9 Days Shanghai-Suzhou-Hangzhou-Huangshan Private Tour
Shanghai is one of the top China tour destinations and also an important gateway city in China. Suzhou is well-known for traditional Chinese gardens, and Hangzhou is a city with glorious history and culture. Huangshan boasts the famous picturesque Huangshan Mountain and ancient villages Hongcun and Xidi. This 9 days China tour connecting the 4 beautiful cities to lead you to learn about Chinese history, feel the charm of Chinese culture, enjoy gorgeous natural scenery, and maximize your time at the best price.
Highlights of this tour: *Stroll on People Square and Nanjing Road to have a glimpse of the local lifestyle. *Enjoy the charming night scenery of Shanghai on The Bund or taking a Huangpu River Cruise. *Visit one of the four most famous Gardens in China—Lingering Garden. *Discover the most famous ancient water town in China—Zhouzhuang *Appreciate beautiful scenery in the West Lake which is listed on the World Heritage. *Appreciate the natural landscapes in “the most fantastic mountain in the world”—Huangshan Mountain. *Enjoy an in-depth visit to Hongcun, a dreamy little village with the mountains as its backdrop. *Stroll on Tunxi Ancient Street to search and bargain for trinkets.
When you arrive in Shanghai, our driver will greet you at the exit of airport/train station. Before getting off the plane/train, please double check your belongings to ensure you have collected all your stuff. The rest of the day is for your own arrangement. If you need any suggestions on your free time, we will be very happy to help.
AM: After hotel breakfast, the guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to Shanghai Museum. The museum houses millions of collections and especially features bronze wares, porcelain works, paintings and calligraphy works. Then you will move on to Yuyuan Garden. It is a famous classical garden which was originally built by the owner as a place for his parents to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age. Then, you will visit former French Concession, a perfect place to learn the history of Shanghai from 1849 to 1943.
Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.
PM: After lunch, we will move on to Shanghai World Financial Center which provides magnificent views of Huangpu River. Then wander around Nanjing Road to see traditional department stores and optionally try some authentic Shanghai snacks. The last stop is the Bund. You will admire buildings of various styles, enjoy the beautiful Huangpu River, and listen to your guide explaining its history. After a leisure walk at the Bund, escort back to your hotel.
AM: In the morning, transfer to catch the bullet train to Suzhou. After about half an hour’s train ride, you will arrive in Suzhou and see your Suzhou guide waiting for you at the exit of the train station by holding a name board. Your exploration in Suzhou begins!
The first stop is Lingering Garden, one of the four most famous gardens in China, sharing fame together with Summer Palace in Beijing, Mountain Resort in Chengde, and Humble Administrator’s Garden also in Suzhou. The garden was originally built in 1593 during the Ming Dynasty and was included in UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. In its over 400-year history, the garden was changed from hand to hand and was nearly deserted in the 1930s. Thanks to the local government’s great efforts, the garden was restored to its original splendor and we have chance to appreciate its beauty. Then we will head to Shantang Old Street. You will see the ancient residential houses (most of them are from the Late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China), elegant stone bridges spanning across the river, and shops selling handicrafts and local snacks.
Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.
PM: After lunch, we will move on to Tiger Hill where your guide will show you around and tell you the interesting stories about it. The hill got its name from a legend, after King Helu of Wu Kingdom died in a war, his son Fuchai buried his remains on this hill, and a white tiger sits here for 3 days. One of the must-see sites is Tiger Hill Pagoda, the second leaning tower in the world. It was built during 959 – 961 A.D., more than 200 years earlier than Leaning Tower of Pisa, and started to lean from the Ming Dynasty. Today’s last stop is Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory. The factory was founded in 1926 and has become one of the symbols of 2500-year culture of Suzhou where you can see the process of silk making from silkworm to silk. It is truly an eye-opening experience.
At the end of the tour, transfer to local hotel for check in.
AM: Meet your guide and driver at your hotel lobby in the morning and check out. Please pack your belongings in advance.
Today’s tour starts with Suzhou Museum. The museum was first established in 1960 based on the Mansion of King Zhong of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Its new building was designed by the internationally renowned architect I.M.Pei and opened to the public in 2006. You will follow your guide to appreciate the valuable collections including unearthed cultural relics, calligraphies, paintings and crafts.
Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.
PM: Then we will head to the ancient water town – Zhouzhuang, 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.
After visiting the water town, escort you to the train station for the bullet train to Hangzhou. Upon arrival, your Hangzhou driver will wait for you at the exit of the train station by holding a name sign and drive you to downtown hotel for a good rest.
AM: Meet your guide at hotel lobby after breakfast and transfer to the West Lake, one of the top sought-after scenic spots in China which have been praised by many Chinese literati. The scenery in all the four seasons is beautiful and worthy of visiting. Next we will head to Lingyin Temple. The temple has a history of about 1,700 years and is considered as one of the most significant Buddhist temples in China. You will listen to your guide about its history and stories, and admire various buildings. Then move to Feilai Peak which is a pure limestone mountain and totally different from the sandstone mountains around.
Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.
PM: After lunch, we will visit the first-class protected area of West Lake Longjing tea, Meijiawu Tea Village. The village is also the main source of the Longjing tea. Just walk around the village, smell the faint aroma of tea in the air, and try some fine tea. If you come here in spring, you even can join the locals to pick up tea leaves. Today’s last stop is China National Tea Museum, the only national museum focusing on tea and tea culture in China. You will be surprised to see there’s no wall inside the museum as if saying “We have no threshold. Everyone is welcome here”. You can learn history of tea and tea customs of different areas in China, and admire delicate tea wares.
After the whole day tour, you will go back to your hotel.
AM: Today you will take bullet train to Huangshan. In the morning, your Hangzhou driver will pick you up at the hotel and transfer you to the train station. When you arrive at Huangshan North Railway Station, your local guide will greet you at the exit of the train station by holding a name sign and transfer you to have a lunch and then visit Tunxi Ancient Street, China’s most well-preserved ancient street combining architectural style of the Southern Song Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. Just stroll on the street leisurely and appreciate the Hui-style buildings.
Noon: Lunch in local restaurant.
PM: After exploring the ancient street, take you to downtown hotel to check in. By the way, you can prepare something for the hiking in advance. Highly recommend you prepare some snacks to keep your energy up and bring a jacket even in summer. And don’t forget hiking pole, rain coat and comfortable shoes regardless of the time of year considering the mountain is notorious for rainfall.
After hotel breakfast, drive about 1 hour to the Huangshan Mountain. Upon arrival, you will take the shuttle bus to Cloud Valley Temple and then take a cable car up the mountain. Then hike to enjoy the beautiful scenery at North Sea, Beginning-to-believe Peak, Cloud-dispelling Pavilion and West Sea Valley. There will be many staircases that go up and down, but all the tiredness of climbing will be gone when you see the breathtaking scenery. If you are still in good shape and time & weather permits, you can continue to Sky Sea Scenic Area to enjoy gorgeous sunset at Bright Summit and explore Flying-over Rock. Please do not watch your camera or phone while walking.
Tonight you will stay at a hotel on the mountain so as to catch sunrise next day.
Today you will get up in the early morning to witness the incredible sunrise. When the mountain is still sleeping under starry sky, we will leave the hotel to occupy a vantage point and quietly wait for the thrilling moment. With the passage of time, the color of sky will change slowly. The sun finally show its head and the peaks are bathed in dazzling gold. After sunrise, we will go back to hotel and have breakfast. Then move on to explore Lion Peak which got its name from the look like a crouching lion. You will visit Dawn Pavilion and see an interesting rock called “Stone Monkey Watching Sea”. Then we will hop on cable car and descend the mountain to get back to Huangshan downtown. For the rest of the day, you can freely explore the city by yourself and have some time to recover energy.
AM: Today you will explore two wewll preserved ancient villages. More than 800-year-old, HongcunVillage is a typical representative of Hui-style building, mainly in black, white and grey colors. It was listed as World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. You will see many original residences from Ming and Qing dynasties here, among which Chengzhi Hall is an architectural masterpiece and enjoys the name of “Folk Forbidden City”. It has a lot of complex wood carvings with great artistic value. We will also stroll along the South Lake and absorb in the picturesque scenery.
Noon: Lunch on your own.
PM: Then move on to explore the ancient houses and 99 cobblestone-paved maze-like lanes in Xidi Ancient Village. When you arrive at the village, a magnificent archway, Hu Wenguang Memorial Archway, will stare at you at the entrance. The archway, built in the Ming Dynasty, is over 400 years old and has become a landmark of the village and a witness of the village’s history. You will marvel at the delicate stone carvings on it and how sturdy it is, still in good condition after so many years. After saying goodbye to the village, transfer to train station/airport for your departure train/flight. Our service will end here. Wish you a pleasant journey.
July and August is peak season for this tour when it would apply the high season. Chinese public holiday such as Chinese National Holiday would apply much higher price and you are not suggested to do the tour during these period.
Train station/airport pick-up and drop-off in Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Huangshan
Second-class bullet train tickets from Shanghai to Suzhou, Suzhou to Hangzhou, and Hangzhou to Huangshan
Comfortable transfers in air-conditioned vehicles with experienced driver
Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary
Boat cruise at West Lake
Cable cars up and down Huangshan Mountain
8 nights 4 stars hotel with daily breakfast
Professional English-speaking tour guides
One bottle of mineral water per person per day
5 Chinese-style lunches
Fuels, tolls and parking charges
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Arrival flight/train on the first day and departure flight/train on the last day
Guide service on the train
All personal expenses, optional activities and additional hotel services
The core of our service is excellent travel guides. Over 20 years, we have built up a considerable professional guide team that is knowledgeable, attentive and flexible. The most experienced and reliable guides will be arranged for your unique China tour. Our passionate guide team is full of contagious enthusiasm and keen interest to share culture and history in a pleasant manner. We are always glad at your service to lead you to explore a real China and experience authentic local life in China.
Our Driver and Vehicle
The first mission of our service is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable during your travel. The vehicles we use are air-conditioned, clean and well-maintained. Our drivers are all licensed drivers with many years of driving experience. Moreover, we offer free baby seats for families with little kids.
Food is a very important part of Chinese culture. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the real local Chinese food!
Buffet breakfast will be included in the hotel if you would like accommodation to be arranged by us. Having lunch at local restaurants close and convenient to the attractions you will visit, you would enjoy the local dishes in each city. Chinese style, Vegetarian or Muslim meals are all available. If you have any other diet requirements or allergies, please feel free to let us know, we will try our best to organize it.
For daily dinner, you are suggested to have it on your own when you are exploring each city in your own time, this way would be more flexible for you to choose food as per your interest and preference.