12 days East China tour to Shanghai - Hangzhou - Suzhou - Nanjing
Traveling through eastern China, this tour covers most historical, prosperous and scenic part of China. Nanjing is not only a ancient capital city, but also witnesses many historical events within the past 200 years. In Shanghai you will capture the rejuvenation of China, this ancient country.
Suzhou and Hangzhou, the paradise-like places will impress you well with its gentle and elegant atmosphere, deep cultural background and gorgeous scenery. If you are feed up with "tender" scenery, then Mount Huangshan will definitely excite you. Offering you the feeling of walking over the clouds and getting closer to heaven. So much is waiting for you!
Upon your arrival at Shanghai, be met by your local guide and transported to the hotel. Recover from any jet lag and prepare for tomorrow.
This morning, you will begin your tour with a stop at Yu Gardens. This masterpiece of Chinese landscape is a top stop for international travelers. Also known as Yuyuan Gardens it balances classical garden art with other features such as tranquil ponds and rock sculptures. Then visit the Shanghai Old Street, which like many places shares yet another name Miaoqian Dajie.
Next stop to see all 120,000 cultural relics within the Shanghai Museum, we promise you will see the best there is to see. With the help of your Shanghai guide see the rarest relics in this museum including Chinese bronze, ceramics, calligraphy and paintings. Then walk at the heavily French-influenced Xintiandi, where only pedestrians are permitted. It is the only place to still see complete Shikumen style architecture.
After drive along the Huangpu River and watch as you see Pearl Oriental TV Tower increase in size. As the third highest in Asia, it offers an unequal view of Shanghai from its observation deck. Once reaching the top lookout and see the marvelous city below including the world's tallest building, "Shanghai World Financial Center".
Depart Shanghai by bullet train to Hangzhou. Upon reaching the train station your Hangzhou tour will begin with a visit Linyin temple with over 1,600 years history. This large Buddhist temple offers you and monks a quiet and peaceful land, you will easily relax and forget your worries. We also encourage you to try the tasty local cuisine.
Nearby is Hangzhou West Lake, just a short 10 minutes drive will bring you to what is considered the best attraction in all of Hanzhou. An ancient Chinese poet from the Song Dynasty named Sushi compared it to the most beautiful women in China. You may get lost in its intoxicating scenery, and beautiful paths winding between the lake and natural surroundings.
When ready depart for Six Harmonies Pagoda about a 20 minutes drive from West Lake. In the beginning, this pagoda is built for calming the Qiantang River. Although that idea did not hold much water, it is still considered a masterpiece of ancient Chinese architecture. From the top of the pagoda, you can watch the awe-inspiring Qiantang River Tide.
Take the 2 hours high-speed train to Huangshan, then drive 1 hour to reach the base of Mount Huangshan. Then board the Yungu cable car along the eastern slope to ascend to the mountain Huangshan. It is known amongst the Chinese as the most fantastic mountain under heaven. Perfected over one million years of development it is a spectacle to geological features. There are four unique scenic features that help to make this mountain spectacular, they include the legendary pines, picturesque rocks, a sea of clouds as seen from the summit and natural hot springs.
Upon reaching the summit you will check-in at Beihai Hotel and have the rest of the day free to explore the summit and enjoy these breath-taking scenery.
Rise and shine to catch the amazing sunrise at Mount Huangshan! Your tour cannot be complete without viewing this magnificent event. Just a short hike from the Beihai Hotel you will reach the Bright Summit Peak. As the second highest peak on Huangshan mountain it is the perfect place to capture the sun penetrating through the sea of clouds.
After wondering around the mystical summit and seeing other vantage points such as Cloud-dispelling Pavilion and Flying-over Peak, return to Beihai Hotel for a late breakfast. Finally start your decent down traveling again along the Yungu cable car.
If tired rest as your private car heads to Shexian County, or roll down the windows and have your camera in hand. Formerly known as Huizhou, it's the birthplace of Huizhou Chinese culture, with their own language and each village having a unique dialect.
In addition to the more than 2,000 year's history and deep cultural background, you will marvel at its splendid architecture. The most valuable of them are the ancestral temples and the ancient residential homes. we Experts form China and the rest of the world call it "Naturally Formed Ancient Architectural Art Museum." After having your fix, drive back to Tunxi for dinner and resting for the night.
Today you will be driven to Yixian county, which will take one hour. Being one of the oldest countries, it has existed for more than 2,200 years. It's a golden chance to experience the charm of China, the country with ancient civilization. Among its towns, include Hongcun Village and Xidi Village both very well-known; together they have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
These villages are famous for representing local residences dating back to the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. In total there are over 100 ancient residences and three ancestral halls for your viewing pleasure. Take time to notice the intricate carvings that can be found within door frames, stone columns and supporting beams. The Hongcun Village and Xidi Village carvings are commonly found in stones, bricks and wood as ornamental work. In the late afternoon, board the high-speed train to Suzhou.
The first highlight of the day is perhaps what makes Suzhou famous, the marvelous traditional gardens which are famous all over China. Among the four classical Chinese gardens, two of them are in Suzhou. The Humble Administrator Garden and Lingering Garden. See both of these gardens today with your own eyes and find the differences between the two.
After lunch, you will board a local cruise ship and can watch the banks of China's Grand Canal. This canal has been the major waterway connecting the north and south China for over 2,000 years. View the beautiful ancient buildings on the canal's bank.
Travel by private car in the morning to reach Tongli. First established during the Song dynasty, this town has witnessed more than 1,000 years of history. This captivating town is divided into seven islands by fifteen rivers, connected by stone bridges. The bridges that integrate date all the way back to the Yuan dynasty and has been one of Tongli's most attractive parts.
Along with the ancient residential house, Tongli has had the reputation, as a "museum of ancient architectures". Along with the many well-protected gardens and temples it has made it a name as a tranquil stop that attracts thousands of visitors each year to soak in this dreamlike little town. As water is the soul of this town, the best way to get close to Tongli is to cruise the waterways and understanding the lives of local people.
Time permitting, drink tea in a local tea house, before heading back to Suzhou to take a bullet train to Nanjing where you will spend the night.
Start the day with a visit to the tomb of Emperor Hongwu's tomb the first emperor of Ming dynasty and his Queen Ma. This is one of the biggest imperial tombs and the experience it unique; especially when compared to the Xi'an Terracotta Soldiers.
After visiting the classic tombs, head to pay respects to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is the forerunner that helped the Chinese people overthrow the feudal system that had ruled China for the millennium.
Nearby Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum is Linggu Pagoda where you can climb to the tomb to see above the trees and look over beautiful Purple Mountain Scenic Area. The last stop within the park is the Confucian temple.
When ready head toward Qinghuai river, called the lifeblood of Nanjing. Without the important river, the establishment and perhaps prosperity of Nanjing may never have been known. Reflect on the experience of Nanjing and when ready head back to your hotel for a goods night rest.
In comparison to yesterday, today will have you moving about in the hustle and bustle of Nanjing's modern city. Start with a visit to the Nanjing City Gate know as Zhonghuamen in Chinese. Functioning as a defense system, is one of the best-reserved and intricate castles in the world. Next travel to the former Presidential Residence this complex of buildings includes the residence of China's leaders from 1856 - 1949.
Nanjing is also well known for the massacre that occurred here during World War II and Japans occupation of China. The Nanjing Massacre Museum will deliver a strong message about suffering of Chinese during this horrific event. Many foreigners who have visited this museum said it's an unexpected and surprisingly emotional experience.
Today Nanjing is rebuilt from the war and a prosperous China can be seen in the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge. The design and construction of the bridge with dual functions of highway and railway were built solely by Chinese in 1968. Conclude your trip to Nanjing and depart on the bullet train to Shanghai.
Today is left free and open for you to choose where to visit upon returning to Shanghai. Your WindhorseTour Travel Advisor and Shanghai guide will help make recommendations. Enjoy your last day in China and be certain to pick up and forgotten gifts perhaps back at Shanghai Old Street.
Morning, drive to the airport. Your Shanghai local guide will see you off and wish you a speedy retrun to China.