East China Bullet Train Tour
5-Day Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou Bullet Train Tour
This tour offers a chance to see the 3 most important cities of the Yangtze Delta: Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. Connecting by bullet train, enjoy ancient and modern Shanghai, cruise on the romantic and heavenly West Lake, and stroll through ancient Chinese culture in Suzhou gardens and Tongli Watertown.
- Take the bullet train to explore Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou.
- Have a full view across the city of Shanghai from the highest building — the Shanghai Tower.
- Enjoy a relaxing boat-trip on West Lake and visit the beautiful island there.
- Appreciate the elaborate designs at classical Chinese gardens in Suzhou.
- Visit Tongli Watertown, the Venice of the East; smaller than Venice, yet exquisite and with some unique attractions.
About China Highlights
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!"
Wonderful Suzhou experience
We had another amazing tour with China Highlights. Cultural tour to Suzhou was so informative and fun with our amazing guide Mr Lin and our wonderful Wendy who brought us together. Many thanks to both of you! Looking forward to our next adventure. more
Your private guide will be waiting for you at the airport arrivals hall or train station. An experienced driver with a comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) will be ready to escort you to your hotel. Your guide will help with your hotel check-in. Have a good rest to prepare for your trip the next day.
Optional evening ideas
If you still have surplus energy in the evening, you can stroll along Nanjing Road, Shanghai's most popular pedestrian street. Or walk along the Bund to get a feel for Shanghai's magnificent modern nightlife.
- The oldest building on the Bund was built in 1846. It used to be the Richards Hotel, but is now the Astor House Hotel.
- There are 22 heritage buildings still on the Bund.
- Classic architectural styles on the Bund include Baroque, Gothic, and Romanesque.
- These used to be private gardens. They have over 400 years of history. For political reasons, their owner was almost killed by the emperor (see below).
- These were the most domineering private Chinese gardens, with five resident dragons. A dragon was symbolic of the emperor, and only emperors could use dragons as decoration.
You will have a Western breakfast at your hotel. Your private driver and guide will be waiting in the lobby after breakfast, prepared with drinks and map, ready to maximize your time.
Visit the archetypal traditional Chinese gardens, Yu Gardens, and appreciate their elaborate layout.
Get a feel for Shanghai's history by walking around the Former French Concession Precinct. Wander through the Bund to experience the combination of ancient and modern.
Have a bird's-eye view of the entire city of Shanghai, take the fastest elevator in the world, and stand on the highest building in Shanghai — the Shanghai Tower.
Meijiawu Tea Plantation
- This tea village is situated behind West Lake Park and is an important tea production base. Here you are in a beautiful natural environment. Just relax and enjoy the special tea culture. Taste the fragrant tea while appreciating the beautiful village scenery.
Your guide will accompany you to the train station in Shanghai. Sit back and enjoy a fast and comfortable bullet train journey. After an hour relaxing on the train, meet your Hangzhou guide at the train station.
Hangzhou is the birthplace of high-quality Chinese green tea –dragon-well tea. Visit Meijiawu Tea Plantation and learn the process for making tea.
Drive towards West Lake and pay a visit to Lingyin Temple, the most prosperous temple in Hangzhou. Then enjoy a relaxing boat ride on West Lake.
Take a bullet train from Hangzhou to Suzhou, and meet your Suzhou guide at the station.
Your first visit in Suzhou will be to Lingering Garden. This lovely little garden contains many exquisite designs. Look carefully on the ground, at the windows, and at the small gates. You will find many surprises!
Take a rickshaw and head into the narrow lanes of Suzhou’s old town. Observe local life by the ancient canal, and explore a food market.
In the afternoon drive 40 minutes to the Tongli Water Town, enjoy the lovely stone bridges and ancient architecture.
Optional evening ideas
Night Tour of The Nets Master Garden
Visiting classical gardens by night is a totally different experience from during the day.
Follow the staff’s guidance using lanterns, explore the quiet garden, and appreciate some traditional Chinese performances, including Kun Opera, traditional instruments, Pingtan (storytelling and ballad singing in the Suzhou dialect), and a tea ceremony.
Opening hours are 19:30-22:00, from late March to late November.
In the morning, your guide and driver will escort you to Suzhou train station, and you will take the bullet train back to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, from where you can easily return to downtown Shanghai.
If you need to go to Shanghai Pudong Airport, a shuttle bus is available from Hongqiao Railway Station. You could alternatively take the metro.
If you prefer a private transfer from Suzhou direct to Shanghai, please let us know.
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.
For example, you can add activities in the first day, or remove some attractions.
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 know more.