Architectural Tour of East China
Day 1 Arrive in Shanghai
Upon arrival, you'll be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 Shanghai (B, L, D)
We will take a walking tour of the old French Concession and International Settlement to see the European influence on this port city. The Shanghai History Museum is one of China's finest institutions housing precious relics from imperial dynasties to the colonial days. Later, we'll pay a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple. Located in the northwest of the city in Anyuan Road, the temple houses two Shakyamuni statues which the monk Huigen brought with him from Burma.
Day 3 Shanghai - Xitang - Wuzhen (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will drive for an hour and a half to Xitang, an ancient town that has retained much of its original architecture despite the urban sprawl from Shanghai. As we stroll the narrow streets, our guide will lead you through the town's history, pointing out the significance of each architectural detail and their place within the theory of Chinese Fengshui -- a key foundation of Chinese design. After lunch, we will drive for one hour to Wuzhen, a town famous for its charming old streets, tea houses and well-preserved buildings. The residents of Wuzhen often paint the walls of their houses black (wu in regional dialect) hence the town's name. A peek into old pawnshops and visits to local museums will give you an insight into East China's culture and folk art.
Day 4 Wuzhen - Hangzhou (B, L, D)
Hangzhou became the capital of the Southern Song when the invading Jurchen -- ancestors of the Manchus -- forced the Song out from its capital, Kaifeng, in 1126. Situated on the Qiantang river, the city was once a bustling and prosperous trading center until it was sacked during the Taiping Rebellion in 1861. In the afternoon we will take a leisurely stroll by the West Lake and visit Lingyin Temple, which is famous for its "Laughing Buddha", and visit Longjing village to sample its famous green tea.
Day 5 Hangzhou - Huangshan via Hongcun (B, L, D)
We leave Hangzhou in the morning and embark on a three-hour drive to Huangshan City (Tunxi), an old trading town located 70 km (44 mi) southeast of Mt. Huangshan. Huangshan's Old Street is lined with ancient wooden buildings from the Song dynasty, many of which have been converted into antique shops selling furniture and souvenirs. En route we will stop at Hongcun, a UNESCO World Heritage Site housing typical South Anhui architecture. The town is built along the banks of Nan (South) Lake -- a fine place for photographs of its traditional architecture. The water from the lake wraps around the houses and underneath your footsteps -- walking down the streets is like walking down an outdoor museum with richly decorated porticos and sagging rooftops, which are treasures in their own right. Overnight in Hongcun.
Day 6 Hiking in Huangshan (B, L, D)
Starting the day early, we will take a 1-hour drive to reach the foothill of Huangshan. We will ascend the western side of Huangshan by cable car, then begin our 7 km (4.3 mi) hike to the eastern side of the mountain. On our hike we will take in Huangshan's most spectacular vistas and reach its highest peak - Lotus Peak (6,115 ft/1,864 m). Huangshan is one of China's most famous landscapes, so be prepared to share the trails with others. While the scenery is truly striking, this is not the place to come for quiet contemplation! We will stay overnight at the summit, and weather permitting, take in a beautiful sunset and sunrise.
Day 7 Huangshan - Wuyuan (B, L, D)
After watching sunrise, we'll descend the mountain by cable car and begin our journey to Wuyuan, in northern Jiangxi province. On our less than 2 hours drive to the Jiangling rice terraces, we'll take in beautiful countryside scenery: ancient villages set in the mountains and valleys, rice paddies, tea plantations, farmers ambling down the road, water buffalo in tow. The landscape here is stunning - a favorite of photographers - and offers a genuine experience of what life is like in China's countryside. We'll spend the night in the downtown of Wuyuan County.
Day 8 Wuyuan - Tunxi (B, L, D)
In the morning we'll be visiting Likeng, an old village situated adjacent to a mountain and facing a river, the residences are characterized as Hui type beside streets along a river with white colored walls and black tiles and flying brims and outstanding ridges, forming a beautiful view of the river and streets at the river bay. The roads in Likeng extend in all directions with more than 40 streets and alleys constructed with flagstones, 9 bridges constructed with stone arcades and flagstones. We'll also visit Wangkou where now there are about 1700 people living, most of them have the surname Yu and are descendants of the Song dynasty official Yu Gao, who founded the village in around 1100 AD. The very impressive Yu family ancestral hall is rightfully regarded as an architectural and artistic treasury. In the afternoon we'll drive back to Tunxi, downtown of Huangshan City, where we'll visit the famed Old Street. Overnight in Tunxi or leave Tunxi after dinner.
Day 9 Tunxi - Departure (B, L)
City tour and then the trip ends so that you can take bus for Hangzhou or Shanghai around noon or in the afternoon.
Hotel Accommodations (based on twin-sharing)
||Central Asia Hotel ***
||Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel *****|
||Ziye Hotel ***
||Int'l Hotel ****|
||Joyor Hotel ***
||Hangzhou Sunny Hotel ****|
||Guangjiao Hotel ***
||Huangshan Int'l Hotel ****|
||Paiyunlou Hotel ***
||Beihai Hotel ****|
||Tianma Hotel ***
||Jiangwan Hotel ****|
Tour Quotation (per person)
||6 Pax or more
Low Season: December, January, February
High Season: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November
Note: The above package price includes local land transportation, accommodation, meals, admission and cable car fees (roundtrip) , special permit and English-speaking guide service throughout trip (See our guides). It does not include personal expense and/or gratuity to the guide and driver (See: Policy of Payment).