How To Make Chinese Style Tea Dresses

The old part of Shanghai

Many cities in Asia are a melting pot of old and new. In Shanghai, too, the modern meets the traditional. This is particularly evident in the Chinese old town, among other places.

The old town is located in the south of Shanghai. In the past, the district was also known as the “Chinese City” and was surrounded by city walls, which were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century. Today there are many small alleys with restaurants, takeaways, tea houses and souvenir shops.

The houses are built in the traditional Chinese style and represent a strong contrast to the otherwise modern Shanghai with its imposing skyscrapers and towers on the Bund and the futuristic Transrapid (suspension railway) "Maglev".

The center of the old town is the Yu garden. Before entering it, you can reach it via a large zigzag bridge Hu Xin Ting Tea House. It is considered the oldest tea house in China and offers the opportunity to taste a variety of teas. Even the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, has already had tea here. If you want, you can also learn how to best make tea at the Hu Xin Ting Tea House. This tea house is the ideal place to get a glimpse of historical Chinese tea culture.

The Yu Garden is a small park that was established by a high official in the 16th century. It inspires with its enchanting atmosphere. It has been open to visitors again since its restoration in the 1950s. The "Garden of Satisfaction", as the Yu Yuan is also called, is a true oasis in the hustle and bustle of the old town.

The Yu Garden in Shanghai's old town

On an area of ​​around 2 hectares, more than 40 buildings offer a place to linger. Held in the classic Suzhou style, this garden is one of the finest examples of traditional Chinese horticulture. It is divided into six areas. Whether in the rocky rock garden, at the cozy lotus flower pond or in one of the small pagodas - there is a quiet spot for everyone. And with every step through a wall passage or over one of the bridges, the perspective changes and the park reveals another highlight.

On the other hand, things are a little less contemplative in the Yu Yuan Bazaar, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the Yu Garden. In numerous shops in this shopping complex you can buy Chinese handicrafts, food, pearl or jade jewelry, interestingly designed chopsticks and bowls, clothing or even mahjong games. Restaurants and tea houses take care of the physical well-being and offer the opportunity to try the most diverse types of tea and delicious dumplings, the so-called jaoizi.

The special thing about the shopping adventure is the Chinese flair that the traditional wooden houses offer. With their curved cantilever beams on the roofs, detailed decorations and impressive symmetry, they also provide beautiful objects for travel photos. Even in the evening, when the houses and alleys are illuminated with fairy lights and lanterns, you can forget the hustle and bustle of the Chinese city for a while in the old town.

The wonderful combination of architecture, nature, Chinese delicacies and a great opportunity for souvenir shopping makes the historic district of Shanghai a unique insider tip and a must for every China traveler.


Image source: by Jakub Hałun (own work) [GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons