I was looking through the photos I took this past summer while I was studying in Shanghai. It inspired this blog post. One of the most exciting things that I was able to witness in Shanghai were the gardens. The photographs you are about to see were taken in a place called Yuyuan Garden, which is a very popular place for tourists in Shanghai. The entrance fee is a little pricey for China, but if your a student, do not forget to show your student ID. The admission office at the Yuyuan Garden will give you the student rate, which is half price. You may have to specifically ask for this offer, because it may not be listed.Shanghai is such an international city! My friend Haram said she’s from Kingston, in Ontario Canada, but I think she was secretly British! LOL JK Haram! I miss both of these girls! Here’s a fun tip! If you ever see a statue of a lion check to see what is below its right paw. The female lions will be holding a baby lion, whereas the male lion statues will be grasping a sphere. The sphere is supposed to represent power and dominion. All throughout the small ponds surrounding the garden contained numerous koi that were enormous. One section of the gardens had only baby koi. There were a couple of these types of bushes located throughout the gardens, I am not sure what they are called, but they reminded me of weeping willows. I think these kinds of bushes were one of my favorite things about Yuyuan gardens. Chinese architecture is absolutely breathtaking. The fact that these buildings were constructed in the 15th century baffles me! I read somewhere that the gardens over the years were damaged by the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion. Apparently the tea house located outside the entrance to Yuyuan was used as a headquarters for the British and the locals who were associated with the Taiping Rebellion. My friend Haram told me that unlike Japanese or Korean gardens, Chinese gardens focused heavily on altering the landscape and making it apparent that it had been altered by man. I thought the unique rock patterns embedded with nature was extraordinary. Cherry blosoms are a big deal throughout East Asia. I read an article a couple of months ago that highlighted the fact that Japan donated some Cherry Blossoms to China and I believe to the Shanghai area, it was to celebrate a cherry blossom festival.