Jiangsu & Anhui Travel Guide

Yangzhou

 
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  • Pagoda, Daming Si
    Pagoda, Daming Si

    One of the Yangzi River delta’s great cities, Yangzhou has always been known for its prosperity and culture. Its location on the Grand Canal dictated the rise and fall of its fortunes. The city declined with the fall of the Song dynasty and the diminished use of the canal, but revived again in the Ming era, when the canal was restored and used to transport silk, rice, and salt. The salt merchants in particular built elegant villas and gardens, especially in the 18th century when Yangzhou was part of the imperial inspection tours. Despite development, the city has much to offer, including its several gardens.

    A fruit stall among the historic architecture on Dong Guan Jie
    A fruit stall among the historic architecture
    on Dong Guan Jie


    Visitors' checklist

    • 37 miles (60 km) NE of Nanjing
    • 4,500,000
    • East Bus Station, West Bus Station
    • 99 Daxue Bei Rd, 0514 734 5746
    Yangzhou

    Yangzhou city center

    • Daming Si (1)
    • Garden Tomb of Puhaddin (7)
    • Ge Yuan (5)
    • Hanlinyuan Museum (2)
    • He Yuan (9)
    • Shi Ta (12)
    • Shou Xi Hu (3)
    • Si Wang Ting (11)
    • Wang Shi Xiao Yuan (6)
    • Wenchang Ge (10)
    • Xianhe Mosque (8)
    • Yangzhou Museum (4)

    Daming Si

    • 1 Pingshan Tang Rd.
    • 0514 734 0720
    • 8am–5pm daily

    Sitting atop a hill, the Temple of Abundant Light dates to the 5th century AD, but was rebuilt after being destroyed in the Taiping Rebellion. The central Jian Zhen Hall was erected in 1973 in honor of the monk, Jian Zhen, who traveled to Japan in 753. Credited with introducing many aspects of Chinese culture to Japan, he is revered by the Japanese, who funded the main hall’s construction, and modeled it on the Tosho-dai Temple in Nara, Japan. Nearby is a natural spring with an adjoining teahouse.

    Hanlinyuan Museum

    • Xiangbie Rd.
    • 8:30am–5pm

    The magnificent Western Han tomb of Liu Xu, ruler of the Guangling Kingdom, is five levels deep. Its second air-tight layer comprises 840 nanmu (cedar) bricks joined by hooks. The third level housed the warehouse, the fourth level the king’s living quarters, and the fifth level, a coffin on wheels. The tomb was equipped with every imaginable luxury, including a bathroom.

    Shou Xi Hu

    • 28 Da Hongqiao Rd.
    • 0514 734 1324
    • 7:30am–5pm daily
    Wuting Qiao (Five Pavilion Bridge), Shou Xi Hu Gongyuan
    Wuting Qiao (Five Pavilion Bridge),
    Shou Xi Hu Gongyuan

    Yangzhou’s most popular sight, the Thin West Lake is a slim version of Hangzhou’s famous West Lake. It winds through a park filled with willow trees, pavilions, and bridges. The handsome Wuting Qiao (Five Pavilion Bridge) is its most famous structure, built by a salt merchant in 1757 to honor the Qianlong emperor’s visit to Yangzhou. To the west is Ershisi Qiao (Twenty-Four Bridge), so called because its 24 archways could be appreciated 24 hours a day. Bai Ta (White Dagoba) is a Tibetan-style stupa, modeled on the one in Beijing’s Beihai Park. In the Xu Garden, the Listening to Orioles Pavilion has fine woodwork, while the Pinyuan Lou offers views that supposedly demonstrate the rules of perspective as compiled by the Song artist, Guo Xi. East of the lake, the Imperial Jetty is where Qian-long’s barge was moored.

    Yangzhou Museum

    • Near Tianlin Si.
    • 0514 734 4585
    • 8:30am–11am, 1pm–5pm daily

    This museum is housed in a temple that was built in 1772 in memory of a Ming official who refused to surrender the city to the Qing rulers. On display are some splendid items, including an ancient boat salvaged from the Grand Canal, and a burial suit made of jade.

    Ge Yuan

    • 10 Yanfu Dong Rd.
    • 0514 734 7428
    • 7:15am–5pm daily

    Yangzhou’s most famous garden, Ge Yuan was once owned by the painter Shi Tao, and later by a salt merchant. Its name derives from the leaves of its bamboo plants, that resemble the character “ge” meaning “self”. Its central feature is its rockeries, but it also has some fine pavilions.

    The Tang-dynasty Shi Ta or Stone Pagoda
    The Tang-dynasty Shi Ta or Stone Pagoda

    Wang Shi Xiao Yuan

      

  • 14 Dongquan Men Lishi Jiequ   
  • 8am–5pm daily

    Located on a street of historic homes including that of former president Jiang Zemin, the grand Wang Shi Xiao Yuan was the residence of a wealthy salt merchant. Dating to the Qing era, it has nearly 100 rooms. The interior is lavishly furnished, and its main Spring Hall contains a German chandelier and marble wall panels.

    Garden Tomb of Puhaddin

      

  • 17 Jiefang Nan Rd.   
  • 0514 722 2241   
  • 8am–5pm daily

    Said to be the 16th descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, Puhaddin was a teacher who lived in Yangzhou until his death in 1275. His grave is enclosed in a building filled with inscriptions from the holy Koran. Other noted Muslim figures from the Song and Ming eras are buried nearby. Puhaddin also built the tiny Xianhe Mosque, located southwest on Ganquan Road. Its wall is covered in arabesques, a legacy of the Persian traders who once frequented the city.

    He Yuan

      

  • 66 Xuning Men Jie   
  • 0514 723 9626   
  • 7:45am–5pm daily

    This small garden creates an illusion of space and depth by the clever arrangement of its features, including shrubs, trees, and a walkway. Named after one of its 19th-century owners, it is divided in two, with some pavilions decorated in southern-style lattice work, although northern influences prevail in its overall layout and style. A few teahouses also dot the garden.

    Wenchang Ge
    The round Wenchang Ge (Promoting Literature Pavilion) is all that remains of the old Confucian Academy. Founded by the first Ming emperor, Hongwu, who believed in education for all, the academy originally had two pavilions. To the north, the Si Wang Ting (Pavilion of the Four Views) was a part of the Ming-era Provincial College, and was used as an observatory. Lying west of Wenchang Ge, the Tang-dynasty Shi Ta (Stone Pagoda) was once part of a temple located outside the city walls. It was moved here in the Song era.

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