9 days Shanghai Suzhou tour with Huangshan hiking adventure
This tour gives you a full glimpse of eastern China. The classical gardens of Suzhou show you not only the superb architectural skills but also reflect the Chinese appreciation for harmony and balance. Mount Huangshan, the masterpiece of nature dazzles numerous people with its unique features: the legendary pines, sea of clouds and hot spring. Less traveled but must see is the Zhouzhuang the Venice of Asia.
Just a sample of all the unforgettable stops waiting for you upon arrival in China.
When you arrive at Shanghai airport, your local guide will greet you and drive with you to the hotel. Once settled in choose between taking a rest or exploring on your own.
This packed day starts with a visit to Yuyuan Garden or Yu Garden to many locals. It is a Shanghai must-see attraction for domestic and international visitors. Only here can you catch a glimpse of a delicate Chinese classical garden within bustling downtown Shanghai. After if you want to taste some sweet local snacks, then head over to Yuyuan Market with your guide.
A short ten-minute drive from Yu Gardens helps you reach Shanghai Urban Planning Hall. Here, you can easily get a clear understanding of Shanghai's development and its future blueprint. Most people think they know Shanghai is big, but this put it all into perspective. You will be shocked to see this huge city model and the countless skyscrapers that complete Shanghai's skyline.
Rest in one of the nearby cafes, where you can choose to Shanghai, western or any other cuisine you like for lunch. After filling your tummy your guide will lead you to Shanghai World Financial Center Observation Deck. With a height of 492 m. (1,614 ft.), this tower yields an unmatched city view. Afterward, you will be driven to Nanjing Road, with the reputation as the busiest street in China, where you can see both Shanghai's old brands and first-class international brands like Prada on this modern street.
This morning is left for you to sleep in, or pick some spots that catch your eye, having experienced a bit of Shanghai. After lunch, you will head to the airport for a flight to Huangshan airport. Once arrived your local guide will greet you and provide an introduction to the Tunxi district. The rest of day is free for you to explore Tunxi Old Street or the famous Hu Kaiwen Ink Factory.
Morning drive to Mount Huangshan, where you will take the Yungu cable car to the mountain's summit. Mount Huangshan is on the list of UNESCO's World Cultural and Natural Heritage. At the time of the Ming dynasty it was said: "If you have come to Huangshan, you will find that no other mountain is worth of visit."
With an open heart you will experience the same feeling after your Huangshan tour experience. Among all the natural beautiful scenery, four are most unique: legendary pines, picturesque rockd, sea of clouds and natural hot spring. You will have a full day to enjoy its distinct scenery, take photos and enjoy a relaxing sleep on the summit at Beihai Hotel.
A Mount Huangshan Sunrise is a view you cannot miss, so set that alarm clock. Depending on the season get up in the 'early' morning and head upto Bright Summit Peak, the second highest peak on Huangshan, at 1,840 m. (6,037 ft.). From this vantage point you can watch the sunrise as it penetrates through the clouds and magically lights up Huangshan's Summit.
Once you have warmed up and felt the sun's raise, explore some of the noteworthy features of Huangshan including: Cloud-dispelling Pavilion and Flying-over Peak. When ready return to Beihai Hotel for a late breakfast. After start your decent down.
Driving from Huangshan to Shexian County stop for lunch and break up the drive a bit to stretch your legs. About a one hour drive to reach Shexian county, the cradle of Hui culture and Beijing opera. This city is known as one of the four best-reserved ancient cities in China. Embrace the charm and you can easily feel its cultural atmosphere.
One thing to prove its deep cultural connection to China is the ink slabs. The art of ink stone making has been famous for over 800 years, and the foundation of a whole style of art. Shexian County is famous for many things, including: "The She Ink slab" among the best in China, the "Hometown of Archways" for the thousands of arches scattered within the county and "Hometown of Tea" for the production of high quality tea in large quantity.
In the late afternoon, drive back to Tunxi to check email and rest for the night.
Today your will be driven to Yixian county, which will take about one hour. Being one of the oldest counties, it has existed for more than 2,200 years. It's a golden chance to experience the ancient countryside charm of China. Among its towns are Hongcun and Xidi, two of the most well know villages. Together they have both been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for culture.
Hongcun and Xidi Villages are both called national treasures for their well preserved Chinese ancient architecture and crowned as the Chinese epitome of traditional culture. Nearby Nanping another stop is equally as famous but less visited for its well-protected ancestral halls. Walking through these villages is like traveling though a painting made from traditional Chinese Ink.
These beautiful villages make numerous visitors want to linger forever. Then take the train to Suzhou.
Starting with the Humble Administrator Garden and Lingering Garden. Two of the four most famous classical gardens in China. They both presents the highest architectural skills of building garden.
What make these two gardens famous is not only their magnificent scenery but their cultural background. Many ancient Chinese poets, painters and calligraphers have lived in these gardens. As an inspiring place it is really an enjoyment to visit them. When you stroll about these two gardens, you can find their differences and which one you prefer more.
In the afternoon cruise on China's Grand Canal and feel more close to Suzhou, this important water way links north and south coastal China.
Depart Suzhou in the morning and start to head back towards Shanghai via Zhouzhuang. A one hour drive will help you reach Zhouzhuang a town Marco Polo called the Venice of the east. This beautiful water town is filled with crisscrossing waterway, where you can take a small boat and travel around the whole town.
Take a photo as you pass under stone bridges that date back to Yuan dynasty, over 800 years ago. Among them, the most famous is "Double Bridge", the painting which made Zhouzhuang rise to fame in 1984 after Deng Xiaoping saw this masterpiece on display in New York City.
Before heading back to Shanghai, check out the well-reserved ancient architecture of the Hall of Shen and Hall of Zheng.
Today, you will leave Shanghai by air. Your local guide will help you with your luggage and drive you to the airport. If you want to continue traveling China, WindhorseTour will be happy to design an extension that fits your travel needs.