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This 10 day tour begins in Hangzhou, famous for the West Lake - enjoy a cruise across the waters and take tea at a lakeside teahouse. Visit the restored Manor House of a Qing Nobleman before the Buddhist Lingyin Temple and its Hall of five hundred larger-than life-sized bronze statues. A drive to the foot of Mount Huangshan, Yellow Mountain, includes a visit to the Bao’s Family Garden to see an impressive bonsai collection. Ascending the mountain by cable car, spend the day exploring paths and temples and the changing view points of the mountain. Explore the UNESCO village of Hongcun with an array of decorative houses before a flight to Shanghai. See the ultra modern Shanghai skyline and the watertown of Zhujiajiao before your return home.
Air China Business Class upgrades on request.
10 days tour to Hangzhou, Mount Huangshan, Hongcun village, Shanghai and Zhujiajiao
Depart London Heathrow at around 2020 on the Air China flight to Beijing with onwards connection to Hangzhou.
Arrive Hangzhou transfer to the Ramada Haihua (superior room) for 3 nights.
Visit the Manor House of a Qing Nobleman, with its restored kitchen and traditional gardens of bridges and pools. Continue to the Cultural Street and visit the Ancient Pharmacy which is still a thriving and busy place. Afternoon visit to the Lingyin Temple, meaning "heart of the soul's retreat", this temple, west of the West Lake is an active Buddhist temple and one of the oldest zen temples. Welcome dinner this evening. (BD)
This morning enjoy a scenic cruise on West Lake, vieiwing the “10 scenic spots” around the lake - with poetic sounding names like ‘Lingering Snow on Broken Bridge’, and ‘Orioles Singing in the Willows’. Stop at mid-lake Pavilion or Xiaoying. Drive out of Hangzhou and visit a tea plantation. Evening attend the ‘Impressions of West Lake’ show. (BD)
Drive around 3 hours driving (250km) to the Chinese historical and cultural city of Tangyue. Visit Bao’s Family Garden which has a huge array of bonsai plants. The gardens were established centuries ago by Bao Qiyuan a wealthy businessman who had made his fortune in the salt trade. Much was destroyed in the Taiping Rebellion but was renovated. It occupies some 240sqm and is an example of the Hui style garden. Visit the nearby Tangyue Memorial archways. This impressive row of 7 arches stretch out on front of you – each is built to express loyalty and filial piety. They date from the Ming Dynasty, through to the Qing Dynasty. Continue to Huangshan City and stay at the Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng ( Deluxe room) for two nights with a late checkout. (BLD)
Depart to the cable car for ascending Mount Huangshan, the Yellow Mountain, one of the most sacred mountains in China and the aspiration of pilgrims over the centuries. Spend the day with your guide exploring the temples on the mountain and the changing view points as you take some of the mountain paths climbing through the forest of tangled pines. Dramatic jagged pinnacles emerge from thick bamboo forests above which rock faces are dotted with contorted pine trees that appear and disappear through the mountain mists. This landscape left an indelible impact on Chinese art, immortalised in intricate scroll paintings. (BL)
Leisurely breakfast before departing for a visit to the World Heritage village of Hongcun. The village evolved in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and retains over 100 old decorative houses built around a courtyard with separate secluded quarters for the wives and concubines and rooms devoted exclusively to opium and mahjong. Inside these ancient houses there are splendid wood carvings on the beams and columns. A visit gives an idea of earlier typical country life in South China. Enjoy dinner before visiting the Old Street in Huangshan City, lined with well-preserved traditional shops with decorative tiles, carvings and eaves. Late evening flight to Shanghai and transfer to the Central Hotel for three nights. (BD)
Morning at leisure. Afternoon visit to the Yuyuan Garden. These gardens were first created almost 400 years ago and occupy some five acres within which they contain the quintessential elements of a Chinese garden - pavilions, rockeries, pools, moon gates, latticed windows and small cloisters. Opposite the gardens is the Huxing Teahouse and the old Chinese quarter of Shanghai where cobbled streets are lined with traditional shops selling herbal medicines, handicrafts, Chinese tea and a variety of tantalising snacks. In the early evening visit the Bund, the main area of Shanghai famous for the colonial architecture and the illuminated buildings of Pudong across the Huangpu River. Enjoy a one hour boat trip along the Huangpu River. (BL)
Visit the picturesque canal town of Zhujiajiao. Explore the waterways and lively streets where colourful shops and eateries abound. Take lunch before returning to the main city and visiting the Jade Buddha Temple. Continue to the modern and contemporary art area of M50. Established in 2000 the styles are different from the classical scenery that was often inspired by Mount Huangshan with installations and street art showcased. Attend an acrobat show. (BD)
Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight with Air China flying via Beijing, arriving London later the same day. (B)
A great choice in Shanghai – of course very centrally-located, just off Nanjing Road. The Central Hotel is modern and smart with 319 good-sized, stylish rooms and cheerful and friendly staff. Bedrooms have cable and satellite TV, minibar, safe, internet access, air conditioning, and tea and coffee making facilities.
The Ramada Plaza Haihua is located just a short walk from the famous West Lake and close to shops, restaurants and entertainment. There is a fitness centre, heated indoor swimming pool, internet access and gift shop.
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