Begin with morning pickup from your central Shangai hotel, and settle inside your private, climate-controlled vehicle with your driver-guide.
Then, journey through Shanghai’s streets to Wuzhen, a water town set south west of the city, in northern Zhejiang province. Enjoy the scenes of Chinese daily life on route, and hear captivating tales about Wuzhen’s history. Built on the age-old Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal about 1,300 years ago, this now-restored town is characterized by waterways and historical bridges and buildings, including some dating from the Ming dynasty of the 17th century.
On arrival, set off to explore the charm-laden town on foot. Wander the narrow, cobbled pathways, cross stone-arched bridges, and stop for photos of the canals, flanked by traditional stores and teahouses.
After absorbing the romantic atmosphere and highlights here, visit a local restaurant for a Chinese lunch, and then make the short drive to Xitang. With a history dating back more than 2,000 years, this delightful town is split into eight areas by nine waterways, all linked by 104 ornate bridges, built in varying Ming- and Qing-dynasty shapes and styles.
Take a guided stroll down the ancient lanes connecting the bridges, houses, and waterways, and see Xitang’s unique, covered waterside roads. These roofed ‘corridors’ were originally built for the convenience of local traders, whose shops would have a roofed section extending to the waterside.
Learn about Xitang’s importance as a window into traditional life around the River Yangtze, and hear about the preservation projects in place to conserve it for generations to come. Plus, as you wander, see some of the sites used as locations in the 2006 movie, Mission Impossible III, starring Tom Cruise.
Lastly, return to Shanghai and finish with a central hotel drop-off.