12 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 large modern city in Eastern China, your 13 days picturesque China tour will start now. Get ready to visit beyond Shanghai to magical ancient coastal 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 the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where you can have a whole understanding of this city. Afterward, 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. Then walk through 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 about where to go, your local guide is ready with lots of suggestions.
After having breakfast at the hotel, then drive to train station for the high speed train to Suzhou (about half an hour). Upon arrival at Suzhou, your local guide will pick you up at train station and start your day sightseeing in Suzhou. The first spot is Tiger Hill located in northwest Suzhou, it 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.
Afterward, 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 classical 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 one of the best-preserved gardens in the city. The layout and design of the garden is definitely an innovation in Chinese gardens.
Suzhou is also famous for its silk products, if you are interested, pay a visit to the Silk Factory where you can get some good souvenirs for your family.
Morning drive to visit 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.
Return to Suzhou around the noon time for the early afternoon train to Mount Huangshan (about 3.5 hours train ride). Upon arrival, check into hotel at Huangshan. Explores Tunxi Old Street, a souvenir street lined with wooden shops and Ming-style buildings.
Morning drive about 1 hour to the foot of the Mount Huangshan where you will take the Yuping cable-car up to 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 the mountain.
Watch the sunrise early in the morning and enjoy the stunning views of the Lion's Peak, where the "Stone Monkey" is perched. Next, visit the Beginning-to-believe Peak before descending the mountain via the Yungu Cable-car on the eastern steps. After that, take a short drive to Yixian County, which is often praised as the "Eden's Garden on Earth', here you explore two beautiful villages, Hongcun and Xidi, which are considered living museums of Chinese traditional residential houses by many western scholars and experts. Hongcun Village was the filming location for the Oscar-awarded movie "Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon." Later, take a high-speed train to Hangzhou, which is about a 1 hour 40 minutes train ride away, and spend the night there.
Hangzhou, one of the seven ancient capitals of China, is the capital city of Zhejiang Province. Today, you will visit some of its most iconic attractions, starting with the Six Harmonies Pagoda and the Lingyin Temple. After breakfast, drive to the Six Harmonies Pagoda located at the foot of Yuelun Hill, facing the Qiantang River. The tower was built to calm the tidal range of the river. Take a charming walk behind the pagoda, through terraces dotted with sculptures, bells, shrines, and inscriptions.
Next, head to the Lingyin Temple, a famous monastery in the Jiangnan region, founded 1,700 years ago. Later, visit West Lake, located in the western area of Hangzhou and considered the city's most famous attraction. For centuries, West Lake has inspired poets and painters with its natural beauty and historical relics, making it a significant source of inspiration for Chinese garden designers.
In the late afternoon or evening, head to the train station to take the train to Beijing, which is about a 4.5-hour ride. Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be picked up and taken to your hotel for check-in. Spend the night in Beijing.
After breakfast, head to Tiananmen Square at the center of Beijing city. The square, regarded as the largest in the world, is an important place for Chinese people to hold a celebration or other big occasions.
Afterward, 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.
Then proceed to Jingshan Park, it was a part of the Forbidden City until the early 1900's when the walls were pulled down and a road cut through it destroying several gates and buildings between the park and the rear entrance of the palace
In the afternoon drive to visit the Summer Palace, it's a royal garden that surrounding Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill are more traditionally known as Wanshou Shan. This palace was built by the emperors during Qing dynasty as a summertime 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 with 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 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).
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. Then explore to nearby Nanluoguoxiang for tasting some local snacks or buying some souvenirs from the many antique shows for your family and friends.
Afterward, 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.