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Itinerary Name: 5 Days Essence Yangtze River Delta Tour (C) –Wuxi, Zhenjiang, Nanjing,Yangzhou from Shanghai
Day 1
Shanghai-Wuxi
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:Overnight in Wuxi

At around 7 am, your private guide and driver will escort you to Wuxi from Shanghai. It will take around 140km/2.5 hours on the way.  

 

The tour in Wuxi begins with the visit to Turtle-head Peninsula Park by the Taihu Lake (Lake Tai) – the 2nd biggest fresh water lake in China, 4 times the size of Singapore. This park is commonly considered as the best place to enjoy the giant Lake Tai. Tourists will also take ship to visit some islands inside the lake.  

 

The next place to visit is Xihui Park. In the Park, tourists will enjoy the 2nd Best Spring in China which is located on the slope of Huishan Hill and found around around 1400 years ago, visit Huishan Temple which was built around 1500 years ago, Taibo Temple which is for the prince Taibo who got to this area from central China around 3000 years ago and is the origin of the Wu culture - the main culture in the southern Yangtze River Delta, Jichang Garden (Pleasure Garden) which was buit around 500 years ago.

 

Jichang Garden is one of the most typical Chinese gardens and famous for its garden arts - Borrowing Scene from afar. Inside this garden, you can find a pagoda on top of a high hill which is far away from the garden is also the part of this small private garden.

 

The last place you will visit here is Ancient Huishan Town, an ancient town by the side of Huishan Hill and Grand Canal. It is famous for it numerous ancestral temples. Now it is the key culture relics under the special protection of the central government. 

 

The tour in Wuxi today will be completed with the stroll at the ancient Nanchang Street by the side of Grand Canal, UNESCO World Heritage, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, which is the longest canal in the world. Starting from Beijing in the north and reaching Hangzhou in the south, it links the Yellow River and Yangtze River, two biggest rivers in China. The oldest parts of the canal can date back to the 5th century BCE, although the various sections were finally combined during the Sui Dynasty (581–618 AD). The total length of the Grand Canal is 1,776 km (1,104 mi). 

More info about Grand Canal at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canal_(China)

   

Day 2
Wuxi-Zhenjiang-Nanjing
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:Overnight in Nanjing

After breakfast, your guide and driver will escort you from Wuxi to Zhenjiang. It will take only around 150km / 2 hours. 

 

The 1st place you will discover is the beauty of No.1 Spring in China and Jinshan Temple at Jinshan Hill (Golden Hill). Occupying an area of 48 acres, Jinshan Temple was built on the Jinshan Hill in the middle of Yangtze River during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420 AD). But around over 100 years ago, because of the sediment accumulation, this hill was connected to the land. Jinshan Temple is the origin of Chinese most important Buddhism pujas of reading scriptures and practising abstinence. Jinshan Temple was once a royal temple in ancient China. Viewing the temple outside the hill, you will find that you can only see the temple halls but no hill. That is why people say the hill is embraced by the Jinshan Temple - it is very impressive on every tourist. By the side of the hill, there is the famous No.1 Spring in China - originally it is also in the middle of Yangtze River.  

 

Legends of Jinshan Temple: 

Jinshan Temple is familiar with most people in China by the moving "Tale of the White Snake". This legend was spread over generations through Chinese folklore. It depicts a fantastic love story of a magic Snake White thousands of years old reuniting with her human lover (This couple was once separated by the famous Zen Monk Fahai). This folk story has been adopted, edited and played in many Chinese folk operas, novels and movies. Today, visitors can see the statue of Zen Monk Fahai in Fahai Cave in the Hill. Though Fahai is a negative character in the legend, in the real history, he has performed meritorious deeds in the founding of Jinshan Temple.  

 

The next place you will visit is the ancient Xijing Ferry - a well protected old corner in Zhenjiang which was the ferry for thousand years by the side of Yangtsze River and a Stone Pagoda built in Yuan Dynast (1206-1368 AD), the best-protected and oldest stone pagoda in China , stands across the street. 

 

You will also visit the Junction of the Grand Canal and Yangtze River

 

Afterwards, continue to drive to Nanjing in this evening (around 81km/1.5 hours on the way). 

Day 3
Explore the Culture and Beauty of Nanjing
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:Overnight in Nanjing

Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu Province which is around 300km to the northwest of Shanghai. It is also one of the 7 most imprtant ancient capitals of China. 

 

You will start your sightseeing Nanjing with the visit to Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and  Mingxiao Mausoleum (UNESCO World Heritage), both of them are at the Purple Gold Mountain to the east of Nanjing. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was born in Guangdong Province on 12 November 1866, and died in 1925 in Beijing. On 1 June 1929, Dr. Sun was buried there. Sun, considered to be the "Father of Modern China" both in mainland China and in Taiwan, fought against the imperial Qing government and after the 1911 revolution, ended the monarchy and founded the Republic of China, the first democratic country in Asia. Mingxiao Mausoleum is the tomb for the founder of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). 

   

The next places you will visit is the Old President Office (or called Presidential Palace, used before 1949, during the Republic of China period),

 

Confucius Temple, South China Imperial Examination Hall and Qinhuai River. Enjoy the famous night view in Confucious Temple area by the side of QingHuai River at night. 

  

South China Imperial Test Museum (ancient Imperial Test Hall): 

In ancient China, only the person who can pass the Imperial Examination can have the right to be the officials. So this examination is very important. Imperial Examination buidlings, first built in Southern Song Dynasty(1169) here, is located in the east of Confucius Temple as a part. It was the country’s examination center at that time. When it came to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it possessed a vast area of over 20 thousand dormitories and a hundred offices. Its large-scale and vast occupying area enables it to be the largest examination site except Beijing. but now only the main part of it still exists here.   

Day 4
Nanjing-Yangzhou
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:Overnight in Yangzhou

Crossing Yangtze River, it will take around 100km/2 hours from Nanjing to Yangzhou by car in the morning. 

 

As an ancient city with around 2500 years history, Yangzhou has not been developed a lot as Suzhou and Hangzhou. Many ancient building blocks are still well protected and keep their original status. The first area you will visit today is 1122 m long ancient Dongguan Street and the best protected ancient Yangzhou area around it. The east end of it is the ancient East City Gate of Yangzhou and the ancient Dongguan Port by the side of the Grand Canal, the oldest and the longest canal in the world. The famous Geyuan Garden is also on this street.

   

Geyuan Garden was built during the period from the Jiaqing Reign to the Daoguang Reign of the Qing Dynasty (1796-1850 AD) by the Salt Distribution Commissioner Huang Zhiyun. The garden is about 14,000 square meters with a big pond in the centre. Its water-centred pavilion has been featured in many films such as Dream of Red Mansions. It is famous for its excellent collection of different types of bamboo and the garden design based on the four seasons of the year. In Geyuan Garden, bamboo and rocks are the principal elements. Different rockeries are made from different kinds of rocks to represent the four seasons, thus its name the ’four-season-rockery’. Geyuan Garden is unique in this aspect. The use of rocks and bamboos actually reflects the mix of grandness of South China and its delicacy in the garden. 

 

Afterwards you will visit Heyuan Garden, the largest ancient classical garden in Yangzhou, and the Museum of Guangling Kings Tomb in Han Dynasty (around 2000 years ago). The mausoleum is for the king of Guangling State (who is the son of the emperor) and famous for its mysterious coffin – Huangchangticou – the typical royal burial regulation for coffin at that time. This set of Huangchangticou is the most complete one in China and very precious. Huangchang means the yellow tharm which implies the cypress wood with yellow core. Ticou means piece together the wood with their heads to the inside. So totally, it means to piece together the cypress woods to form a very thick wall to surround the coffin. The total tomb were built without any nails – only combined by the mortise-tenon connection. If we did not find the last piece, we could not detach it. So the building of it is very wonderful.

 

Day 5
Tour in Yangzhou, Yangzhou - Shanghai
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:No

Today you will enjoy the ancient Yangzhou along the route which Emperior Qianlong once took around 230 years ago, to visit Imperial Port, Little Qinhuai River, Slender West Lake, Pingshantang Hall & Daming Temple. Then you will come back you your address in Shanghai. It will take around 4 hours on the way. 

 

The Slender West Lake is situated in the northwest of Yangzhou City and is the most striking attraction in Yangzhou. Originally a natural river course, the lake gradually became a scenic area following continuous harnessing through the dynasties. Narrow in shape, the lake is like a tall and slender beauty in comparison with the West Lake in Hangzhou of east Chinas Zhejiang Province. The beauty of the Slender West Lake lies in the meandering lake and simple and unsophisticated constructions. The lake is the typical of the Chinese water-based garden arts combining the grace and elegance of the south with the grandeur and magnificence of the north. Its known for its 24 attractions.   

More about Slender West Lake at its official website: http://www.shouxihu.com/  

 

Pingshantang Hall (Flat Hills Hall) & Daming Temple:  

Built by the Song Dynasty writer Ouyang Xiu. when he served as prefect of the city, this hall stands just west of Daming Temple. Looking out from this hall, the mountains to the south of the Yangtze River appear as a line at the viewers eye level, hence the name Fiat Hills Hall.  

 

Daming Temple is well-known for combining a number of attractions, including religious buildings, important historical sites and beautiful gardens. It is a national treasure with abundant history and culture. The temple was first built in the Southern Dynasties (457—464 AD), and it also had been renovated and expanded many times. 

 

Daming Temple is famed for its connections with Monk Jianzhen, a familiar name both to the Chinese and Japanese. Jianzhen was born in Yangzhou in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and firstly enrolled as a monk in Daming Temple where he made a great contribution to the cultural exchange between China and Japan during his journey and upon returning from Japan. Visitors can learn more about his life in the Memorial Hall of Monk Jianzhen, located to the east of the Maravira Hall.  

Moe about Daming Temple at the Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daming_temple