Zen Gardens and Waterways
- Price from:
- 310 GBP /person
- 01273 322048
- 01273 732 791
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
Last updated: 03/18/2009
Combine a trip to Shanghai with a visit to the picturesque aquatic villages nearby. The canals,serene water gardens, Buddhist temples and red lanterns will take you on a nostalgic trip to days gone by
Shanghai - Luzhi - Tongli
On arrival in Shanghai you'll be picked up for the private 1 hour transfer to the quiet aquatic town of Luzhi. The most picturesque canals now also have souvenir stores on them, however in most side canals everyday life is in full swing. You'll see elderly men playing Mah-jong, half deteriorated house boats amidst water lilies, women hidden behind dark stovesâ¦. every alcove offers a new view. Every house has a dock, although this may not be much more than a set of stairs leading into the water at times. This is where the people who live here grow herbs, wash their clothing and store anything that doesn't fit into their small houses. Fish for dinner are kept fresh in a fish basket in the water. In short, you'll enjoy strolling around this town for an hour or so and then you can step into one of the old tea houses for nice cup of hot tea.
Eventually your mini van will take you to your hotel in Tongli, only 30 minutes further down the road, before sun sets. This aquatic town is also quite idyllic and charming. The red Chinese lanterns in the entrance gates and in the courtyard of your hotel will be lit and you'll probably want to go out to one of the restaurants nearby for dinner.
Tongli - TGV Train to Shanghai
Try to make an early start this morning; after 11:00 the Chinese tourists will start to roam the streets, but until then it's still quiet and you'll have a chance to see Tongli awaken. The best way to view the city is from the water. Early in the morning you can rent a boat and a steersman to take you through the canals for only 70 Yuan. The experience may be reminiscent of the Venetian gondolas, but obviously much less expensive. Narrow, uneven cobble stone streets and old trees line the canals.
Many buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties are still in existence, mainly because the town was too difficult to conquer due to all of the waterways. The first Floor of the Nanyuan tea house offers a splendid view of the canals and everything around them. There are three famous bridges in Tongli with names such as: Luck, Prosperity and Health. If you walk backwards over these bridges on your 66th birthday, rumour is that it will greatly improve your quality of life.
At 15:00 (check-out is in the morning) your public bus will depart to Suzhou where you'll catch a taxi cab to the train station. At 17:30 you'll head for Shanghai in a high-speed train. You'll see the countryside make way for apartment buildings and factory grounds in no time. After a while it will become dark and you'll see the lights on the many skyscrapers (Shanghai has twice as many as New York). On arrival at the Shanghai train station a transfer will be waiting to take you to your hotel.
Today you can sleep in and enjoy a late breakfast under the chandeliers. You'll need your energy for the evening. Spend your day shopping at East Nanjing Road, visit the (mostly busy, so find a quiet corner) Yuyuan garden or walk through the stately mansions in the old French quarter (Huahai road) and visit the Shanghai museum in the middle of the city. The museum is quite modern and approachable, however it is also very specialized and not everyone is an expert in Chinese porcelain, coins, stamps, drawings or furniture. It will however give you a newfound respect for the diversity of Chinese art.
Take the metro around 17:00 (please note: taxi cabs are not allowed to cross the bridge to Pudong between 16:00 - 19:00) to Pudong and walk for 10 minutes to Jinmao tower. This is the highest tower in China, at least for the time being. Go to the Grand Hyatt hotel and take three elevators to the 87th Floor, the Cloud 9 bar. A drink at the bar isn't cheap, however the view over the illuminated city is more than worth it the extra expense. After you've seen the sights and had a drink or two, take a taxi cab to Xintiandi, the place to be in the evening, for a trendy dinner. There are many stores and bars with lively terraces. All international brands are at the front of the menu.
Departure from Shanghai
Depending on your travel plans, you'll either check out of your hotel and fly back to the UK or you'll fly on towards your next Chinese destination. If you catch an international flight from or to Shanghai, you'll fly through Pudong airport. This airport is connected to the city through the fastest train in the World, the German Maglev (a magnetic high-speed wonder that can easily reach speeds of 400km per hour). Riding the train is a unique and fun experience; take a cab from your hotel and you'll be at the train station in 15 minutes (or vice versa).
- Inclusions -
- Transport and accommodation for three nights
- Exclusions -
- Meals and drinks, entrance fees, bus fare Tongli-Suzhou
Couldn't find what you're looking for? Check out more tours & excursions in Shanghai
- Experience Fabulous City 1 Day Highlight Tour of Shanghai - from 51 EUR
- Shanghai Private One Day Cultural Tour - from 110 USD
- Shanghai Private One Day Highlight City Tour - from 100 USD
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