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Itinerary Name: 3 Days Essence Yangtze River Delta Tour (A) – Shanghai, Suzhou & Hangzhou
Day 1
One Day Tour in Shanghai
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:Not included in the quotation

Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel in Shanghai. Today your tour will begin with the visit to the 468m high Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong area (East of Huangpu River) which is the icon of Shanghai, ranks the 2nd tallest in Asia and the fourth tallest in the world. The Shanghai Municipal History Museum located at the ground floor in the tower is also a must for tourists in Shanghai. With 6 separate galleries, the museum shows the evolution of Shanghai in a period of 6,000 years. Then you will get to the West of Huangpu River to take a stroll on the Bund - the waterfront by the side of the river, with many elegant classical skyscrapers built in the colonial period.   

     

In the afternoon, you will get to the Old Town of Shanghai which is right by the side of the former French Concession and Huangpu River, to visit the Yuyuan Bazaar, Yuyuan Garden, one of the best typical Classical Chinese Style gardens in China and the Old City God Temple, the most famous city god temple in China and one of the most important religion centers for local Shanghai citizen.    

     

The next place you will visit is the former French Concession, include Xintiandi area, an upmarket shopping, eating and entertainment district composed of refurbished or reconstituted traditional early 20th century Shikumen ("stone gate") houses, narrow alleys and stone paved courtyards. With the Taiping Lake area right by the side of it, Xintiandi area now is also the most expensive place to live in China, with some apartments costing more than Tokyo, New York and London. It is home to the Chinese elite and top executive expats.

     

The Shikumen Open House Museum here presents Shanghai life as it was around the 1920s and 30s in a Shikumen-style house. There are about 7 rooms furnished with period furniture, includeing a Tingzijian, a small triangular room, sometimes rented out at a low price to impoverished writers and others.

    

The Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of Chinawhich has now been preserved as a museum is also in this area. The 1st  National Congress of the Communist Party of China took place on 23 July in 1921 in the house.  

    

Not far from Xintiandi area is Sinan Road (Old name Rue Massenet) which was built in 1912 and completed in 1914, in the memory of the famous French musician - Massenet (12 May 1842 - 13 Aug 1912) who was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music. Now in 16th arrondissement of Paris (also known as "Arrondissement de Passy"), there is still a same name road.  

 

Please click Sinan Mansions for more info about it.  

 

Further down this quiet picturesque street with pretty buildings and villas on each sides, now called Sinan Mansions, many elegant detached French style garden villas will appear in front of your eyes.  Many cafes, restaurants and Hotel Massenet are in these buildings. Built in 1920s, this community was designed by French architect and copied from the buildings in Biarritz, a famous beach resort by the side of Atlantic in the south France near Spain.       

     

Day 2
Discover Traditional Chinese Garden Arts in Suzhou
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:4-Star Hotel in Central Suzhou

After breakfast at your hotel in Shanghai, your private guide and driver will escort you to Suzhou, "The City of Classical Gardens", which is around 100 km / 2 hours drive to the west of Shanghai.

 

The first attraction you will visit is Tiger Hill, the No.1 Sight of Suzhou and the Tiger Hill Pagoda on top of it has been the landmark of Suzhou for over 1000 years. It is a large hillock and 36 metres (118 feet) in height. Climbing it, you will find a number of historical sites, some of which can be traced back over 2500 years to the founding of Suzhou. Although the hill is relatively small it has rich history. 

    

The next place to visit is the very center of the ancient Suzhou city, Xuanmiao Temple (Temple of Mystery) and Guanqian Street. Right in front of the temple, the east-west direction Guanqian Street is the most famed and important business pedestrian street in Suzhou. 

    

The east-west direction Guanqian Street in front of the temple

Built in 1179, The Pure Trinity Hall, the main hall of the temple. is the largest ancient wood structure in south China. In the hall stand three 17 m high, 900 years old, gold-gilded clay statues of the trinity San Qing (Three Pure Gods) for people to worship.     

    

Xuanmiao Temple (Temple of Mystery) &  the Pure Trinity Hall

Tourists can either take lunch in this area or in the nearby Pingjiang Historical and Cultural Street Block which is located on both sides of the Pingjiang River in the eastern of the ancient city and with an area of 30.66 hectares. It is the most typical and the best preserved historical and cultural street block in Suzhou. The street pattern has come into being since 13th century. The rivers, bridges, lanes, civilian residences, archways, temples, ancestral temples and halls exist all in harmony, forming an inseparable whole.        

     

Afterwards, tourists will visit Suzhou Museum, which has a vibrant collection of historical and cultural artifacts from Chinas ancient and as well as more modern past. The collection includes 30000 cultural relics - most notably for excavated artifacts, Ming and Qing Dynasty paintings and calligraphy, and ancient arts and crafts.

 

 

"The Pearl Sarira Treasure House" made in Song Dynasty around 1000 years ago in Suzhou

The last and the highlight of this itinerary is the visit to Humble Administrators Garden and Chinese Classical Garden Museum by the side of Suzhou Museum. Built in the early 16th century and developed over several centuries, the Humble Administrators Garden is the largest and most famous of the gardens in Suzhou and its many styles are representative of the history of classical gardening in Suzhou.  

 

Day 3
Explore the Beauty of Hangzhou,
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:No
After breakfast in the hotel, your private guide and driver will escort you to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province. It will take around 160 km / 2h30m on the way.


The exciting sightseeing in Hangzhou today will begin with the visit to the One of the oldest (build in 328 AD) and the largest Zen Sect Buddhist Temples in China - the Soul Retreat Temple and Peak Flying from afar in the front of this temple. Soul Retreat Temple was firstly founded in 328 AD and is a Buddhist temple of the Zen Sect located north-west of Hangzhou. It is one of the largest and wealthiest Buddhist temples in China. The Peak Flying from Afar is so-named because it is made of limestone, giving it a craggy appearance very different from the surrounding mountains. Legend holds that the peak was originally from India, but flew to Hangzhou overnight as a demonstration of the omnipotence of Buddhist law. The Hill contains pagodas and Buddhist grottoes, numerous religious rock carvings made since 1000 years ago.   

    

You will take lunch at downtown and take a walk on the ancient Qinghefang Steet and Zhongshan Street (the former royal street), pay a visit to an ancient Chinese herb pharmacy - Huqingyu Tang.     

    

Afterwards, you will get to the West Lake to walk on the Bai Causeway, passing “Lingering Snows on Broken Bridge” (the bridge and pavilion at the east end of Bai Causeway), “The Autumn Moon on the Calm Lake” – the small lake side garden with a spacious platform, grand building, pavilions and bridges, here it is commonly regarded as the best place to enjoy the West Lake. You will take a boat near the Solitary Hill to get to the biggest island – Three Pools Mirroring Moon.      

    

The last place to enjoy in Hangzhou is 9 Streams and 18 Gullies, Longjin (Dragon Well) Tea Village. Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies area is a picturesque valley of tea plantation with high mountains, lush forests and wandering routes. A stream running across the path in the valley many times forms an enchanting scenery. The end of the path is the Longjing Tea Village with many tea houses. The walk at it not only brings you through the enchanted land of tea - it leads you scampering through a stream, 9 times over.       

    

When day draws to an end, you will leave Hangzhou to come back to Shanghai. It will take around 3 hours on the way.