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5 Days Shanghai & Suzhou Highlights Tour with Tongli Water Town

Collision Between Modern Shanghai and Traditional Suzhou

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As the biggest city of China, Shanghai presents China’s today with massive modern skyscrapers. Suzhou nearby conversely preserves the finest cultural treasures showing the brilliant past glory. This itinerary is particularly designed for you to make your Shanghai trip more diverse and interesting, from which you can discover the top highlights in the two destinations, witness the striking development of Shanghai and jump from urban bustle to peaceful and poetic water town and classical Chinese garden in Suzhou. The best essences are arranged smoothly with our help.

Highlights of this tour

  • Feast your eyes with an enjoyable trip in Shanghai, see thousands of marvellous cultural relics in Shanghai Museum, explore perfect blend of the West and the East in the Bund, view astonishing skyline of Lujiazui, capture city view from Shanghai World Financial Center on 474-meter-high glass way;
  • Stroll in poetic Tongli Water Town, see ancient houses lined along stone-paved paths, delicate bridges above the flowing waters and experience the authentic local life;
  • Appreciate the classic and exquisite Linger Garden of Suzhou, take a close look at the elegant ancient pavilions, halls, courtyards decorated with beautiful trees, flowers and ponds and admire the artistic architecture and aesthetics;
  • Learn Chinese silk culture with more interesting background details in Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory, spot the whole processing of silk making from silkworm breeding to silk cloth making.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Shanghai / Tongli / Suzhou / Shanghai
Travel Length:
5 Days and 4 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-SSHT-05
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulture
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Shanghai Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Shanghai, the biggest metropolis of China!

Upon arrival, meet your local tour guide and driver at the arrival hall of the airport/train station/cruise port and transfer to your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to rest and relax. If you want to explore attractions nearby, feel free to get practical suggestions from your tour guide.

Recommended Night Activity (optional): Watch an entertaining Acrobatic Show, including breathtaking “balls of death” acts, chair balancing, hula hoops, juggling of benches, walking in the air, and other breathtaking performances (usually performed during 19:30~21:00).

Shanghai Night
Day 2 Shanghai (B,L)

After breakfast, you will visit Shanghai Museum, one of the best museums in China. Conveniently located near the People’s Square, this large museum is designed and built with a round top and a square base which symbolize the ancient Chinese perception of the world as “round sky, square earth”, and mainly focus on Chinese ancient history and art. Over one billion cultural relics are exhibited inside, including precious bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, jade, sculptures, traditional furniture, seals and old coins from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing Dynasty. Da Ke Ding(bronze food vessel in over 3000 years ago), Bianzhong of Marquis Su of Jin (ancient musical instruments) are top treasures to visit. An Audio Explanation Device will help you better learn the facts and knowledge of the exhibitions.

Next, take a leisurely walk in the charming Former French Concession which was a special premier living quarter and retail district for expats in early Shanghai (from 1849 AD until 1943 AD). You will browse hundreds of beautiful old French and European style buildings, apartments, villas, boutique shops, restaurants of a wide range of culinary styles standing at tree-lined avenues. Located among the ultra-modern architecture complex, the Former French Concession is a heritage treasury, a significant window into the city’s up-and-down history and an excellent witness of the culture fusion of the East and Europe.

After lunch, visit the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC), “the Eye of Shanghai”, one of the most incredible skyscrapers in Lujiazui. With a height of 492 meters (1,614 ft), the tower is the second tallest building after the nearby Shanghai Tower (632 meter/2,073 ft). Ascend up to the 474 meter-high 100th floor observation deck, try a thrilling skywalk on the transparent glass walkway and enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the entire city, including the Bund, neighboring Shanghai Tower, Jinmao Tower and many surrounding attractions. Feel Shanghai lying under your feet and blue sky hanging above your head.

Later, get to Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s earliest commercial street and one of the most popular current landmarks. Lots of big name brands, restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops and towering buildings can be seen when you stroll around this busy pedestrian mall. Continue your walk to the Bund, the most iconic place of Shanghai. Stretching along the west bank of the Huangpu River, this 1.5km-long road was a simple towpath for transporting good but developed to the early “East Wall Street” in late 19th century. Most known as a perfect blend of the East meeting the West, the Bund mainly features 52 various European-style architectures praised to the Exhibition of World’s Architecture. Make a pleasant walk to see those western classical and modern style buildings and amazing skyscrapers of Lujiazui across the river.

Recommended Night Activity (optional): Take a relaxing Huangpu River cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets ablaze with colorful lights (about 50 minutes).

Da Ke Ding (Chinese Ancient Food Vessel) - Treasure of  Shanghai Museum Exquisite Chinese Artifacts Shop in Tianzifang 474 M High Glass Walkway in World Financial Center The Bund: Famous “Exhibition of the World's Architecture”
Day 3 Shanghai - Tongli - Suzhou (B, L)

After breakfast, you will be escorted 90 km (about 1.5hrs) from Shanghai downtown to visit the famous Tongli Water Town. This charming typical water town in China is very ancient of over 1,000 years old and well keeps its authentic old buildings, antique bridges and pure folk customs. Visit Retreat & Reflection Garden (World Cultural Heritage Site), Gengle Hall, the Three Bridges, the Pearl Tower, and other featured sights that are the highlights of Tongli Water Town. Afterwards, wander on the old lanes and walk on the stone bridges to get numerous wonderful sceneries of the ancient Tongli, also ride a scenic boat through the zigzag water canals of the water town.

After lunch at Tongli, drive 25km (about 35mins) from Tongli to visit Suzhou Museum, which is the masterpiece of the world-famous architect I. M. Pei who has built Louvre's pyramids in Paris, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the Miho Museum in Japan and many extraordinary buildings all over the world. While he was designing the Suzhou Museum, he combined the features of classical Suzhou Gardens with modern and fashionable characteristics. The museum has collected more than 40,000 decent items of ancient Chinese art, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy, porcelains, jade wares, handmade crafts, etc., from bronze ages to Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Accommodate at Suzhou City.

Tongli Water Town Suzhou Museum Architecture
Day 4 Suzhou - Shanghai (B, L)

Today, start with an interesting visit to Lingering Garden, one of the Four Greatest Gardens in China as well as the perfect representative of traditional Suzhou Gardens. The Lingering Garden has synthesized almost all the classic features of Suzhou gardens. It is composed of residential areas, shrines, family temple and garden, making full use of the changes between big and small, bend and straight, bright and dark, tall and low, tight and disperse, with the surrounding landscapes, such as plants, lakes, sky, etc. as backgrounds to create an ingenious system of space. Stepping into the garden, you will find the architectures, rockeries, corridors, pavilions, ponds and trees in Lingering Garden are all standing in the best place, neither too crowded nor too sporadic. The most incredible thing is that, in the same place, looking from different angles, you can enjoy different scenery. Making a step, you will get another feeling of another kind of scenery.

After visiting Lingering Garden, move on to next site Shantang Ancient Street, a wonderful place for a relaxing walking. It used to be an important trade and culture center during Ming and Qing Dynasties, and now is famous as “the miniature of old Suzhou and the window of Wu culture”. Enjoy the ornate water-town style architectures, marvel at the bustling streets and savor at local snacks.

In the afternoon, you will go to explore the most historical site in Suzhou Tiger Hill. The famous Chinese poet in Song Dynasty (960-1279), Su Shi, once said, “It is a lifelong pity if having visited Suzhou you did not visit Tiger Hill.” He was definitely right. The hill is only 36 meters in height, but covers about 3.5 acres areas with a number of historical sites some of which have history over 2,500 years. The most famous sites include the Yunyan Pagoda which is an over-1000-year-old pagoda with seven stories in height and famously leans much like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Sword Pool where the King of Wu, He Lu, tested and buried his treasured swords about 2500 years ago. Apart from the history, the Tiger Hill is also an amazing place to go for a walk, enjoy natural scenery and experience local custom. Next, transfer from Tiger Hill to Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory where you could not only see how the silk is processed from worm to the final product, but also learn some history and culture of silk in China.

After all sightseeing, drive back to Shanghai for accommodation.

 Lingering Garden Customer Suzhou Tiger Hill Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory
Day 5 Shanghai Departure (B)

After breakfast, your tour guide and driver will pick you up in your hotel, and take you to Jade Buddha Temple, one of the top three sacred Buddhist temples in Shanghai which famed for precious jade Buddhist statues. The temple was built by a Buddhist monk from Mount Wutai to enshrine two jade Buddhas invited from Burma in Qing Dynasty (1882 AD). Now it has been renovated to a Song Dynasty style temple worshiping a sitting Buddha (1.95 meters tall) originally imported from Burma, a reclining Buddha (4.05 meters, 6 tons) donated from Singapore and two smaller reclining Buddhas, Giant Golden Buddha statues, massive valuable Buddhist scriptures and ancient Buddhist sculptures. It’s a wonderful spiritual visit to see real monks chanting and endless pilgrims praying with serene and pure ambience hidden among modern blocks and bustling metropolis.

Finally, drive to Tianzifang, a unique popular tourist enclave remolded from a traditional residential block in the French Concession area of Shanghai. Intertwined narrow alleys are filled with small creative shops selling lovely souvenirs and plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s great fun to ramble through the maze-like area to appreciate the well-preserved traditional Shanghainese Shikumen (Stone Warehouse Gate) houses, see interesting novel art and handicrafts, savor a lazy open-air coffee time and try some local street food and feel the original Shanghai life vibe.

In the afternoon, your guide and driver take you to the airport/train station/cruise port for your next destination or home. Tour ends.

Elegant Sitting Buddha Brought from Burma Worshiped in Jade Buddha Temple Spend  Leisure Time at the Mazy Lanes of Tianzifang

Recommended Add-on Options

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West Lake Cycling Experience

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