Classic Chinese Gardens

Suzhou is famous for its classic Chinese gardens, but one doesn’t have to leave home to appreciate the tranquility and grandeur of gardens that once attracted and inspired scholars and artists. This series will visit the most famous classic gardens in Shanghai — a panoply of pavilions, ponds, ancient trees, sculptures, flowers and rockeries right on our doorstep.

Garden creator an enigma, his legacy an open book

Ma's Garden borrowed themes from classic Suzhou-style gardens, and then turned them into a unique setting befitting a man of money, intellect and unexpected origins.

Old and new meld in a charming garden setting

Fangta Park in the eastern corner of the former Old Songjiang in Shanghai has melded disparate elements into a delightful site that looks more like an open-air museum.

A pond, a hill, an opera stage create magical setting

Huilong Garden, located in the old town of Jiading, dates back more than 400 years.The name means “five dragons gathering in one pond.”

Classic garden with a touch of eccentricity

For 260 years, Qushui Garden served as a tranquil gathering spot for visitors and area residents. Today, hidden in the back alley of a shopping mall in the downtown area of Qingpu, it is easy to miss.

A touch of political history, the hush of tranquility

Guyi Garden is the biggest of Shanghai’s five traditional gardens. A local sign repeats a popular saying: “Suzhou gardens are famous around the world, and Guyi Garden is Shanghai’s best.”

The jewel in the crown of Shanghai downtown

Sittingin the very heart of bustling, noisy Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden is an oasis of peace and comfort, with its glittering pools of goldfish, lush pine trees, fine rockeries and delicate kiosks.

It's worth the search: a garden tucked away

Hiddenin a humble old lane and overshadowed by the noise of a nearby commercial street, Qiuxia Garden in suburban Jiading District doesn’t attract as much attention as it deserves. This somewhat neglected site is one of Shanghai’s five surviving ancient gardens.

A park steeped in a poetic past

ZuibaichiPark, with its centuries-old trees, lush greenery, rippling waters and stately pavilions, is one of Shanghai’s oldest and most beautiful examples of a classic Chinese garden.