Suzhou The Humble Administrator's Garden
Home China City Tours Jiangsu Tours Suzhou Tours China Tours Including Suzhou 6 Days Best Shanghai-Suzhou-Hangzhou Exploration Tour

Tour Overview

This 6-day tour will take you to three of the most popular destinations in the Yangtze River Delta – Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. As China’s most prosperous metropolis, Shanghai showcases its unique charms, from elegant gardens and water towns to soaring skylines, the historic former French concession, and the time-honored Nanjing Road. The high-speed train takes you to Suzhou to immerse yourself in the authentic classical garden landscape, and in Hangzhou to learn about the poignant love story of the West Lake by boat.

1. Feel the modern charm and traditional history of Shanghai by visiting Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Road, Former French Concession, and The Bund.
2. Enjoy your leisure walk at Zhujiajiao Water Town (the Venice of Shanghai) and Zhouzhuang Water Town (No.1 Water Village in China).
3. Step into the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the largest classical garden in Suzhou, walk around the ancient Pingjiang Road, and visit the Former Residence of Shen Wansan (the richest man in the Ming Dynasty).
4. Take a sightseeing cruise on the West Lake with a wealth of old sites such as Su Causeway, Gushan Island, and Xiaoying Islet.
5. Taste authentic Longjing tea at the Meijiawu Tea Village and learn more about Chinese tea culture.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Upon your arrival at Shanghai airport / train station, our local driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to downtown hotel for check-in. Free and easy on your arrangement for rest of the day.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Shanghai

  2. AM: At 08:30, our English speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from the downtown hotel. Your exploration in Shanghai begins with the famous Yuyuan Garden, which is a representative of classical Chinese gardens with elegant pavilions, old bridges, artistic rockeries, small ponds, etc. It was originally built by Pan Yunduan in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty for his parents to enjoy their old age in peace. The garden has gone through a lot in the over 400 years’ history. It was once deserted at the death of Pan Yunduan, restored by new owners, badly damaged during the Opium War, and reopened in 1961 after a lot of repairs.

    Nearby is the lively Yuyuan Market, wonder around here you can get everything from traditional Chinese crafts like chopsticks, fans, and pottery to local delicacies such as steamed buns, crab shell cake, and pork chop with rice cakes. Don’t forget to haggle for a better price.

    After that, move on your visit to Shanghai Museum( closed on every Monday ). The museum houses millions of collections and especially features bronze wares, porcelain works, paintings and calligraphy works.  Finish the exploration of history, stroll on People Square to have a glimpse of the daily life of the locals. The square now is most famous for its match-making corner where parents try to seek partners for their children.

    Shanghai Yuyuan GardenNoon: Lunch at local restaurant.

    PM: Next, come to the Former French Concession, the largest and most prosperous concession among all the four French concessions in old China. From 1849 to 1943, this area was ruled by France for almost a century. Here your tour guide will reveal a history of humiliation and you will see many old beautiful European style buildings which look very charming hidden in the shade of French parasol trees.

    Afterwords, come to the earliest shopping street in Shanghai-Nanjing Road. Your tour guide will point out the four time-honored department stores, Yong’an Company, Xianshi Company, Xinxin Company and Daxin Company, from which you can get a bit history of this commercial street. If you want to try some delicious food, the street definitely will not disappoint you.

    Last, enjoy your sightseeing in one of the landmarks of Shanghai - the Bund. You may not know that the area used to be a desolate tidal flat, but turned into British settlement and Shanghai’s financial center in the late Qing Dynasty. It is the perfect place to take great photos of amazing skyline. Make sure to bring your camera!

    Accommodation: Overnight in Shanghai

    Shanghai the Bund
    the Bund

  3. AM: Today you will enjoy and relax yourself in one of the most famous Water Towns in China - Zhujiajiao Water Town.

    Dubbed “the Venice of Shanghai”, Zhuajiajiao Water Town has a history of more than 1,700 years. Walking around the ancient water town, you will feel like traveling back to the Ming and Qing dynasties with elegant stone bridges across the rivers and plenty of old buildings around you. You can stroll around the streets to see as many things as possible, and you can optionally have a relaxing gondola ride to truly experience the charm of water town.

    Friendly Tips: Taking a boat cruise along the river is available and excluded. If you would like to take a cruise, please feel free to ask your tour guide for assistance ( optional ).

    Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.

    PM: After lunch, drive back to your hotel.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Shanghai

    Shanghai Zhujiajiao Water Town

  4. AM: Taking morning high-speed train to Suzhou, the train rides around 40 minutes. Upon arrival, our local English speaking tour guide and driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.

    Your splendid Suzhou tour begins with Humble Administrators Garden, an excellent example of classical Chinese garden. It enjoys equal fame with Summer Palace in Beijing, Emperor Kangxi’s Summer Mountain Resort in Chengde and Lingering Garden also in Suzhou as one of China’s four most famous gardens. In 1509 of the Ming Dynasty, the supervising censor Wang Xianchen resigned and went back to his homeland because of disappointed ambition in politics and spent 16 years building the garden.

    Suzhou Humble Administrator’s Garden
    Humble Administrator’s Garden

    Next, go for a walk along the Grand Canal to Pingjiang Road. You will have a walk on the Pingjiang Road to appreciate the old stone bridges and folk houses.

    Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.

    PM: Afterwards, continue your visit to Zhouzhuang Water Town, one of the most famous water towns in China. It is noted for its breathtaking natural beauty, the profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, and the strong local traditions and customs. One must-visit site is Former Residence of Shen Wansan. Shen Wansan was the richest businessman in Jiangnan during the later Yuan and early Ming dynasty. Your guide will tell you the stories of this legendary person.

    After the relaxing cruise, transfer to local hotel for check-in.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Suzhou

    Zhejiang Zhouzhuang Water Town
    Zhouzhuang Water Town

  5. AM: In the morning, taking high-sped train to Hangzhou. Upon arrival, Upon arrival, our local English speaking tour guide and driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and your exploration begins!

    No doubt that the first site will be the famous West Lake. West lake, as the symbol of Hangzhou city, is one of major freshwater lake for sightseeing. The lake area has been built and restored time after time, and it is definitely a great display window of Chinese classical beauty. Since it has been famous for thousands years, the whole scenic area could be crowded with visitors. Thus taking a cruise provides the possibility to get away from main crowds and explore the gentleness and exquisiteness of southern China. The highlight of the boat tour includes visiting Su Causeway which constructed by celebrated poet Su Dongpo in the 11th century, Gushan Island which was once the site of Emperor for entertainment in the 18th  century as well as Xiaoying Islet where to overview the Red Crab Pond.

    Later, continue your visit to Colored Port View Fish Garden.It has been thousands of years for Chinese people to breed koi fish and gold fish. You probably noticed that a classic Chinese new year symbol is a child holding large koi fish, sometimes gold fish, and lotus flowers, as koi fish and gold fish symbolize wealth and abundance in traditional way. At the fish pond which is a part of 300 acres of the large park, it is a relax to view hundreds of colored fish swimming around and searching for food as a group.

    Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.

    PM: Next, move on to Leifeng Pagoda, standing on Sunset Hill south of the West Lake, was originally built in the year of 975 during Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It collapsed in 1924 because of disrepair and was rebuilt in 2002. There is a moving love story concerning the pagoda between a white snake called Bai Suzhen and a man named Xu Xian.

    After lunch in a local restaurant, you will visit one of the most important cultural sights in Hangzhou - China National Tea Museum. Hangzhou is home to China’s most famous variety of green tea (long jing) and it has thousand years’ history of tea planting. For tea enthusiasts, the museum is educational and enjoyable. The Exhibition Hall displays the development of tea throughout the dynasties and traditional tea etiquette. Walking through the tea fields around main hall is several tea-houses where to sip a cup a tea and clear your mind.

    Later, continue your tea exploration to Longjing Tea Village. Longjing village is regarded as the origin place Longjing tea, the best variety of tea in China. In the nearly 800 acres of Longjing tea trees, you could close observe villagers plucking tea in fields, watch tea growers roasting tea with hands and sipping a cup of tea in person. One tip for buying Longjing tea is choosing early spring to purchase.

    Before returning to your hotel, you will make a stop at Guos Villa. Built in 1851, Guo’s Villa is a spacious complex which consists of two sections. The southern one, called Living in Quietness, is the main building and a small courtyard. The northern part, named Sky in the Mirror, is the garden. The lotus-covered pond, colored koi fish, drifting small boats all form an elegant Chinese style painting.

    Hangzhou West Lake
    West Lake

    Optional Night Activity: West Lake Impression Show

    After dinner, follow your guide to enjoy this amazing show on West Lake. West Lake Impression Show is a great combination of lighting, dance, theatrics and music. The narrative of the show is based on myths and legends of the West Lake. Through using the lake and its surroundings as props, hundreds of actors create a incredible performance. when you come to Hangzhou, spending a night to enjoy the dazzling show is a fantastic experience.

    Friendly Tips: The West Lake Impression Show does NOT performing in winter due to the cold weather, usually close from December 15th until March 15th of next year. If your travel date is near December or March, please contact your travel consultant before making the booking.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Hangzhou

  6. AM: Today, follow your guide to further explore the best of Hangzhou! The first stop will be the 1,700-year-old Lingyin Temple, one of the most significant Buddhist temples in China. Surrounded by spectacular limestone mountains and many old trees, the temple is very serene. You will follow your tour guide to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and explore the cultural relics. You may also spot squirrels jumping up and down in the trees.

    Next, go to Feilai Peak which stands just in front of Lingyin Temple. The peak composed of pure limestone differs greatly from the surrounding mountains. You will amaze yourself at the grotesque stones scattered everywhere, feel the charm of Buddhist art, and appreciate the vivid stone statues.

    Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.

    Hangzhou Lingyin Temple
    Lingyin Temple

    PM: After lunch in a local restaurant, move forward to Meijiawu Tea Village, with a history of 600 years, this village is well known for producing high-quality Longjing tea. Here you will see layers and layers of green tea trees all over the mountains, have chance to taste authentic Longjing tea, and learn more about Chinese tea culture.

    Hangzhou is a city quite near to nature, visiting Bamboo-lined Path at Yunqi is a great chance to get closer to a natural lifestyle. There you will get the tea fields, the tea, the local food, the villages and bamboo forest. Hiking is the lush bamboo forest helps to cool you down in burning hot summertime. You could even plan to spend a whole day long to explore this place. Along the one kilometer path are some of the oldest trees in Hangzhou (the oldest ancient trees are over 1000 years old) as well as meditation pavilions and pagodas where to take a rest. It is no doubt the unique journey will reward you with a peaceful mind.

    Afterwards, come to Southern Song Imperial Street for further sightseeing. It was originally the central axis of the capital in Southern Song Dynasty, the street extends from West Lake Avenue to the Drum Tower. After reconstruction, the architectures along the street is in a mix style of modern and traditional. Given the hundreds of food stalls and unique shops, it is a great place to kill one or two hours.

    After the relaxing sightseeing, transfer to the airport / train station for your departure.

    Accommodation: N/A

Price includes

  • 5 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
  • Shanghai - Suzhou high-speed train ( second class seat )
  • Suzhou - Hangzhou high-speed train ( second class seat )
  • 5 Chinese style lunch
  • Entrance tickets as listed in itinerary
  • Boat cruise in West Lake
  • Boat cruise in Zhouzhuang Water Town
  • Excellent English-speaking tour guide
  • Private transfers in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver
  • Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
  • Government taxes

Price excludes

  • China Visas / international flights
  • Any dinner
  • West Lake Impression Show
  • Boat cruise in Zhujiajiao Water Town
  • Any optional activity / battery car / shuttle bus inside the attraction
  • Our package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase commercial travel insurance before your trip for any unforeseen circumstance
  • Any item beyond “Price Includes”
  • Gratuities to guide and driver (recommended if you are satisfied with their services)
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