Idyllic Water Towns Tour

  • $ Idyllic Water Towns
  • Baths: Light
  • Sq Ft: 2-10

Grand Canals, Sublime Lakes, Southern Gardens

Shanghai • Hangzhou • Xitang • Suzhou

Tour Highlights

  • Experience cosmopolitan Shanghai, the city that busies itself with creating China’s future.
  • Built around the lovely shores of the West Lake, Hangzhou is an inspiring synthesis of modernity and nature. Explore the elegant gardens, learn the ancient art of Longjing tea cultivation and visit a traditional Chinese medical clinic.
  • Wander the old lanes of Xitang, and immerse yourself in southern water town culture. The picturesque canals and traditional stone bridges provide an evocative setting for the exquisite Ming and Qing architecture.
  • Garden art is one of the region’s most famous cultural expressions, and Suzhou is home to its greatest gardens. Here the Chinese literatis have integrated architecture, water and rock, and painting into a unified spiritual expression.

Trip Details


  • Itinerary
  • Day 1: Arrive Shanghai

    Upon arrival in Shanghai, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free.

    Accommodations: Shanghai Marriott City Centre
    Meals Included: None

  • Day 2: Shanghai

    In the morning wander the old French Concession with European style villas in the historic district. Tour historic Yuyuan Gardens, which is designed in six unique parts, making the garden seem much larger than it really is. It has one of the best Ming rockeries. Wending the zigzag bridge to Huxingting Teahouse is a delight. For lunch, enjoy delicious Shanghai dim sum at Ding Tai Feng Restaurant. In the afternoon take a walking tour along the Bund famous for its vintage colonial buildings of ‘20s and ‘30s. With stunning views of the modern Pudong district, the Bund also provides a window into China’s dynamic future. Take a boat ride on the Huangpu River. The evening is free and dinner is on your own.

    Accommodations: Shanghai Marriott City Centre
    Meals Included: B,L

  • Day 3: Shanghai

    Tour Madam Sun Yat-sun’s Residence and stop by the People’s Park where museums and grand opera house gather in the popular downtown. Visit the outstanding collection of art and artifacts at the Shanghai Museum where a soaring musical fountain draws you into a five-story granite structure in the shape of a classical tripod cooking vessel. The museum curator will take you on a private tour of special collections. After lunch stop by the Jewish Community Center and Ohel Moshe Synagogue. Walk lively Taikang Road with boutique galleries, shops and cafes. Enjoy dinner at Xi Family Garden Restuarant.

    Accommodations: Shanghai Marriott City Centre
    Meals Included: B,L,D

  • Day 4: Shanghai–Hangzhou

    This morning take the bullet train from Shanghai to Hangzhou. Hangzhou is the most elegant and beautiful city in China today. Marco Polo, a great devotee of Hangzhou (some reports say he was once governor here), called it “Paradise on Earth.” Upon arrival, tour the elegant Qing dynasty Guo Zhuang Garden and stop by picturesque Quyuanfenghe Park. Tour Meijiawu Tea Plantation and meet tea farmers who continue the ancient art of longjing tea cultivation, enjoy lunch at the Farmer’s home. Take a gentle hike up Gushan Hill by the West Lake. Traditional architecture, landscape gardens, pavilions and museums line up the hillside with a bird’s-eye view of the West Lake and Hangzhou City. In the evening wander lively Xihuxintiandi by the West Lake with fine dining and boutique shops.

    Accommodations: Shangri-La Hangzhou
    Meals Included: B,L

  • Day 5: Hangzhou

    After breakfast, stroll through Huagang Park with its lovely flora and fauna, so representative of southern Chinese elegance. Visit the National Silk Museum and learn the evolution of the ancient Chinese silk art, the process of cultivation, production and refinement. Visit a Chinese Medical Clinic in a traditional courtyard setting with acupuncture, herbal medicine and massage treatment. In the afternoon tour the beautiful Lingyin Temple, one of the earliest grand Chan Buddhist temples remaining in China today. Visit the grand architectural compound of the Qing dynasty merchant, Hu Xueyan. Countless courtyards lead from one to another, culminating in a grand garden with monumental rock and architectural design. Dinner is at a local restaurant featuring Hangzhou cuisine.

    Accommodations: Shangri-La Hangzhou
    Included Meals: B,L,D

  • Day 6: Hangzhou (Xitang Day Trip)

    After breakfast, head for the ancient water town Xitang (2 hours drive). Xitang is a beautiful old water town, formerly called “nine dragon old pearl” or “wind from eight sides.” Nine rivers converge dividing the town into eight sections. A well developed water town since Ming dynasty, Xitang is renowned for traditional mud-brick houses, cobblestone alleys and arched stone bridges. Today Xitang has maintained its natural beauty and authentic architecture. Return to Hangzhou for dinner on own.

    Accommodations: Shangri-La Hangzhou
    Meals Included: B,L

  • Day 7: Hangzhou–Suzhou

    Take the bullet train to Suzhou and check into the hotel. After lunch visit Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou’s largest private garden, and a representative of classical Ming gardening. The architectural design incorporates fishponds, long curved corridors with painted ceilings and elegant pavilions. The beautiful landscape is filled with trees and flowers forming a tranquil natural environment in the heart of the city. Stop by IM Pei’s lovely Suzhou Museum where modern design and traditional Chinese architectural styles are combined in a complementary way. Enjoy a boat ride on the Grand Canal observing old water town life along the banks. Dinner is on your own. In the evening walk the lively downtown market street. The old Pingjianglu Road with traditional courtyard homes, boutique hotels and galleries lining along the Baby Canal.

    Deluxe Accommodations: Pan Pacific Wugong
    Meals Included: B,L

  • Day 8: Suzhou–Shanghai

    This morning, visit Chengdu Panda Breeding Center beautifully landscaped with lush plants and lakes. Meet with 60 some pandas and their caregivers. The highlight comes at the kindergarten where panda cubs play with each other, climbing up and down trees, rolling and pushing and kicking like Kungfu masters. In the afternoon, explore People’s Park where the locals gather to practice Taiji, fly kites, or do synchronized dance. Visit Kuanzhaixianzi, a traditional district with restored courtyard houses from Qing dynasty. Lining the old alleyway, beautiful teahouses, art galleries, bookstores, boutique shops, and restaurants make this area a popular destination for locals. Head to the nearby Wuhou Shrine dedicated to the Shu Kingdom’s military strategist Zhuge Liang and Emperor Liu Bei, who ruled in the 3rd century during the Three Kingdoms period. Dinner at the famous Sichuan hot pot restaurant-Tanyutou. Afterwards watch a fascinating Sichuan opera performance including bian lan (mask changing) performance.

    Accommodations: Ramada Pudong Airport Hotel
    Meals Included: B,D

  • Day 9: Depart Shanghai

    Transfer to the Shanghai airport for your flight home or continue onto one of our post-tour extensions.

    Meals Included: B

Dates and PricesInclusionsExtension Tours


Call us at 888 333 2585 or e-mail to get started on your journey!

Pricing: (Main Tour, Double Occupancy)

$X,xxx per person
$X,xxx Single Supplement

Roundtrip International Air is available through Airtreks. For pricing, please contact Airtreks directly at 415-977-7136 or at


Main Tour Includes:
• Double occupancy accommodations in deluxe centrally located hotels
• All meals listed in itinerary
• Airport transfers and porterage
• All sightseeing, entertainment, and cultural activities listed in itinerary
• Chinese airport taxes
• All air and ground transportation within China
• English-speaking Chinese local tour guides
• China Advocates’ national tour director (with a minimum of 10 participants)
• Gratuities to local guides and drivers on main tour • Preparatory materials

Not Included: Domestic U.S. and international airfare • Gratuities to national tour director • Gratuities on extensions • Visa processing • Meals not included in the tour • Excess baggage charges • Travel insurance • Liquor, wine, & beer, and other items of a personal nature

The tour will operate with a minimum of 2 passengers and a maximum of 18 passengers.

Customize Your China Experience

Pre-tour Extensions:

Chengde Imperial Resort Extension – 5 days

Post-Tour Extensions:

Huang Mountains Extension – 5 days
Hong Kong Extension– 4 days
Yangzi River Cruise Extension – 5 days

Call (888) 333-2585 or (415) 334-4505
or fill out the inquiry form below to make a reservation or get more details!



Price:$Idyllic Water Towns
Square Feet:2-10
Tagged Features:

Listing Inquiry

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *