Day Trips from Hangzhou
By Viator, October 2013
If you only have time for one day trip, it should be to one of China’s ancient water villages, and there are a few within day trip-distance of Hangzhou. Wuzhen, one of several ancient water towns found south of the Yangtze River, dates back more than 2,000 years. Pedestrian pathways line meandering canals crossed by old stone bridges, earning the town the nickname “Venice of China.”
A full day tour of Wuzhen from Hangzhou will take you to the Hundred-Bed Museum, a wine workshop and a dye house where indigo-colored cloth is still being produced using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation. End your day with a leisurely boat ride through the winding canals.
Another of China’s water villages, Shaoxing, offers a completely different experience than Wuzhen. A day trip to Shaoxing from Hangzhou starts with an exploration of the town on a traditional Chinese gondola, followed by a visit to the serene Shen Garden and the meticulously landscaped Lanting Orchid Pavilion.
While most tourists to China visit Hangzhou on a side trip from Shanghai, it’s certainly possible to do things the other way around. On a day trip to Shanghai from Hangzhou, you’d be able to walk along the iconic Bund, visit the Jade Buddha Temple, have lunch in the French Concession and do some people watching in People’s Square.