Shanghai Water Towns
The enigmatic Hanging Gardens of Babylon were possibly born of fantasy but nonetheless an inspiration to gardeners and plant collectors for aeons. The Chinese gardens in comparison were built by Chinese emperors and the Imperial Family for pleasure and to impress while the more intimate gardens created by scholars and poets were built for reflection and escape from the outside world. They created an idealized miniature landscape, which is meant to express the harmony that should exist between man and nature.
UNLEASH IT: DISCOVERING THE HANGING GARDENS OF CHINA.
This tour is focussed around the towns along the Yangtze and its tributaries including Shanghai and Guilin. The Yangtze River after passing through the three famous gorges forms a delta on China’s eastern coast. Shanghai is located on the Yangtze River Delta and is centred on Huangpu River. This tributary of the Yangtze River extends outwards, along which are located some of the beautiful towns of Suzhou, Huangshan and Hangzhou. The first part of the tour is focussed around these ancient towns near Shanghai.
The tour begins in Shanghai, known for its beautiful gardens. To the west of Shanghai lies the ancient town of Suzhou, praised as the 'Oriental Venice' and which still retains the unique characteristics of its past. Your private guide will explain the double-chessboard layout of Suzhou, and how its 'the streets and rivers and the water and land routes running parallel, are still preserved.
Next to Huangshan City, a region with a long history and splendid cultures. Huangshan presents a marvellous spectacle of rocky peaks, oddly-shaped pines, crystal-clear mountain springs and seas of clouds, each of which will put a shine on your tour of the city's environs. With your private guide and driver visit the viewpoint for Mt. Huangshan, the Yellow Mountain – the most beautiful mountain in China.
Continue to Hangzhou, an ancient cultural city with beautiful natural landscape and many places of cultural interest. Since ancient times, it has been known as a “Heaven on Earth” and thus become a final destination for holiday makers.
We return to Shanghai and then travel to Guilin, one of China's best known cities, famed for its beautiful landscape of limestone mountains, clear waters, caves and rocks. Take a boat cruise on the Li River and admire the passing picturesque scenery punctuated with bizarrely - shaped pinnacles, rice paddies and fishermen with their cormorants.
The second part of the tour starts and ends in Beijing, the ancient imperial capital of China. This city was the hotspot of the ancient Silk Road, linking the East to the West. Today, it is one of the most important cradles of ancient Chinese civilization. Explore the city with your private guide visit the Great Wall of China.
Max your Awim
Chinese people celebrate a lot of festivals each year. Most of these festivals take place on important dates in the Chinese lunar calendar. It is important to know which festivals to avoid, like the Chinese New Year when travel is difficult and which ones to attend, like the Dragon Boat and Shanghai Tea festivals held in May-June. Other festivals include the Shanghai Film festival in mid-Jun and the Shoton Festival, one of the most popular traditional festivals in Tibet held in the month of August.
One More Thing
We make no extra charge for festival add-ons or minor changes to hotels at the beginning or at the end of the existing itinerary. If you wish to customise this itinerary then please let us know your interests.
By Air. International passengers will arrive at the Pudong International airport (PVG) served by major airline carriers. It is approximately 45 minutes by car to the city centre but the magnetic-levitation train, with a speed of over 430 km/hr (267 miles/hr) takes less than eight minutes. If you are not staying in Pudong then it is faster and wiser to take a taxi.
Domestic travellers will land at Shanghai Airport (SHA) which is about 25 minutes from the city centre on the western side of Shanghai.
Hint: There are taxi touts at the airport who charge higher rates. Suggest wave them away with a bu yao, pronounced "boo yao" (No Thank you) and continue out of the door to the taxi line.
By Train. Shanghai is about 180 kilometres (112 miles) from Hangzhou. A bullet train zips here to Hangzhou in a smooth 90 minutes, while the new maglev is under construction.