Saturday, October 13, 2012

Xijiao State Guest House (10/13/2012)

Saturday, October 13, 2012
A gray day today. We tried to go to a vegetarian restaurant, Vegetarian Lifestyle, in the Gubei area, but it turned out to be a grocery shop, coffee shop, and art gallery (called Vegetarian Lifestyle...).
Decided to walk up Hongqiao Road to No. 1921, to see what I thought were going to be historic villas at the Xijiao State Guest House.
We learned that the hotel complex was established in 1960, and is the largest 5-star garden hotel in Shanghai. The property covers 1200 mu/80 hectares/about 200 acres. This was soon apparent as we walked along the tree-lined driveway with no civilization in sight. Finally reached a gate:
There are supposed to be over a hundred villas tucked away, perhaps they were past the "No Admittance" signs. Beyond stretches of well-tended lawns and large lakes, the place seemed to be surrounded by natural forest. It turns out that the Xijiao Guest House is better known for its garden setting. Stone paths meander in all directions.
A waterway with a footbridge:
Xijiao Guest House is a popular wedding venue:
Building No. 3 is the Executive House:
with a more modern and international look, it has 73 executive suites.
The lawn being manicured:
A few Cedrus deodara/Himalayan Cedars and bamboo:
The entrance to Building No. 4, which appeared to be a banquet hall:
We did pass one villa when heading towards the garden walk:
There is a bonsai garden:
An enclosed glass pavilion:
The back of Building No. 4:
A cement bench:
These are the un-natural woods:
with Ophiopogon japonicus/Mondo Grass as underbrush.
The Yixing Pavilion:
On 6/14/2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov, and Uzbek President Islam Karimov attended the 6th meeting of the Council of States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. They met here at this pavilion and also planted a commemorative tree in Shanghai.
Kent taking a picture of snails along the bank of the lake:
The 4-hectare/10-acre lake:
Tree Peony Pavilion:
Bridge reflection:
A 100-year old Pinus bungeana/Lacebark Pine:
"Lacy" bark:
A different way to prune a Buxus sp./Boxwood:
A rockery retaining wall for a pond:
Building No. 7:
was built in a style influenced by architecture seen in the Jiangnan region of southern China. Also known as the Muru House, it has 180 rooms.
The "quad" of Building 7:
A zigzag bridge:
Muru's Floating Restaurant:
A rock fountain (there were lots of water nozzles):
Tamiko by the big waterfall:
The main entrance to Muru House:
The Conference Center:
A rockery with a thatched-roof pavilion:
The Xijiao Guest House complex also has a large sports facility, their own greenhouses, and a long list of notables who have stayed here, including US President Bush, US President Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Emperor Akihito of Japan, as well as Chairman Mao Zedong and Chairman Deng Xiaoping.
We were losing daylight, so it was time to leave.

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