East West understands that each client have different interests and preference. Listed below are tour and package selections that will help you in planning your itinerary. These items are grouped according to the type of experience you have selected.
Land transfer 1.5hours from Shanghai to Suzhou
Start at the Humble Administrator?s Garden or known as the ?Best of the Famous Gardens in Southeast China?. Built during the reign of Ming Emperor Zhengde (1506-1521), the garden resembles the natural scenes of southeast China.
Then explore the Lingering Garden with a long history of more than 400 years. In the Lingering Garden, buildings, trees and flowers blend harmoniously with their surroundings. Liu Shu, one of the previous owners, was an enthusiast for stone collection. He collected many unusually-shaped lake stones in the garden, among which Guan Yun Feng is the most precious one and gains honor for the garden.
Next, visit the China National Silk Museum which is the first state-level professional silk museum in the country as well as the biggest of its kind throughout the world. There are weavers showing the whole process and you can participate in the activity.
Later stroll at Zhouzhuang water town, the most popular and developed water town in China. The town is built amid canals, ponds, and lakes. What makes it special are the old buildings and bridges, boat rides, crafts, and the quaint water town scenery. Fourteen of these bridges were built in the imperial era about 150 years ago or more.
Lunch at local restaurant
Transfer back to hotel after tour. Overnight in Shanghai.
Zhouzhuang lies at the middle between Shanghai and Suzhou, is an ancient town of Kunshan city, Jiangsu province, where abounds with rivers and lakes. Approximately 2 hrs drive from Shanghai, this water town was thought by many to be the best water town in China. It has a history of more than 900 years old with many houses built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties; 100 houses with courtyards and 60 of them have arch gateways made by carved bricks.
The beauty of Zhouzhuang is specially to be found along the waterside lanes and around a number of the stone bridges. A different vista at every turn can be found here. One can enjoy the fairyland atmosphere of the evenings here when the myriad stars twinkle as though in communication with the glittering lights.
Several attractions can be visited at Zhouzhang as follows:
This attraction sets the standard for the town. These bridges are not exactly twins, because one, Shide, was first built in 1573 while the other, Yong?an, wasn?t completed until after 1619. However, both bridges cross just above the confluence of the rivers Yinzi and Nanbei and land on the same corner. Viewed from downstream, the combination of the round arch that makes up Shide Bridge and the square arched Yong?an makes the two bridges look like an ancient key. From there, they are also called ?Key Bridge?. The bridge or bridges became the face of the town.
With 19 stone bridges throughout Zhouzhuang, Fu?an stands out on account of its Yuan Dynasty heritage. It has been restored and rebuilt several times, the last being in 1855 when granite stairs and ornate engravings were added in the style of the Qing Dynasty. The name means ?Abundant Peace?, and is particularly picturesque because it?s built between two buildings that extend almost to the water surface. It?s especially charming to see from a boat below.
Not as impressive in size as the Shen Residence, the competing Zhang residence is much older, and one of the few remaining Ming Dynasty buildings. It?s just south of the famous Twin Bridges. Originally built by a relative of one of the Ming founders, it was later sold to the Zhang family, and hence its current name. Now it?s owned by the local government, and has been meticulously restored. It has a sprawling area of 70 rooms, and is unique on account of the Ming-style columns that make up its construction. It also has a free-flowing riverthrough the complex , which allows boats to go through.
Built in an aristocratic style during the early Qing Dynasty, this sprawling palace covers almost 2,000 m2 (21,500sqft) and is the biggest residence in the town. It is made up of over 100 rooms surrounding seven courtyards, and is divided into three sections: The water gate and warf; the Tea and Main Halls which were for receiving guests and conducting important ceremonies; and the living quarters. This residence is open to public.
Chengxu Daoist Temple
Located near the Quanfu Temple, this Daoist (Taoist) temple also dates back to the Yuanyou Period (1086-1093) of the Song Dynasty. It was expanded during the Ming and Quing Dynasties with donations from local wealthy traders and merchants until it became one of the largest in Jiangsu. The temple has three main buildings in a wonderful garden, and is surrounded by further pavilions. It is still an active place of worship and during the 22nd and 23rd days of the sixth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, there is a large celebration at the temple with traditional activities, customs and wardrobes.
Suzhou UNESCO world heritage gardens and nearby Chinese water towns present an open door for you to stroll into the authentic ancient China. Start your tour at the biggest classical garden in Suzhou, Humble Administrator's Garden. The Humble Administrator's Garden enjoys a great reputation and it is a must-see garden in Suzhou. You will explore its leisure area and residential area, which include gardens, bridges, kiosks and exquisite halls.
Have meal at a local restaurant
Land transfer 2 hours from Hangzhou to Suzhou.
Begin your tour at the one and only best preserved urban area of ancient Hangzhou at Qinghefang old street, a historical cultural street area located at the foot of the scenic Wushan Hill of southern Hangzhou.
Next, visit the Chinese Medicine Museum that imitated the style of southern garden and courtyard. The imposing structure seems to be a celestial crane standing at the foot of Wu Hill.
Next, explore Xixi Wetland park, a network of rivers, together with the Xihu and Xiling, Xixi wetland as an oasis in the urban area, it is honoured as the first national wetland park in China.
Then visit the former Residence of Mr Hu Xue Yan, one of the richest and famous businessmen during Qing Dynasty. His house is a complex of more than 20 buildings built in traditional Chinese style, with many pavilions, terraces, bridges, verandas, rockeries, all ingeniously designed.
Lunch at local restaurant. Transfer back to hotel after tour.
Suzhou UNESCO world heritage gardens and nearby Chinese water towns present an open door for you to stroll into the authentic ancient China.
Start your tour at the biggest classical garden in Suzhou, Humble Administrator's Garden. The Humble Administrator's Garden enjoys a great reputation and it is a must-see garden in Suzhou. You will explore its leisure area and residential area, which include gardens, bridges, kiosks and exquisite halls.
The Garden of the Master of Nets is only 1/6 of the size of the Humble Administrator's Garden, but it is the most ingenious classical garden in Suzhou. The smallest stone bridge in the city, Yinjing Bridge, is found in this garden. People only need 3 steps to cross it, so it is also called ?Three Steps Bridge?.
The best way to see authentic Suzhou local life is to take a rickshaw ride. The rickshaw driver will bring you through small alleys along the Suzhou canyon, and you?ll pass by primary schools, food markets, ancient wells and stone pagodas?
Different from classical gardens, take a boat ride at the Tiger Hill. This is not only a garden, but a combination of kiosks, pagodas, temples, pools, springs and bonsai garden. The hill has over 2,500 years of history, and has many interesting stories associated with it.
Transfer back to Shanghai after the tour.