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16 Days Southeastern China World Heritage Tour

Savor the mountainous splendor, experience the richly colorful culture and discover the diverse Chinese architectural styles on 16 days China World Heritage tour, which can be tailored just for you.

Let your private guide lead you on a splendid culture journey through Southeastern China — meander through water towns and traditional gardens, cruise beautiful lakes, experience the traditional village life as locals, travel back in time to visit ancient castles, watchtowers and graceful dwellings. Furthermore, enjoy the incredible mountain scenery in Zhangjiajie and Yellow Mountain.

CCT Advantages:

  • 1. Appreciate the UNESCO-listed classical gardens of Suzhou, with elaborate rooms, pavilions, corridors, and artificial landscapes;
  • 2. Cruise through West Lake of Hangzhou surrounded by hills and many historical sites;
  • 3. Discover the scenic delights of Yellow Mountain and ancient cultural treasures of Hongcun and Xidi Villages.
  • 4. Stand witness masterpieces of traditional Chinese residential architecture on a Xiamen tulou tour with private expert guide.
  • 5. Explore Zhangjiajie UNESCO Global Geopark, with oddly-shaped karst hills, pinnacles and spires, including the “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain”, and experience the sky walk on Tianmen Mountain;
  • 6. Admire Kaiping Diaolou buildings and take in the countryside scenery of the surrounding villages

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 1, Shanghai Arrival

Meals: No Meals

Nihao, welcome to China! Arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport where you are met by your private China Culture Tour guide and transferred to your luxurious hotel of a good location. Relax at hotel or explore the surrounding areas on your own for the rest of the day.

Recommended hotels:

  • Shanghai luxury hotels: Peace Hotel, Les Suites Orient Bund, Peninsula or similar
  • Shanghai boutique hotels: Hotel Indigo on the Bund, The Yangtze Boutique or similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 2, Shanghai City Highlights Tour, Shanghai to Suzhou Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take a cultural tour of Shanghai, an ultramodern city actually with a history of 6000 years, according to the archaeologists. Today there are still hundreds year-old culture and art to be experienced. Visit Shanghai Museum, to appreciate the wonderful display of ancient Chinese painting, jade wares, ceramics, sculptures, and so forth.

Then ramble around the Yuyuan Market district, including an in-depth visit of Yu Garden, the best traditional garden in Shanghai, Bridge of Nine Turnings, and the old streets lined with different kinds of local specialty shops and food stalls.

Tour the Bund, used to be the foreign concession in the 19th-20th Century and witnessing Shanghai begin its thriving modern history. See the exotic building clusters in the Bund of Shanghai alongside Huangpu River. Then get across the river, here in the bustling Lujiazui district, ascend Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the highest building, for a stunning high-altitude view.  

Take high speed train from Shanghai to Suzhou.

Recommended hotels:

  • Suzhou luxury hotels: The Marriott, Hyatt Regency, Garden Hotel or similar
  • Suzhou boutique hotels: Tonino Lamborghini Hotel or similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 3, One-day Tongli Water Town Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Tongli boasts a history of over 1000 years and has been listed as one of the 6 best-kept ancient water towns in China. Distributed by five lakes and made of 7 lovely islands, the town is a wonderful place to drink tea, enjoy traditional cultural vibe, and see ancient architectures and bridges. Take a short cruise trip for relaxation.

Visit Tuisi (Retreat and Reflection) Garden, a highlight of Tongli Town and a UNESCO site. It was artistically designed by a painter and carefully built like floating on the water.

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 4, Suzhou Classical Gardens, Suzhou to Hangzhou Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, visit the 6th-century Panmen Gate, which as rebuilt and expanded as a historical landmark during Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties with many other ancient towers, architectures and wharfs. You will also see boat cruise the encircling canal of Suzhou.

Then ramble in Lingering Garden, one of the four great traditional gardens in China and an important site of the UNSCO-protected classical garden of Suzhou. It features incredibly beautiful landscape of lakes, artificial hills, woods, rural land and garden.

Thereafter, take a rickshaw ride through Suzhou’s old streets to discover more of Suzhou and experience local lifestyle. Enjoy a leisure stroll on the historical Pingjiang Road, before riding a bullet train to Hangzhou.

Recommended hotels:

  • Hangzhou luxury hotels: Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale or similar
  • Hangzhou boutique hotels: Tea Boutique Hotel or similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 5, Hangzhou City Highlights: West Lake

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

West Lake is not merely a city lake, but also a masterpiece created borrowing the aesthetic effect of ancient Chinese painting, literary and garden art. Enjoy a boat cruise on West Lake. It is considered the best way to admire West Lake and will take you to a pretty islet in the middle of the lake.

Later visit the Pagoda of Six Harmonies. It is one of the earliest extant brick-wood structural pagodas in China and a finest example of ancient Chinese architecture.

Also enjoy peaceful Zen moments at the 4th Century Lingyin Temple and appreciate the ancient Buddhist grotto art at the Felai Peak, where there are hundreds of Buddha statues in different sizes are elaborately carved.

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 6, Hangzhou to Huangshan Tour, Hongcun & Xidi Villages

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take high speed train from Hangzhou to Huangshan City. Tour Hongcun Village, known as “A Village on Chinese Painting”. The village’s ancient houses, bridges, streets and alleyways and the charming scenery of lakes and mountains enhance one another’s beauty. And you can experience a long-gone lifestyle here.

Later visit the 11th-century Xidi Village. With more than 200 ancient residential houses, ancestral halls and memorial archways, Xidi is praised as the museum of ancient Chinese dwelling. Both Hongcun and Xidi have been inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

Stay overnight at a quaint local style hotel with cultural authenticity and inspiring design.

Recommended hotels:

  • Xidi boutique hotels: Pig’s Inn or similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 7, Yellow Mountain Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take Yungu cableway up Yellow Mountain, which ranks one of the most famous mountains in China. Peculiar-looking pines, fantastic rock peaks, seas of clouds and hot springs are known as the four wonders" of Yellow Mountain.

Hike for about 2 hours along West Sea Grand Canyon, surrounded by breath-taking scenery. It is a must-visit sight of Yellow Mountain and where the Flying Stone is located. Take in the views and picture yourself walking amidst a fairyland.

Watch the sunset along with beautiful clouds if weather permits. Stay overnight on Yellow Mountain.

Recommended hotels:

  • Yellow Mountain luxury hotels: Xihai Hotel (the five-star building) or similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 8, Huangshan to Xiamen Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get up early if you would like to watch the sun rise of Yellow Mountain. Then ride cable car down and transfer to visit Tunxi Old Street, the cultural center of Huangshan City consisting of 3 main streets, 18 alleyways and 300 or so Huizhou style architectures dating to different historical periods. Idle about to glimpse traditional Huizhou culture of tea, calligraphy, inkstick, medicine… 

Enjoy an air journey to Xiamen, a beautiful coast city in China.

Recommended hotels:

  • Xiamen luxury hotels: Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyuanwan or Pan Pacific Xiamen similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 9, Xiamen to Nanjing, Fujian Tulou Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive for about 2.5 hours from Xiamen to Nanjing Tulou Area (part of Fujian Tulou UNESCO World Heritage Site), to see the most famous earthen buildings, regarded as the “mythical architectures in mountainous area of South China". Marvel at the unique architecture style and experience the local hundreds year-old Hakka culture and traditions.

Tianluokeng Earthen Building Cluster is described picturesquely as “a big bowl of soup with four dishes” - one square earthen building that is surrounded by four round earthen buildings.

Yuchang Tulou shares two striking similarities with the Leaning Tower of Pisa -- both of them were built in the 14th Century and are surprising tilting buildings. Yuchang Tulou has five floors and 270 rooms.

Find more tulou buildings of different shapes and modelings in Taxia Village, situated at the foot of hills and beside waters with beautiful scenery.

Recommended hotels: The accommodations in Nanjing are very basic without any luxury five-star hotels.

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 10, Hakka Tulou Buildings & Villages, Nanjing to Xiamen

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, continue to enjoy visiting Hakka tulou buildings. Step into Hegui Tulou, the highest earthen building in Nanjing, with a height of 21.5 meters. It has been supported with more than 200 pine logs as the base.

Walk around Yunshuiyao Village of a serene ancient atmosphere. Then admire the best-kept tulou - Huaiyuan Earthen Building, built in 1905, with the most exquisite architectural technology. 

Last but not the least, visit Hekeng Tulou Cluster, including 27 earthen houses of square shape, round shape, quinquangular shape and some other shapes. 

Drive back to Xiamen.

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 11, Xiamen to Changsha to Zhangjiajie

Meals: Breakfast

Depart Xiamen, and take a flight to Changsha, the provincial capital of Hunan Province, where you are met and transferred to Zhangjiajie (about 4 hours’ driving). Zhangjiajie is where the UNESCO-listed Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area is located.

Recommended hotels:

  • Zhangjiajie luxury hotels: Pullman, Sunshine Hotel, or similar
  • Zhangjiajie comfortable hotels: Santa Daminga Internatianal Hotel, Best Western Grand Hotel, or similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 12, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

You’ll find no place on Earth quite like Zhangjiajie. China’s first National Forest Park and a world geology park, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is world-renown for its concentration of quartzite-sandstone formations.

Take cable car up Huangshi Fort (Huangshi Village), located on the steep cliffs, with a biggest observation deck to marvel at the soaring sandstone peaks and forests shrouded by fog. Later hike along Golden Whip Stream for about 2 hours to breathe fresh air, enjoy the beauty and serenity of water and greenery, and see birds and small animals having fun all along.

Day 13, Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, Tianzi Mountain

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take thrilling Bailong Elevator, world’s highest outdoor elevator, to rise for 326m in 66 seconds and get to Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. See the “floating Hallelujah Mountains” in Avatar with your own eyes, which is the most stunning one of Zhangjiajie’s three thousand peaks. And admire the “World’s No.1 Bridge”. With a height of more than 300 meters, it is the highest natural stone bridge ever found in the world.

Also explore Tianzi Mountain, another highlight attraction in Wulingyuan Scenic Area, to overlook the spiked sandstone forests, sometimes emerging from the seas of clouds.

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 14, Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie to Guangzhou

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take the world’s longest cableway up to Tianmen Mountain and see the 99 Bends of mountain road in a distance. Walk through the 60-meter-long cliffside glass walkway for incredible views. And also walk up the stairways to admire the Gate to Heaven (may be closed in winter).

Fly from Zhangjiajie to Guangzhou, one of China’s busiest port cities and one of the exit cities for international travelers.  

Recommended hotels:

  • Guangzhou luxury hotels: Ritz-Carlton, White Swan Hotel or similar
16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 15, One Day Kaiping Diaolou and Villages Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, drive for about 2.5 hours from your hotel in Guangzhou to Kaiping, where you will see an architectural treasure of China with a blend of Chinese fortified watchtowers and several Western architecture styles like ancient Greek, ancient Rome and Islamic architectures. Kaiping Diaolou and Villages were list a UNESCO site in 2007.

First of all, tour Zili Village dating to 1837. There are 15 beautiful diaolou buildings of different modelings, with collections of furniture, living facilities, production equipment and daily life items of 1920s to 1930s. Then visit Liyuan Garden built in 1926, which is a perfect combination of traditional Chinese garden and Western architectures. Ramble the over 300-year-old Chikan Old Town to see more diaolou and traditional structures, and experience the 1980s Chinese lifestyle.

Drive back to Guangzhou.

16 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen Zhangjiajie Guangzhou Tour

Day 16, Guangzhou Departure

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a transfer with your private guide and driver from hotel to the airport and board your onward international flight. China Culture Tour service ends. Farewell and safe journey!

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**Price per person per day Excludes Int'l Airfare but includes domestic airfare/train, excellent guide, private transfer, breakfast, fine lunch,some featured dinners, entrance fee, etc.

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