China Travel Guide

Parks & Gardens

  • Fuxing Park
  • Hongkou Park
  • People's Park & Square
  • Yu Gardens & Bazaar
  • Fuxing Park

    • Fuxing Zhong Rd.
    • Huangpi South Road

    Sun Yat Sen Memorial Residence

    • 7 Xingshan Rd.
    • 021 6437 2954
    • 9am–4pm daily

    Zhou Enlai's Former Residence

    • 73 Sinan Rd.
    • 9am–4pm daily

    The French bought this private garden, located in the French Concession, in 1908. It was known then as the "French Park," and has elements of a formal Parisian jardin, with meandering paths flanked by cherry trees. It was renamed Fuxing, meaning "revival," in 1949.

    Statue of Sun Yat Sen, Sun Yat Sen Memorial
    Statue of Sun Yat Sen,
    Sun Yat Sen Memorial

    Close by on Xiangshan Road is the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Residence, a typical Shanghai villa where the leader and his wife, Soong Qingling, lived between 1918 and 1924. The interior is just as it was in Sun's time, with many of his personal items such as his gramophone and books. South of the park, 73 Rue Massenet (now Sinan Road) was the Former Residence of Zhou Enlai, who lived here when he was head of the city's Communist Party in the 1940s. It is furnished in a spartan style and is another excellent example of a European-style Shanghai villa.

    Hongkou Park

    • 146 Dong Jiangwan Rd.
    • Hongkou
    • daily

    To the north of Suzhou Creek and Waibaidu Bridge lies the Japanese section of the former International Settlement, which once had a Zen temple, a Japanese school, and specialist Japanese shops. The area's most interesting spot is Hongkou Park, which is a pleasant place to pass the time and watch the Chinese taking boat rides on the lake, playing chess, practising tai ji quan or simply relaxing. It is also known as Lu Xun Park due to its strong associations with the great Chinese novelist Lu Xun (1881–1936), who lived nearby. His most famous work is The True Story of Ah Q, which lampooned the Chinese national character. Lu Xun was also an early proponent of the baihua or plain speech movement, which championed the simplification of the Chinese script and the use of spoken Chinese in literature. Lu Xun's Tomb, where his ashes were interred in 1956 to mark the 20th anniversary of his death, is also in the park. To the right of the park's main entrance lies a Memorial Hall dedicated to the novelist, where visitors can view early editions of his work and his correspondence with various intellectuals including George Bernard Shaw. Just south of Hongkou Park is Lu Xun's Former Residence, where the novelist spent the last three years of his life at a house on Shanyin Road. It is an interesting example of a typical 1930s Japanese-style residence, but is perhaps even more sparely furnished than other houses of the time. Lu Xun's rattan chairs and writing desk are also on display.

    Brightly colored boats alongside the lake pier at Hongkou Park (Lu Xun Park)
    Brightly colored boats alongside
    the lake pier at Hongkou Park
    (Lu Xun Park)
    Statue, Lu Xun’s Tomb
    Statue, Lu Xun’s Tomb

    Lu Xun's Former Residence

  • 9 Dalu Xincun, Shanyin Rd.
  • 9am–4pm

    People's Park & Square

    • Nanjing Road West
    • People's Square
    • 7am–6pm daily

    Opposite The Park Hotel lies the former Racecourse, now occupied by the pleasantly landscaped People's Park (Renmin Gong Yuan) in the northern half, and People's Square and Shanghai Museum in the southern section. Most people visit the park to walk, gossip, exercise, or simply watch the world go by. The park is ringed by gleaming new glass and metal skyscrapers. Facing it on its eastern side is Mu'en Tang, the Merciful Baptism Church that was built in 1929 as the American Baptist Church. An inter-denominational survivor of China's many revolutions, it is open to all and foreign nationals are welcome, although the services are only in Chinese.

    The impressive Shanghai Grand Theater
    The impressive Shanghai Grand Theater

    A more recent arrival in the park itself is the elegant glass box of MOCA Shanghai, the Museum of Contemporary Art. Its two floors house regularly changing exhibitions of cutting-edge art and design. At the northwest corner of the park, the Shanghai Art Museum occupies the lower floors of an elegant old racecourse clubhouse. The collection is composed of a great many traditional Chinese paintings, along with some experimental works.

    Opposite the Shanghai Museum is the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, which traces the huge urban development projects which have taken place in recent years. The highlight is a whole floor dedicated to a scale model of Shanghai, showing all existing and approved buildings.

    At the northwest corner of People's Square is the Shanghai Grand Theater (see Performing arts & music), made almost entirely of glass and topped by a spectacular convex roof. It is definitely worth a visit, for a meal with a view or just to look around, and tours are also available.

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