Discover Shanghai’s classically styled
Yu Gardens. Walk past carp-filled pools,
towering bamboo and exquisite rockeries
to discover the historical halls and pavilions.
Here the feng shui aspects of design are
all-important as the water, plants and
buildings blend in perfect harmony.
The Yu Gardens are at the heart of the
historical Old Town. This area is well restored
and features bustling pedestrianised streets
lined with shops, restaurants and the
traditional Huxinting Teahouse perched
on stilts above a small lake.
Suzhou is renowned for its Chinese gardens
and is recognised as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. The walled gardens aim to
recreate natural landscapes in miniature and
feature ponds, rocks, trees and flowers as
well as traditionally-styled pavilions. The city
is built on a system of waterways and you
can take a boat ride on the Grand Canal to
see why Suzhou is known as the Venice of
Historic Hangzhou dates back to the 6th
century and is one of the ancient capitals
of China. The central feature of the city is
the attractive West Lake with a shoreline
boasting verdant gardens, traditional
temples and inspiring pagodas. Take a
leisurely cruise across the tranquil waters
of the lake and in the evening watch the
spectacular West Lake Impression show
directed by Zhang Yimou, creator of the
Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
The cultural heritage of the city is best
preserved in the picturesque Temple
of Inspired Seclusion, one of the most
important Buddhist temples in China. The
colourful buildings are surrounded by
gardens, trees and rocky outcrops carved
with statues of Buddha. Also visit the Six
Harmonies Pagoda which is built on a
hillside overlooking the Qiantang River.
Mt Huang (Yellow Mountain) is one of
the most scenic areas in China and
has inspired generations of artists and
poets alike. It is famous for its granite
peaks jutting through the swirling
mist and pine trees protruding from
improbable cliff-face locations. Reach
the top of the mountain by cable car
and stay overnight near the summit.
From here you will be guided around
the network of well-made paths so
you can enjoy the breath-taking views.
The area around the base of Mt Huang
has been inhabited for hundreds of
years and has many townships dating
back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
An exploration of the villages in
the Anhui countryside such as the
UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Xidi
and Hongcun reveals traditional
architecture, ancient waterways and a
way of life that has changed little over
Shanghai’s colonial past is elegantly
displayed along the picturesque Bund.
A walk along the waterfront past stylish
buildings housing banks, hotels and the
customs house offers an excellent viewpoint
to understand the history of the city. Across
the river the skyscrapers of the futuristic
Pudong district dominate the skyline.
Boasting several of the world’s tallest
buildings, Pudong is the financial centre
Huangpu River Cruise
A great way to experience old and new
Shanghai is to take an evening cruise
on the Huangpu River. From the water
you can truly appreciate the differences
in styles with the classic and subtly
lit architecture of the Bund facing
the colourful and flashing displays of
Pudong. For many this is the highlight
of China's most vibrant city.
The area around Shanghai is populated with numerous historic towns characterised by their waterways, narrow lanes and stone bridges. Dating back over the centuries these water towns were important commercial centres linked to China's Grand Canal, the ancient trading route between Beijing and Hangzhou.
Wuzhen is a charming canal town that can be visited easily on a day tour from Shanghai. This popular destination is like a living museum and offers a glimpse into a way of life that has changed little over the centuries. Walk along ancient paved streets to discover the traditional shops and learn about local industries such as silk dyeing and rice wine manufacture. Other nearby water towns include Luzhi with beautiful canals flanked by weeping willow trees and architecture from the Song dynasty; Tongli, which features a Ming dynasty estate and a traditional Chinese Garden; and Zhouzhuang with its historic residences, temples and bridges.
Chinese New Year 2014
The Chinese Year of the Horse starts on 31 January 2014. See in the New Year in style on an exclusive Dragon Boat in the company of Wendy herself who will be leading the celebrations. As you board the boat on the Huangpu River you will be welcomed by costumed dancers and drummers before enjoying an evening of dinner, music and dancing. The night-time vistas of the historic Bund and futuristic Pudong will provide the perfect backdrop. To join this incredible experience, simply arrange your China holiday so that you will be in Shanghai for the night of 30-31 January 2014.
Winter is a fascinating time to visit China. While the temperatures may be colder, the days are often bright and crisp with clear skies. And there are certainly fewer other travellers at the major attractions. Most of the main destinations in China can be combined with Shanghai and the Chinese New Year celebrations or you can take this as a great opportunity to visit the famous Ice Festival in Harbin. See the Beijing section of this website for further details. Click Here