Start our tour with a 1.5 hour transfer from the modern city of Shanghai to SUZHOU which is praised as the “Venice of the Orient” for its world-renowned Suzhou Gardens. Upon arrival, take part in a morning bike ride around the narrow streets of the old town. Cycle along the cobbled streets and beautiful canals, visit some local houses with white sculpted wooden facades and black tile roofs, observe the daily life of locals.
Pedal towards the famous Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Master of the Nets Garden which are recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Chinese gardens generally take precedence over harmony rather than geometric patterns like many western gardens. As you walk about the gardens and along the walkways, you can often see beautiful flowers or plants through delicate windows which frames the scenery from a distance and draw you to a single sight, a moment of peaceful natural beauty.
After the visit to Suzhou, drive onward to the WUZHEN, one of the six famous ancient water towns south of the Yangtze River. Wuzhen offers a unique style that differs quite a bit from Suzhou. The small town, with houses made of black bricks and gray tiles contrasting sharply with the white walls, making it appear like a Chinese ink wash drawing. Though this small town has largely been restored, it still maintains its own charming identity. If time permits, enjoy a sunset stroll along the main canal, reflecting the red lantern-lit stilt houses alongside it.
Overnight in Wuzhen.
Continue the exploration in Wuzhen water town. The entrance fee for the village provides access to a number of major sites, which differ vastly in attraction. Depending on personal interests, the day’s plans can be altered, with a professional guide happy to provide guidance along the way. Below are some excellent day choices:
01. Wine Distillery Workshop: It is a distillery to display wine-brewing culture in Wuzhen. In Ming Dynasty, it produced Sanbai Wine, a famous alcoholic drink that pleases the palate with its soft, lasting mellowness.
02. Watch one of the brilliant daily performances at the flower drum opera (Huagu Opera). Enjoy Chinese classics performed by the local artists at the Chinese shadow puppet theatre. The shows provide the possibility to marvel at an ancient Chinese art form.
03. Watch the Martial Arts Performance that are held eight times daily on the Kungfu Boat. For those who’d prefer the visual arts of dyeing and printing, head to the blue printing atelier which explains the techniques used in the production of traditional Chinese clothing.
For those who’d prefer the visual arts of dyeing and printing, head to the blue printing atelier which explains the techniques used in the production of traditional Chinese clothing.
Head to ANJI, a town dominated by bamboo forests in western Zhejiang and renowned for owning the country's biggest sea of bamboo. It is one of the greatest examples of ecotourism in China. Upon arrival, stroll through the heart of this silent, emerald green forest. Along the mountain road, you could see bamboo sprouts were plucked and cooked by the peasants all the way up the mountain.
Continue onwards to HANGZHOU, the ancient capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279) and the current provincial capital of Zhejiang province. It attracts a large number of visitors with its enchanting natural scenery and rich cultural heritage.
Then pay a visit to the Longjing tea plantations. Home to one of the most prized and expensive teas in the world, these fields not only produce some of the world’s finest tea, but also are a visually stunning visit. During the stroll, there will an opportunity to meet a local tea producer who will be able to introduce different types of tea: green tea, black tea, Oolong tea, fragrant tea, white tea or even ancient ‘tea bricks’.
Overnight at hotel in Hangzhou.
Start the sightseeing today with a visit to the 8th century ‘West Lake’, which was recently added to UNESCO’s world heritage sites. A peaceful leisurely bike ride around the area will be the ideal way to soak in the natural beauty of West Lake. Curved bridges lead to small islands in the heart of the lake where, amongst other things, the charmingly romantic Quyuan gardens await. From here the ride extends into the hills near the lake where tea-leaf fields cover the region like an enormous green carpet.
Continue a little further west to Lingyin Temple, one of the best known Buddhist temples in the entire country, which contains a collection of Buddhist literature together with many other treasures. Here, you will stroll on a pleasantly green walk leads towards Feilaifeng, the 168-meter-high, unique limestone peak with marvelous caves, exquisite ancient Buddha statues and kinds of legendary stories.
After the ride, there will be a provided transfer to Hangzhou train station for a high-speed train back to SHANGHAI. End the tour!