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Step into the shoes of dynastic high society as you discover Marco Polo’s ‘Heaven on Earth’. From the shores of the emperor’s beloved ancient lake, to the classical Chinese gardens of artists and scholars, this journey will transport you to a world away from modern city life.
A relaxing weekend getaway from bustling Shanghai, this trip will take you to the shores of Hangzhou’s picture-perfect West Lake as you learn just how the Emperor enjoyed sipping his revered Longjing tea. Step off dry land in the ‘Venice of the Orient’, where intricate stone bridges are lit by lantern light and admire the elegance of classical Chinese gardens that brought peace to the artists and scholars who strolled along their paths.
Arrive in Hangzhou • Spend the evening at your leisure.
Participate in a tea ceremony while surrounded by pagodas and placid waters in Guo’s Garden • Learn about the preferred tea of Emperors at the undulating “Dragon Well” tea plantation • Wander the calming grounds of Yongfu and Lingyin Buddhist Temples • Relax to the sounds of rippling water on boat ride across Hangzhou’s West Lake • Savor a dinner of local tea-inspired cuisine.
Rise early and travel to Suzhou, a verdant city which houses the lion’s share of China’s traditional Chinese Gardens • Wander through Zhuozheng Garden, a secluded sprawl of classical verdure created by an imperial historian seeking solace • Step into the Nets and Master Garden, a compact garden designed by fengshui masters • Take your time at the Suzhou Museum, a series of cascading white stucco walls, glass panes and footbridges spun together by the illustrious I.M. Pei • Unwind on a boat-ride along the Suzhou section of the Grand Canal • Return to Shanghai.
Situated by West Lake, the Four Seasons is decorated in traditional Chinese style mixed with a modern, luxurious feel.
The Peninsula has a strong art deco influence reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai with luxurious rooms, restaurants and a rooftop bar overlooking the Bund.