For tourists who appreciate architectural beauty and historical value, there are perhaps few better suited places in china than Mo's Manor. Rich in Yangtze River culture and design, the sprawling manor and its surrounding gardens are a must see.
Mo's Manor was first built in 1897, late into the Qing Dynasty. The agent of its construction was a merchant magnate called Mo Fangmei. To house his family, Mo built this sprawling, beautiful housing complex. With buildings enough to spare, three generations of Mo Fangmei's family called Mo's Manor home before it was turned into a cultural heritage site.
Thanks to Mo’s ample funding and attention to detail, the stately beauty Mo's Manor is unparalleled. The manor's many buildings cover roughly 4800 square meters. Inside those buildings, are 77 unique rooms of various sizes that cover 2,600 square meters of floor space.
The architectural beauty of Mo's Manor is as impressive as its size. Few buildings in China so perfectly embody the spirit of the culture that once existed south of the Yangtze River. The building itself is adorned with chased roofs, ornate wood and brick carvings and hanging fascia.
The interior décor has been well preserved to typify design of the period. Inside the rooms, visitors can view murals, sculptures and antique furniture. Each room is uniquely beautiful and fully accessible to the public.
Once outside the doors of Mo's Manor, visitors step out into one of the three surrounding gardens. Each of the gardens has its own attractions and aesthetic significance. In one you'll find breathtaking flowers and trees. In another, you'll find a garden maze. And in still another, there is a placid pond perfect for meditation.
The beauty of the gardens of Mo's Manor is hard to capture in text. Even in the Yangtze River Valle, a place celebrated for the beauty of its gardens, Mo's Manor remains noteworthy. In fact, Mo’s Manor was recently declared a cultural relic with state protection.
Every year, Mo's Manor attracts visitors who appreciate it for its beauty and historical significance. Local schools visit to see the architecture and cultural styles that dominated the area a few hundred years ago. Others come to picnic in its gardens and enjoy the ponds, trees and natural aesthetic.
But many more visitors come to Mo's Manor to appreciate its cultural significance. For nearly 100 years, Mo's Manor has been the backdrop for over 1,000 soap operas and movies. If you know a little bit about Chinese television and cinema, you’re sure to see some familiar sites.
For the unfamiliar but curious, the curators of Mo’s Manor offer many guided tours. Knowledgeable guides will walk you through the manor and point out historically, architecturally and culturally significant spots.
The Best Time to Go
When visiting Mo's Manor, it pays to keep the weather in mind. For most of the year, the weather around Mo's Manor is mild -- around 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit).
The best time to visit Mo's Manor is in early summer during the months of April and May. This is when the weather is the warmest and the gardens at Mo's Manor and other tourist sites in the area are in full bloom.
The second best time of the year to visit Mo's Manor is in early fall during the months of September and October. During these months, the gardens are changing and fading, but the weather is still warm, the tourist crowd has waned and there is plenty to see.
And in September, Mo's Manor hosts one of the region's watermelon festivals. Watermelons are carved ornately by local artisans then hung as lanterns. Visitors are welcome to walk the pathways of Mo's Manor and appreciate the beauty of this traditional carving practice.
Later in the summer in June and July, the area experiences heavy rains and typhoons. Tourists who visit during these months are advised to bring their umbrellas and rain coats. Mo's Manor is often open during rainy days, but many of the tours may be unavailable. Mo's Manor is also open during the winter, but many of the buildings are unheated and the gardens are not in bloom.
If you're planning a trip, you'll find Mo's Manor is located in Eastern China in the Yangtze River area in the city of Pinghu. The closest major city to Pinghu is Shanghai, located roughly 100km to the northeast. Shanghai is a bustling city with plenty of shopping, sightseeing and entertainment to offer.
The best way to get to Mo's Manor is to start from the city of Shanghai. As Mo's Manor is a popular tourist site, it’s easy to find buses and hired cars that leave at several intervals during the day.
Visitors who have managed their own transportation can get to Mo's Manor by simply taking the Shanghai-Hangzhou Highway west to Pinghu city. Once there, you'll find local rickshaws, cabs and other modes of transportation to Mo's Manor.
I updated this article on November 13, 2013
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