4-Day Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Nanxun Water Town Culture Tour

Immerse yourself in Nanxun Water Town

4-Day Shanghai, Hagzhonu, and Nanxun Water Town Culture Tour

Shanghai and Hangzhou are two economic engines of Eastern China, however, they have totally different temperaments. What's life like in these two cities? Let's see…

Discover Shanghai's old and new on the 1.5-km-long Bund, feel its history and look into its future. Experience the real Hangzhou with its convenient AI life, and enjoy its classic scenery. Have fun in a less commercial water town and learn about traditional Chinese culture.

This tour is designed to take advantage of the 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

Tour Highlights

  • Find out the secret of Shanghai's progression by taking an in-depth Bund exploration.
  • Feel how smart Hangzhou is by exploring a new type of supermarket and using mobile payment.
  • Experience authentic Hangzhou life by having a boat ride and visiting a traditional Chinese medicine museum.
  • Have some cultural experiences, including making and trying your hand at the oldest form of Chinese printing.
  • Take a rowing boat in Nanxun Water Town and participate in a wedding on the water.

About China Highlights

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Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Shanghai Arrival, see Shanghai's Old and New

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at airport arrivals. A comfortable private car (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to the downtown area.

Start your journey with the iconic Bund. Follow your local guide into historical buildings, touch the old items, and find some clues to Shanghai's colonial past and development history.

You will have a chance to try shengjian (pan-fried buns) in an unassuming Michelin-starred restaurant, which the tourist crowds never find.

Get a unique "ticket" from your guide, board a public ferry with the locals, and cross the Huangpu River to the Pudong area — the financial engine of Shanghai.

Take the fastest elevator in the world up Shanghai Tower. There you will be able to stand at the top of Shanghai.

Hotel options:
Sunrise On The Bund
Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai, Bund view

the old building at the Bund the old building at the Bund
Day 2 Discover Shanghai's Past, Bullet Train to Smart Hangzhou
breakfast and lunch

In the morning, visit Yu Garden, which was built in the 16th century. It is like a peaceful oasis, hidden in the bustling metropolis. When walking in the garden, you will learn the meanings of its design and decoration.

Then, follow Shanghai's timeline to the 19th century for the former French Concession. A good proportion of Shanghai's colonial architecture has been carefully preserved there, and buildings even sport heritage plaques giving details of their history.

After lunch, take the bullet train to Hangzhou. Your Hangzhou local guide will meet you at Hangzhou East Train Station.

When you step of the train in Hangzhou, you will have entered a smart city — AI-controlled traffic system, world-leading payment methods, new-era retail stores… You can buy everything on your smart phone and get it as soon as 30 minutes later. Follow your guide to explore a new type of supermarket and find out how it can deliver goods into customers' hands in 30 minutes.

former French Concession former French Concession
Day 3 Tea Village and West Lake
breakfast and lunch

The best time to pick tea leaves is in the morning, so the first visit of the day is a tea village. Go with the tea famers and learn to pick tea leaves. Have a break at a tea famer's home, and discover the proper way to make tea. You will learn how the tea village has changed during China's history of economic development.

Have lunch in a tea-themed restaurant and see how tea is a part of Hangzhou's daily dishes.

In the afternoon, walk by the beautiful West Lake, then take to the water on a rowing boat. Listen to the interesting stories behind the sights of the lake.

Later you will visit a hundred-year-old traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy. There you can see various medicinal materials and observe how TCM pharmacists make up a prescription. Try a cup of healthy herbal tea.

In the late afternoon, enjoy a "G20 first lady" afternoon tea in a roof garden beside West Lake. Appreciate the porcelain, tea, and scenery.

West Lake West Lake
Day 4 Cultural Experiences in Nanxun Water Town, Shanghai departure

After breakfast at your hotel, prepare to interact with Chinese culture and to have a relaxing boat ride in Nanxun Water Town!

Nanxun Water Town is the most original and unique of such towns. It is full of life and culture, and less commercial than other water towns.

Take a rowing boat to visit the former residence of Zhang Shiming, a super-rich man of the late Qing Dynasty (1644–1912).

Have lunch at a local restaurant by the main canal in the water town. Take a break and observe the life there — you will see local women washing clothes by the canal and preparing lunch, and children chasing each other.

There will be a wedding performance on the water, showing you how a traditional wedding was conducted in the water town. If you like, you can take part and play the bride/groom!

After the dreamy experiences in Nanxun Water Town, we'll drive you to Shanghai Pudong Airport (or a train station etc.) and wave goodbye.

Nanxun Water Town Nanxun Water Town

Trip Notes

1. Customizing the Tour — According to Your Needs

This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary and extend or shorten it to suit your schedule.

2. 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy

A short stay (up to 6 days) in Shanghai and the surrounding cities is more convenient now as there is no need for a visa.

It's permissible to stay within the administrative areas of Shanghai municipality, Jiangsu Province, and Zhejiang Province for up to 144 hours. Contact us to find out more.

Tour Price

FromUSD 1,069p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling
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