Seasonal Tour - April (7 days)
Big Spring time, let's go for a trip to Suzhou and Hangzhou, for an ancient river town visiting that green with willows and red with flowers.Day 1
Arrive in Shanghai, Paris of the Oriental, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day. Shanghai is a city unlike any other in China. It is the bustling economic heartbeat of China that enjoys all of the comforts and amenities of a fully modern metropolis. Shanghai today looks to regain its former position at the turn of 20th of being one of the largest financial centers in the world behind New York and London. It is a city that seamlessly blends East and West.
Accommodation: In ShanghaiDay 2
Enjoy your full day city tour that starts with Jade Buddha Temple visiting, and then, go to Yuyuan Garden, a Chinese classic garden in downtown. Then visit the nearby old street. Continue the trip to the new landmark-World Finance Center. In the evening, have a walk along the Bund and Nanjing Road, China No. 1 commercial street for souvenir shopping. Tonight if you are interested, you can enjoy the Acrobatics show has an optional activity.
The Huangpu RiverJade Buddha Temple is located in a crowd of Shanghai City. It was first built in 1882 in Jiangwan on the southern outskirts of Shanghai. In order to make it convenient for the adherents to visit, it was bodily moved to Shanghai City at the present sire in 1918. It is named for its two bejeweled white jade Buddha. It receives thousands of visitors and worshipers everyday while keeps its sanctity and charming. Carved from a whole piece of white jade, the sitting jade Buddha statue is translucent with a solemn expression, displaying the excellent skill and extraordinary art of Chinese people.
Yuyuan Garden has a lot of stories for it was severely damaged in the 19th century and was restored in 1961. This garden was first built in the 16th century by provincial governor, Pan Yunduan, in honor of his father who was the then government minister. It has many scenic courtyards decorated with baroque rockery, pools, and flora that are all connected by corridors and passageways. The delicate design and exquisite layout of the whole garden reveals a strong impression of 'garden in the garden, whole in the part.
Shanghai World Financial Center is a super tall skyscraper in Pudong New Area, Shanghai. It is a mixed use skyscraper which consists of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and shopping malls on the ground floors. On 14 September 2007 the skyscraper was topped out at 492.0 meters (1,614.2 feet) and became the second tallest building in the world; as well as the tallest structure on mainland China, including Hong Kong.
The Bund is the showcase with the old buildings of colonial-era leftover along Huangpu River. The renowned waterfront district is the city most famous landmark. The word BUND is of Anglo-India origin meaning embankment on the waterfront. It is also the popular site to enjoy the night view of the city. Nanjing Road which is a good shopping area, starts at the Bund and runs westward, with People's Square in the middle. Renown for its bustling and modernization, Nanjing Road earns its reputation as the 'First Commercial Road in China', which is the good shopping heaven for your trip as the same as the Fifth Avenue in New York and Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Some of the traditional food and handicrafts of Shanghai can be found here.
Shanghai offers colorful recreations with rich contents and creative form. Your night may be filled with an interactive old form of art known as the Acrobatics. As one of the traditional art forms, acrobatics has long been popular among the Chinese people for more than 2,000 years. It is famous for its excellent skill, dare-devil performance and the harmonious combination of various kinds perform arts. Those professional performers have been trained of as early as age six or seven so that they can play so well and excellent. It definitely will be an unforgettable night in your memory.
Accommodation: In ShanghaiDay 3
Shanghai Suzhou Tongli Water Town (B/L)
In the morning, take 1 hour express train riding, you will reach Suzhou, a Garden-like city in China. On arrival, you will first be transferred to your hotel in Suzhou for check-in. Then take a short driving to Tongli Water Town, which is the relics from bygone days, for a visit. In the late afternoon, be driven back to Suzhou.
Tongli Water TownOriginally named Fushi, Tongli is an old but very well preserved water township with a history of more than 1,000 years. Tongli is famous for its 'one garden, two halls and three bridges'. One garden refers to Tuisi Garden. Two halls are Chongben Hall and Jiayin Hall. Three bridges are Taiping Bridge ('Safety' in English), Jili Bridge ('Good luck' in English) and Changqing Bridge ('Longevity' in English). Local tradition calls for those celebrating a Wedding or Birthday to pass over all three bridges.
Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze Basin. And Suzhou remains one of the most beautiful cities in China with its blue web of interlocking canals and classical gardens that inspired the Chinese to name it "paradise on earth” and Marco Polo to call the city the "Venice of the East" during his visit.
Accommodation: In SuzhouDay 4
Your sightseeing tour of ancient Suzhou starts with the visit to Humble Administrator Garden, which is a representative of Suzhou Classical Chinese Garden. And then, visit New Suzhou Museum designed by I.M. Pei. Then continue to Silk Factory to find out how silk is being made.
Humble Administrator Garden Humble Administrator Garden (Zhuozheng yuan) is the best representation of Chinese classical gardens of the Ming Dynasty. Its design is duplicated in many gardens throughout China, and there even a replica in the New York Metropolitan Museum. In total, the garden contains 48 different buildings with 101 tablets, 40 stelae, 21 precious old trees, and over 700 Suzhou-style penza. In 1997, Zhuozheng Yuan, along with other classical gardens of Suzhou was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Suzhou Museum is a museum of more than 15,000 pieces of collections. Most are ancient paintings and calligraphy, ceramics, crafts, unearthed relics and revolution relics. New Suzhou Museum is the last design of Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei in his career. It is not only a public construction symbol in Suzhou, but also an innovative mark bridging Chinese architectural culture from the tradition to the future.Silk has a history of some 4,500 years in China, so they have become adept at producing many different types of silk, as well as dyeing it and weaving different patterns into the fabric. Suzhou is famous for its silk production. In the Silk Factory you can see a display of the life-cycle of the silk worm and demonstrations of how the silk is harvested from the cocoons and eventually woven into fabric. It is quite astonishing to learn that one cocoon can produce about 2 km of silk strand, and that several of these strands are twined together to make a single thread. The process is so slow and painstaking; it comes as no surprise that genuine hand-made silk articles are so expensive.
Accommodation: In SuzhouDay 5
Suzhou Hangzhou (B/L)
In the morning, you will be transferred to another beautiful city - Hangzhou by a 2.5 hours express train riding. To explore the beauty there, you can take a boat cruise on the scenic West Lake for 1hour. Then move on to visit the Six Harmonious Pagoda and Lingyin Temple.
West LakeThese sentiments by the famous poet Su Dongpo, comparing West Lake with Xizi, the most renowned beauty of the Song Dynasty, leave one in no doubt of the splendor of the scenery that inspired them. Enclosed by the hills on three sides, the West Lake mirrors the surrounding landscape to form a panorama of great beauty. The lake was originally part of the Qitang River until its outlet became silted up. It is now 15km in circumference with an average depth of 1.8 meters.
The Lingyin Temple is regarded as one of the four temples by the side of the West Lake. The main hall, 33.6 meters high, is one of China's tallest single-story buildings, further distinguished by double eaves. Within, a statue of Sakyamuni, carved out of 24 pieces of camphor wood and gilded with 104 ounces of gold, stands an impressive 19.6 meters high.
Standing by the Qiantang River in Hangzhou, the Pagoda of Six Harmonies (Liuhe Tower) has for hundreds of years been praised by poets and men of letters. The pagoda was constructed first in 970 during the Northern Song Dynasty to suppress the tidewaters. It is nearly 60 meters tall with 13 stories outside and seven inside. From here you can have a good view of the Qiantang River meandering far into the distance.
Accommodation: In HangzhouDay 6
Discover another side of Hangzhou by visiting Huqingyu Traditional Pharmacy and Qinghefang Street which is a cobble street lined with traditional shops selling herbal medicines, handicrafts and silk products. Then move on to Meijiawu Tea Village for a traditional tea ceremony and its significance to Chinese culture.
Huqingyu Traditional PharmacyBuilt in 1874 by Hu Xueyan, a "red-top official merchant", the Huqingyu Traditional Pharmacy is worth mentioning that Huqingyu Drugstore fully carried out the medicine-making techniques and industry standards stated in the Prescriptions of the Bureau of Taiping People's Welfare Pharmacy drafted by the authorities of the Southern Song Dynasty. It is also fair to say that Hangzhou is the origin of "ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia" and Hu Qingyu Drugstore is an inheritor of the great tradition.
Qihefang Street is a well-designed old pedestrian street, which is the epitome of old Hangzhou. Many famous century-old shops can be found along the street, such as Hu Qing Yu Pharmacy and Wang Xing Ji Fans. It is otherwise known as the Snack Street for the diverse food it serves. The street clearly concentrates food from all around the country, while at some time highlighting the local flavors.
The ancient Chinese had long discovered the merits of tea both as a relaxing beverage and a drink with herbal medicinal properties. To understand the brilliant past and equally bright future of tea in China, there is one place where a visit is a must, Meijiawu Tea Village which is reputed for its history of serving exquisite tea. This picturesque village will enable you to experience the pleasure of a perfect cup of tea, and watch the elaborate and sophisticated tea-making process.
Accommodation: In HangzhouDay 7
Hangzhou Shanghai (B)
Be transferred back to Shanghai international airport for your flight to next destination.
End of the Seasonal Tour