4 Amazing Short Trip Ideas from Shanghai

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Shanghai is known through the world for its impressive modernity and beautiful city landscape. From the amazing skyline to the old bustling bazaar area, there is always something to discover in this beautiful metropolitan city.

Shanghai is undoubtedly a tourist transportation hub enticing millions of visitors a year, but if you want to have a pleasant getaway from the high-rises and boulevards, then you may try these short break ideas of taking a side trip to its charming neighbors like Zhouzhuang Water Town, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Huangshan.

Zhouzhuang Water Town

Located around 80 km west of Shanghai, Zhouzhuang is known as the No.01 water town in China. This over-900 year old water town has become a trove of oriental culture with its simple and pristine custom, unique folklore, ancient stone bridges, canals, well preserved ancient residential houses and mesmerizing water town views.

Zhouzhuang Water Town
Zhouzhuang Water Town

“Zhouzhuang” literally means “Zhou’s village”, a village named after Zhou Digong. Zhou Digong was a pious buddhist. In 1088 during the Northern Song Dynasty, Zhou Digong donated his 13 hectares of land to the local Fuquan Temple as its temple property. Later the local villagers called the land “Zhouzhuang” (Zhou Village ) in appreciation for Zhou Digong’ generosity. Have a day trip to Zhouzhuang Water Town and back to Shanghai on the same day.

Take the long-distance bus from Shanghai Northern Long-distance bus station.
Entrance Fee: RMB 100 ( Click How to Visit Zhouzhuang for more information)
Enquiry: 4008282900
Complaint: 0512-57211654
Medical Care: 0512-57216107 (Day)
Medical care: 0512-57219990 (Night)

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Nicknamed “The Venice of the Orient”, Suzhou is located about 95 km northwest of Shanghai. The eight of the finest gardens in Suzhou along with one in the nearby ancient town of Tongli were listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for the art of Suzhou-style classical gardens. Suzhou tour is easily arranged from Shanghai by high speed trains.

Classical Gardens of Suzhou
Classical Gardens of Suzhou

The city is renowned for its stone bridges, rivers, lakes, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens which have contributed to its status as a great tourist attraction. Suzhou enjoys great fame internationally for its elegant gardens. It is said that the gardens to the south of Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them. Suzhou attracts numerous visitors both home and abroad every day.

For most visitors, getting to Suzhou by train is most comfortable and convenient. You may take high speed trains directly from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station or Shanghai Railway Station to Suzhou Railway Station ( about 30 hour’s train ride). Suzhou Railway Station is one of the largest stations in Eastern China after Shanghai and Hangzhou and Nanjing. It is located north of the city moat of Suzhou city. (Add: 27, Suzhan Road and Tel: 0512-95105105).

The Beautiful Landscape of Hangzhou

Located around 200 km to the southwest of Shanghai, Hangzhou is famous for its picturesque West Lake and June 2011, the West Lake Cultural Landscape was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its fame goes back to over 800 years ago when even Marco Polo called it “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world”. |

Sunset over West Lake
Sunset over West Lake

In addition to its picturesque West Lake, Hangzhou also boasts the ancient canals, lakeside temples and historic buildings. It has lots of local products, like silk, Xihu silk umbrellas, color-glazed porcelain, Longjing tea, and white white chrysanthemum,etc.

Many Shanghai leisure and business travelers would choose to make a day trip to Hangzhou when they plan a Shanghai tour. The best time to travel to Hangzhou is the period from April to October, when the trees and flowers of this garden city are green and in full bloom. A one-hour high speed train from Shanghai Plus 15-minute subway ride in Hangzhou takes you to the core of the scenic Hangzhou – the West Lake Landscape.

Daily over 50 high speed trains darting from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station (new station ) and Hangzhou Railway Station (old station). It is easy for you to arrange your Hangzhou tour from Shanghai.

The Charming Yellow Mountain (Huangshan)

Located around 400 km to the southwest of Shanghai, Huangshan is a world famous city for its marvelous mountain known as Yellow Mountain, or Huangshan in Chinese. You may get to Huangshan from Shanghai by overnight trains or flights for a 2 day return Huangshan tour.

The Beauty of Huangshan
The Beauty of Huangshan

Mt.Huangshan was listed as a Natural and Cultural Heritage site 1990. The nearby villages of Hongcun and Xidi were also named part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. In 2002, Yellow Mountain was named the “sister mountain” of Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps.

Today it holds the same fascination for visitors, poets, painters and photographers who come on pilgrimage to the site, which is renowned for its four magnificent views – granite peaks, rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds, featuring pine trees and unwinding hot springs. It is said that you won’t want to visit any other mountains after seeing Wu Yue ( the collective name given to China’s most important mountains), but you won’t wish to see even Wu Yue after returning from Huangshan Mountain.

Tip:  Hassle-free China Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for China guided tours:

Top China Private Tours
Top China Small Group Tours
Top China Train Tour
Top China Yangtze Cruise Tour
Top China Silk Road Tour

Further Readings

Top 10 Places to Visit in China
10 Fascinating Facts about China
How to Pack for your China Trip
Plugs and Sockets in China
China Tour Packages
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers 
How to Recognise Chinese Currency

Top 10 Travel Experiences in China
10 Most Scenic Drives in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Old Towns in China
The 10 Most Beautiful Museums in China
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
Top 10 Souvenirs in China

Any questions, just drop a  line.

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