Nanxiang Town, Jiading District - It is located at one of the edges of the Nanxiang Old Street.  The temple has a very long history - being originally built in the fourth year of Tianjian during the reign of the Liang of the Southern Dynasty (505). Per recorded history I saw in the temple - during the Kaicheng reign of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 -907), the land area of the temple was expanded to 12 hectares and it had more than 700 monks.

It was renamed apparently in 1700, with an inscription from Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was destroyed in a fire, with only the Double Temple, Shijing Streamer and Shita Temple left. After the original Beihe Nanxiang Temple was burnt, a new temple was built in 2004 near the original site. The new temple, however, is still gorgeous with magnificent buildings - a very rare group of Tang-style buildings in the south of China.

The entrance to the temple requires a ticket - according to the ticket office on every 1st and 15th of the month, the tickets are 2RMB and during the rest of the time 8RMB but yesterday (October 3rd) the tickets were at 2RMB (for adults) as well - score...!

Overall the ticket cost is negligible given the interesting sights and views you will experience.  The temple provides an a good glimpse into how much China has changed over the years.  When I first came to Shanghai (in 1988!) for an extended period - I stayed for 2.5 years - it would have been very difficult to find a place like this temple and see people actually actively participating in various ceremonies.....

Here is the photo gallery of the visit to the Yunxiang Temple: http://travel-photos-52.com/index.ph...nxiang-temple/

Hope this will give you a different experience in visiting Shanghai. Enjoy!
guenovnd is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2017, 07:56 AM
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Nice report, thanks.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 05:04 PM
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Thank you for your report. This looks like something to put on our itinerary the next time we visit Shanghai, which we hope will be soon.
burta is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2017, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for sharing this report and photos. Sounds a good place to go if wanting to get slightly off the beaten track.
loncall is offline  
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