Hangzhou & Suzhou: Heaven on Earth

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3 Days
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Hangzhou
Suzhou

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.

About this Journey

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.

What we love
  • Learning about the preferred tea of Emperors at the undulating Longjing (Dragon Well) tea plantation
  • Wandering through Zhuozheng Garden, a secluded sprawl of classical verdure created by an imperial historian seeking solace
  • Stepping off dry land in the 'Venice of the Orient to enjoy a boat-ride along the Grand Canal
Where you're going
Suzhou Hangzhou map
Itinerary

Day 1 Hangzhou

Arrive in Hangzhou • Spend the evening at your leisure.

 

Day 2Hangzhou

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.

 

Day 3Suzhou

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.

Recommended Hotels

Four Seasons Hangzhou

5 star

Situated by West Lake, the Four Seasons is decorated in traditional Chinese style mixed with a modern, luxurious feel.

The Peninsula Shanghai

5 star

The Peninsula has a strong art deco influence reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai with luxurious rooms, restaurants and a rooftop bar overlooking the Bund.

 
Details

Recommended seasons

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

What’s Included

  • All overland transfers with private chauffeur and in-transport refreshments
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide
  • Private chauffeur service to and from airport at start and end of your trip

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers
Why WildChina

We’re on the ground with you

Our team of advisors will design every detail of the trip with you through close consultation, then orchestrate your entire journey while on the ground. We’re in the same time zone as you, so we can fulfill requests and handle issues without a hitch. With over 40 staff in Beijing and an expansive network of operational partners across the country, we have the manpower to ensure your journey is safe, reliable and comfortable from beginning to end.

Your trip, your way

Flexibility is our highest-ranking compliment. We pull off journeys for pioneers with a 6-hour layover to Hollywood’s elite, and everywhere in between. Our team regularly pulls off unprecedented logistical feats; nearly any time frame or budget is within our realm. No matter how you wish to experience China, we are here to bring that dream to life.

We embody passion

WildChina guides are carefully handpicked for their knowledge and charisma, then meticulously trained to maintain our exceptional service standards. They are expert storytellers and passionate natives of the regions where they guide, having the perfect combination of local insights and service know-how to bring you seamless once-in-a- lifetime moments all across China.

The little things, the big picture

Supporting inspired local economies allows you to experience the soul of the destination, while also protecting and cultivating China’s artisanal culture. From watching artisans hand make shoes in Yunnan, to picking organic vegetables for dinner on a local farm in Fujian, our tours are designed to showcase and protect China’s heritage, both natural and human.