Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Zhouzhuang Water Village Tour from Shanghai. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
A great escape from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. We departed Shanghai around 2pm which allowed us to see Zhouzhuang both during the day and at night. Great way of doing the tour as the village completely transforms when the sun goes down and all the lights come on! Riding in the gondola was definitely the highlight!
An interesting tour away from Shanghai for the afternoon. It was a long drive (and heavy traffic), but the late start meant that we were able to see Zhouzhuang at sunset, with the lights on. We saw two different Chinese houses, many bridges did a gondola ride (with singing gondolier) and had free time to do a spot of shopping. A fun day out!
We were picked up at our hotel promptly by two charming local guides who spoke good English. There were only four people on the tour so it was very personalised and we got to interact with the guides. The village was very interesting as was travelling to it. Our guides were very informative and we were impressed with the whole tour.
I recommend this tour to anyone staying in Shanghai for more than a day. Strolling along the water and the actual ride on the water was great. Definitely agree to tip the lady paddling the boat to sing to you. It's unforgettable and you can really make there day my tipping them a couple dollars worth.
The tour is very good and the village is very beautiful. However, there are some points that I didn't like that much:
1. The trip takes 1 hour and a half, each way. And by the time the tour leaves your hotel (around 2PM) the traffic is quite chaotic in Shanghai for the first half hour. When you come back, around 5:30 - 6, the traffic is even worse. The tour company can't do anything about the traffic, of course, but they could plan it better to try to avoid as much traffic as possible.
2. The actual time you spend at the village is short, 1 hour or so. It makes sense because the excursion is "half-day" but still they could plan it better to spend more time there.
The good points are:
* Apparently the village was open to the public on 1995, which makes it one of the newest ones and more 'preserved'; thus, not SUPER full of tourists like everywhere else in China. Do expect some people though, it is China after all...
* The boat ride IS relaxing and cool. I was the only one in the tour (with the guide) and I felt it could be awkward, but it wasn't. It was just cool and relaxing just as they say in the description.
* You see old people in the village, living there. The atmosphere is great. The private house that the tour takes you into is very interesting and nice too.
No shopping stops and the guide had very good english. Overall a good experience!
Very interesting look into the countryside and at a bit of history.
Quite a nice place to visit, it really does seem like the 'Venice of the east'. Interesting alleyways and buildings but also with plenty of shops. Give it a try!
This is a very nice excursion to do from Shanghai. The place si very quaint and pretty, although a bit touristy. The organization was very good and the guide was friendly and dynamic. Recommended.
Very enjoyable, the guide friendly and language was not an issue.
Our experience was OK, the fact that it was a cold rainy day might have contributed to us not enjoying it too much. Unfortunately it is a 1 1/2 hour drive after getting picked up from the hotel and you only get about one hour in the village so most of your tour is spent on the bus to and from Zhouzhuang
I would have given it more stars except for the fact that on the return trip it took us 45mins from the first hotel drop off until our hit drop off. This could have been avoided by some communication from the tour guide. He had been quite good until the return trip when once on the van did not speak
There was not enough free time to walk around and shop in the traditional artisan shops. We were given a very rushed 10 minutes at the end of the tour to shop in one specific tourist area outside of the actual village (only cheap novelty gifts, nothing meaningful available to purchase). Also, our guide spent way too much time bringing us through historic areas of the village and there was not enough time on the actual gondola (our gondola driver did not even offer to sing). Our tour guide was very anxious and spent a lot of time yelling at us to hurry up during the short time we had to shop for souvenirs. Also, if you go to Zhouzhouang, do not go on a weekend as it was extremely crowded and hard to move around through the narrow passages. The village itself was beautiful and I hope to one day find a way back without being on a tour.