Essential Shanghai Plus Water Towns Tour
Wander in Yuyuan Garden and the Bund in the old parts of Shanghai and then explore the new Shanghai by visiting the modern shops of Nanjing Road and the skyscrapers in the surrounding areas. Linger on the old streets like an ancient and go boating in the very charming water town named Xitang. Listen to the voice of the bell from Hanshan Temple and experience a short cruise like an emperor on the manmade Grand Canal in Suzhou.
Essential Shanghai Plus Water Towns Tour: Shanghai, Xitang, Hangzhou & Suzhou
Day 1: Shanghai - Upon your arrival, your personal guide and driver will wait for you at the airport arrival hall, holding your name sign. You will be escorted to your hotel safely in a private, air-conditioned vehicle, driving time is about one hour from PVG airport, take your time to recover from the jetlag.
Hotels in Shanghai: luxury hotels - Hyatt on the Bund, The Langham Yangtze Shanghai, Fairmont Peace, Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, Peninsula or similar; Boutique hotels – URBN Shanghai, Casa Serena Boutique Hotel, Cachet Boutique or similar
Day 2: Shanghai - visit both of the Old part and Modern Part of Shanghai. You will spend about an hour in the ancient Yuyuan Garden, a typical Chinese garden with traditional pavilions, beautiful rockery, decorated halls, corridors and clear pond. Next walk a few minutes to the Shanghai City God Temple for a short stay, a Taoist temple known for its long history and grand architecture, surrounded by traditional commercial district that hosts hundreds of old shops, restaurants, and teahouses. Drive to visit the Shanghai Museum, a museum of 120,000 precious works of art, including the ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphy. Have your lunch at a local restaurant where you can taste the authentic Shanghai cuisine. In the afternoon, you will visit the modern parts of Shanghai. At the Shanghai World Financial Center, you will take an elevator up more than 90 floors, walk on the glass floor and have a breathtaking view of the Bund and the Huangpu River. Follow this by visiting the Bund, which constitutes dozens of historical buildings along the Huangpu River. There were and still are banks and trading houses from the UK, France, the USA and Italy etc. When night falls, the colorful lights and beautiful boats on the Huangpu River provide great photo opportunities.
Day 3: Shanghai/Xitang/Hangzhou - Drive about 1.5 hours from hotel to visit Xitang Ancient Town and take a sampan cruise into town. Xitang Ancient Town is an ancient scenic and cultural town dating back to at least the Spring and Autumn Period. In the town, there are well-preserved buildings originated from Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The town is also famous for its large number of covered corridors, lanes & bridges; after a fine local lunch in the town, drive about 1.5 hours from the town to your hotel in Hangzhou.
Hotels in Hangzhou recommended: luxury hotels - Banyan Tree, Aman Fayun Resort, Four Seasons, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental, Sofitel Hangzhou Westlake, Shangri La or similar hotels
Day 4: Hangzhou - visit the Lingyin Temple, literally translated as the Temple of the Soul's Retreat and it contains numerous pagodas and Buddhist grottoes. This is followed by the Peak Flown From Afar with its scraggy exotic stones and unusual scenery. Visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda (and climb up the pagoda), it is 60 meters high with 7 stories inside which look like 13 stories from the outside. The lovely paintings and patterns on the walls in each storey are stunning. You could choose to stop at Hangzhou Meijiawu Tea Plantation and Tea Shop to see how tea is being made. After lunch at a fine, local restaurant to try Hangbang style food, take an exclusive Rowing Boat Cruise on West Lake only available for 2-6 travelers. The 5.68 square kilometers wide West Lake is famous for its beautiful sceneries especially around Su Causeway and Broken Bridge, feel the tranquility on the Lake.
Hotels in Suzhou recommended: luxury hotels - Suzhou Marriott Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, InterContinental Suzhou, Kempinski Hotel Suzhou, or similar; Boutique hotels – Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Hotel Suzhou, Pan Pacific Suzhou or similar
Day 5: Hangzhou/Suzhou - Drive about 2 hours from Hangzhou to Suzhou, visit Panmen Gate, part of the ancient city wall built in 514 BC that surrounded and protected Suzhou, learn how the ancient troops used both land and water gates to fight against invading intruders; the old gate, walls, canals, the pagoda, lake and gardens have their own stories. Lunch will be arranged at a fine, local restaurant. Then tour Tiger Hill, which is known for its natural beauty and historical sites. The hill is so named because it looks like a crouching tiger. An optional tour is available to NO.1 Silk spinning Mill, a 60-year old Silk Factory where visitors can see firsthand the entire process of manufacturing silk, from live silk worms to the cocoon stage and spinning.
Day 6: Suzhou - The biggest highlight for today is the Humble Administrator’s Garden, it is deemed to be the largest and most classical garden in China. You would not get bored for 2-3 hours inside this garden. Suzhou Museum sits next to the Garden, a museum where you can see ancient Chinese art; ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphies, and handmade crafts. Lunch will be arranged in a local restaurant. Enjoy a Rickshaw tour in the old part of Suzhou and see local people coming and going. Then there is the Hanshan Temple, also named "Cold Mountain Temple", a Buddhist temple and monastery Suzhou. The Temple is famous because of the poem "A Night Mooring by Maple Bridge" written by Tang Dynasty poet Zhang Ji. Finally take a Grand Canal sampan Cruise, the canal also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, is the longest manmade canal in the world.
Day 7: Suzhou/Shanghai - Private transfer from Suzhou hotel to Shanghai airport for your flight departure, the transfer takes about 2-3 hours depending on traffic, plus allow about 2 hours prior to your departure time; it takes about 5-6 hours to catch your flight.
Meals: breakfast included in the hotel, fine local restaurants for lunch or dinner upon your request
- Note: the Essential Shanghai Plus Water Towns Tour itinerary mentioned above is only a sample; we can customize this tour to meet your requests.