Be captivated by the charm and elegance of Suzhou and the style of Shanghai on this 5 day tour. Arrive in Suzhou and immediately see why this lovely city is a haven for traditional culture enthusiasts. Visit local iconic highlights, including the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou Museum and Tongli Water Town. At every turn, you’ll find idyllic scenes of wispy willows, traditional arched bridges, beautiful design, and more, that together confirm Suzhou’s place as a cultural capital. Enjoy a change of pace when you arrive in Shanghai for the final two days of your tour, taking in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Tower, and buildings and sections of the city that reflect the colonial influences of the city’s more recent past: the Bund, Shikumen, XinTianDi, and the Former French Concession. Inclusive of all four or five star accommodation options, daily breakfast, a calligraphy class delivered by a local artisan, all transfers, and wonderful English speaking guide, this is the perfect way to delve into two lovely cities with style at their essential heart. Why wait? Book now.
|Vehicle||Air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver|
|Guide Service & Language||Professional English-speaking guide|
On arrival at Suzhou train station, enjoy the welcome from your local guide who will escort you to the hotel for check in. Make the most of it on your first night here by stepping out. Your hotel is centrally located, allowing you to explore the surroundings, including the grand canal and other highlights in the area with ease.
Meals included: None
Note: Fancy a little Chinese operatic drama? We can help. Consider booking tickets for the famous Kunqu Opera, first performed in the 1600s, and now preserved as an intangible UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity. For a deep dive into the ‘mother of all Chinese drama’, ask us to arrange tickets for a performance at Zhenqu Garden of Shantang Ancient Street.
Today’s adventure begins with a morning departure when your guide collects you from the hotel lobby. The first stop is one of the most renowned and spectacular gardens in China, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in downtown Suzhou. Allow yourself time to reflect and feel at peace in this classically designed private garden. Wander through the picturesque landscape in which traditional architecture, hills, lawns, flowers and meandering streams harmonize the natural and build environment in poetic elegance. A contrast in style and history, enjoy the artistic features and architectural values of the Suzhou Museum, which houses the new building designed by world famous architect I. M. Pei, responsible for designing the Louvre Pyramid. It’s here that you will also find the historic site of Prince Zhong’s Mansion of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The relics found here are reflective of the ancient collections, in particular of the Ming and Qing Dynasties’ paintings and aircraft. Wander around the garden style museum, enjoying the opportunity to gain a sense of the historic and cultural significance of Su style gardens. Awe-inspiring scenery will have you reaching for your camera. Make your way to Jiangnan water town by visiting Tongli Water Town. Renowned for its well preserved old buildings, private gardens, temples and traditional dwellings, Tongli is a delight. The town’s location, surrounded by five lakes, makes for charming water scenes and a tranquil atmosphere. Feel free to wander the flagstone streets or stop in at a simple teahouse to savor the experience over a cup of Chinese tea. At the end of the day’s activities, you will be returned to the hotel in Suzhou.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Due to the closure of Suzhou Museum on Mondays, your guide may make some adjustments of your itinerary if your travel falls on this day.
Spend the morning exploring Tiger Hill, a large hill park steeped in legend and incredibly beautiful scenery. A particular feature is the leaning Tiger Hill Pagoda set in extensive gardens, trees and lawns scattered with antiquated pavilions and stoneware. Learn from your guide about how the beauty and tranquility of the park belie its history. Further on, visit the Master of the Nets Garden, a charming, classical garden of exquisitely laid out pavilions, rockeries, corridors, bridges and ponds, all designed in breathtaking harmony. Traditional dwellings here date back to the Southern Song Dynasty in 1174. A highlight of today’s tour is the opportunity for a half hour calligraphy class. Learn how this traditional craft forms part of China’s history and how it is preserved today. Enjoy the trip to Shanghai traveling by high speed train. On arrival, you’ll be welcomed enthusiastically by your local Shanghai guide and checked in to the hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Shanghai by night offers wonderful opportunities to experience the city. Consider taking in the acrobatic spectacular, ERA Intersection of Time, or get out on Huangpu River with a relaxing night cruise. Booking is easy. Just ask us!
Shanghai is truly an international city and you’ll understand why when you start your day by visiting the Shanghai Museum, home to over 140,000 artifacts. You’re welcome to wander on your own or walk with your local guide as they share their knowledge of Shanghai’s history and culture.
From the Shanghai Museum, you’ll move on to The Bund. Without question, there are few places that capture the intersection of commerce and culture quite like this iconic streetscape. Famous for its location in proximity to the trading centre of Shanghai, the Bund is an outstanding example of colonial Shanghai. Classically beautiful buildings that overlook the Huangpu River add to the old world feel. While shopping may not be your priority, it’s hard to miss the busiest shopping precinct in China, Nanjing Road. A wander through this seemingly endless shopping precinct will open your eyes to shopping in China-style. A place where big is better, you’ll find international brands and high street fashion stores pitched alongside quirky silk traders and tiny hole-in-the-wall shops selling every imaginable thing.
Visit the tallest building in Shanghai, Shanghai Tower. Rise to the top for a bird’s eye view of central Shanghai and beyond from here.
Make a worthwhile detour by visiting the Shikumen Museum in New Spot (XinTianDi) for a true taste of old world Shanghai. Be transported back to Shanghai of the 1920s and gain an insight into the daily life of people involved in trade and commerce during the period of the Former French Concession. Make the most of your afternoon by wandering the quieter streets of Dongping Road or Sinan Road in the Former French Concession, where you will find the essence of classic Shanghai captured in this historical retail and residential precinct. Wander past the former residences of famous Chinese politicians and artists and appreciate the architecture and gardens, the style of which date from this halcyon period in Shanghai’s checkered history.
Meals included: Breakfast
Start your day at a leisurely pace until check out, at which time you’ll be collected by your guide and driven you to the airport or the train station for travel to your next destination.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: If you would like to continue making beautiful travel memories in China, please let us know. Our expert travel consultants can assist with travel bookings and arrangements, including the purchase of train tickets and other tours. We offer custom, private and small group tours, with opt in and out flexibility. And we take care of every detail, so there’s no need to worry about a thing.
Inclusions / Exclusions
- Admission fees: to sightseeing spots and activities specified
- Activities specified in the itinerary
- Excellent professional English speaking guide
- Ground transport in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver as specified
- 4-Star or 5-Star hotel accommodation with breakfast, based on double/twin occupancy as specified
- High speed train of Suzhou/Shanghai (first class seat for Luxury tour, second class seat for Superior tour)
- Travel agency liability insurance during the tour
- Government taxes and fees.
- International/domestic flights and trains to Suzhou/from Shanghai
- China visa
- Gratuities to guides and drivers and any expense of personal nature
- Meals: Lunches and dinners are excluded allowing you flexibility around meal choices. Your guide is able to make recommendations and order for you, if required.
- Boat ride at Tongli Water Town
- Our tour package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance before your trip to protect for any unforeseen circumstances.
- This is a private tour for your group of family or friends. No other travelers will join you. It’s always available for your schedule!
- Smart casual dress and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
- Prices based on twin occupancy.
- The prices shown above are not valid during China’s Official Holidays (such as National Day and Chinese Spring Festival etc.).