13 days China photography tour from Shanghai
Enjoy this wonderful China photography tour with the breathtaking natural beauty and remarkable historical relics from Shanghai to Beijing. Visit the majestic Huangshan to see the archetypal granite peaks and twisted pines. Added on a walk along the gorgeous West Lake in Hangzhou. Fabulous memories await.
Welcome to Shanghai, a largely modern city in Eastern China, your 13 day picturesque China tour will starts now. Get ready to visit beyond Shanghai to magical ancient costal cities moving west and then north for a tour of Beijing like no others.
So please relax this day as you are assisted to your Shanghai hotel after arriving from your overseas flight. Or if ready explore the city on your own because the fun is just starting.
In the morning you will visit the People’s Square. It is a large public square in Shanghai and the site of Shanghai's municipal government headquarters building. It is used as the standard reference point for measurement of distance in the Shanghai municipality.
Then you will visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where you can have a whole understanding about this city. Afterwards, go to visit Xintiandi in the French Concession. It was the location of the first congress of China's Communist Party, however today it is a hip cultural center of Shanghai. There are many cafes, bars, bookstores and boutiques here. And Tianzifang is a place liked by many foreigners. It is an arts and crafts enclave that has developed from a renovated residential area. Then you will go to visit the World Financial Center, a modern Shanghai is in front of you. At last you will walk in Shanghai Bund and Nanjing road, getting close to the local life.(Optional: In the evening you can choose to enjoy a Chinese Acrobatics show)
Today is yours to explore Shanghai on your own. Spend the day shopping or just walking around to get a better understanding of the city. If you have no idea on where to go, your local guide is ready with lots of suggestions.
Morning visit Shanghai Propaganda Art Museum. It is a museum exhibits posters from the Maoist period of communist China, especially from the Cultural Revolution period. In the afternoon the guide and driver will drop you in the Hongqiao airport for flight to Huangshan. Afternoon explore Tunxi Old Street, a souvenir street lined with wooden shops and Ming-style buildings. Then you will visit the Ink Factory. It is an interesting site for those who interested in Chinese art.
Morning drive about 1 hour to foot of the Mount Huangshan where you will take the Yuping cable-car up the Mountain from the western side. A three-and-half-hourhike will take you to sight-see the fantastic and unforgettable views, including the Jade Screen Peak, Welcoming-guest Pine Tree, Lotus Peak, Turtle Peak, Heavenly Sea Pavilion, Bright Top Peak, the Flying-over Rock, the Cloud-dispelling Pavilion and Grand Canyon of the West Sea. Stay overnight up mountain.
Watch the sunrise in the early morning. Sightseeing the Lion's Peak where the "Stone Monkey" is just perched on a peak. You will also visit the Beginning-to-believe Peak before descending the Mountain by Yungu Cable-car on the eastern steps. A short drive to Yixian County - a place praised as the Eden's Garden on earth. You will visit two fantastic villages of Hongcun and Xidi there. They are regarded by many western scholars and experts as a living museum of Chinese traditional residential houses. The Oscar-awarded movie "Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon" was just filmed in Hongcun Village. Afterwards take the overnight train to Suzhou (about 10 hours train).
Arrive at Suzhou in the early morning, be greeted and assisted to the hotel by your local guide. After having breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to the first spot, Tiger Hill in northwest Suzhou. Tiger Hill is the final resting place of He Lu, the founding father of Suzhou. Atop the Hill you will see the Tiger Hill Pagoda, which is regarded as an innovation in Chinese architecture.
Afterwards, head to the Humble Administrator's Garden, the finest and largest garden in Suzhou. The founding time of the garden could be dated back to the early 1,500's, and now you can still be impressed by its picturesque landscape and unique layout. Along with the other classic gardens in Suzhou, the Humble Administrator's Garden is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The last attraction to visit today is the Garden of the Master of the Nets. The garden was laid out in the 12th century and is considered as one of the best preserved gardens in the city. The layout and the design of the garden is definitely an innovation in Chinese gardens. Return to your Suzhou hotel for a relaxing evening in this city that reminds many of Venice, Italy.
Driven to Tongli water town, an ancient town which has over 1,000 years' history. The town is famous for a system of canals and featured by water, bridges and ancient architectures. Taking a cruise on the canals for witnessing the breathtaking scenery of Tongli will be arranged. Walking on the small alleys to discover this ancient town and pay a visit to the Museum of Ancient Sexual Culture to learn about the ancient sexual culture in China.
In the late afternoon or evening, drive back to Suzhou train station to take the train to Hangzhou (about 1.5 hours train)
Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang Province, and it is also one of the seven ancient capitals of China. Today you will visit West Lake, Six Harmonies Pagoda and the Lingyin Temple. After breakfast, drive to Six Harmonies Pagoda, which is located at the foot of Yuelun Hill, facing the Qiantang River. The tower was built to calm the tidal rage of Qiantang River. Behind the pagoda you will take a charming walk, through terraces dotted with sculptures, bells, shrines and inscriptions.
Afterwards, head to Lingyin Temple, a famous monastery in the Jiangnan region which was founded 1,700 years ago. Then take a visit to the West Lake located in the western area of Hangzhou and the most famous attraction in all of Hangzhou. Through centuries, West Lake has influenced poets and painters throughout the ages for its natural beauty and historical relics. It has been among the most important sources of inspiration for Chinese garden designers.
In the late afternoon or evening, drive to the airport and take the flight to Beijing.
After breakfast, head to Tiananmen Square at the center of Beijing city. The square, regarded as the largest in world, is an important place for Chinese people to hold celebration or other big occasions. During your visit here you will have a glimpse of several highlights including the Monument to People's Heroes located at the center of the square.
Afterwards, take a visit to the Forbidden City, an ancient palace complex where 24 emperors had lived and worked during both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. You local guide will tell you the detailed history of the city and what life was once like for the emperor and servants who used to live here. As a result of the large collection of preserved ancient wooden structures and importance in Chinese history, the Forbidden City has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Enjoy your lunch then in the afternoon, head to the Summer Palace in northwest Beijing. The Summer Palace is a royal garden that surrounding Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill more traditionally know as Wanshou Shan. Along being a UNESCO World Heritage site it is one of the four classic gardens of China. This palace was built by the emperors during Qing dynasty as a summer time retreat. You will easily see many spectacular gardens, palaces and temples throughout. In the evening, you may choose to enjoy the Kong Fu Show. (Optional)
After breakfast in the morning, you will head to the Temple of Heaven in south Beijing. It is a holy imperial temple where emperors once prayed for a good harvest and offered sacrifices to the God of Heaven during every winter solstice. You will have a glimpse of this masterpiece of architecture and landscape design.
Then you will be driven to the Mutianyu Great wall, one of the best sections to explore the Great Wall of China. Located about 80 km. (50 mi.) north of downtown Beijing, it will take about 2.5 hours to get there by private car. Upon arrival enjoy 2 to 3 hours of walking along this ancient defense and have a glimpse of the magnificent scenery as the wall winds its way across the mountains. If you don't feel like walking up you no problem you can ascend and descend via a cable car or slide your way down in a toboggan. (Optional: you can also visit Huanghuachang Water Great Wall instead).
On the way back to your hotel, you can have a quick stop at the Olympic Green. (Optional: If you are interested in the local life, we can also drop you off at the Donghuamen night market or Sanlitun Bar Street, where you can get closer to local Beijing).
In the morning, you will have several hours to feel the traditional Hutong culture by visiting the Shichahai in west Beijing. Traveling by rickshaw through century old Hutongs in Shichahai before their demolition. Walk along the old Yandai Xiejie which has an 800 year history surrounding Beijing's Drum Tower. Plenty of time for you to explore on your own to nearby Nanluoguoxiang for tasting some local snacks or buying some souvenirs from the many antique show for your family and friends. Afterwards you will go to visit the Lama Temple, which also known as the Yonghegong Temple. It is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. It contains the largest wooden Buddha in the world. (Optional: You can visit Beihai Park instead of you are more interested in the local people’s life). In the afternoon you will visit the market, and the rest of the time you will be free on your own.
Drive to the airport ready for your departure. Wish you have a pleasant journey home and WindhorseTour is happily to assist you in extending your tour in China.