Explore sacred sites and cobbled alleys. Sample aromatic teas and wines. Uncover ancient China on a bespoke China water towns tour.

3 Days, 2 Nights     FROM CNY 6,463 PER PERSON

Spend 3 days discovering ancient cultures, dynastic strongholds and proud regional histories on a unique China water towns tour. You’ll travel to Suzhou, Wuzhen and Hangzhou tracing a historical path among ancient dynasties. Discover a network of canals and cobbled paths, learning about traditional Chinese dressmaking, Chinese gardens and Chinese teas as you go.

You’ll start your ancient China water towns tour in Suzhou, the most famous of China’s water towns. Hop on your bike to explore the old town’s network of canals and charming stone bridges. Discover two impressive traditional gardens before you continue on to Wuzhen, where you can see stilted houses on the lakeshore. On day two of your China water towns tour, you’ll have many activities to choose from, including wine tasting, a Chinese shadow puppet show or learning the art of making traditional Chinese clothing. Stop by a tea plantation and talk to a tea producer to learn about different Chinese teas and tea culture, then discover Hangzhou’s “West Lake” and the important Lingyin Temple before taking a high-speed train back to modern Shanghai.


“Imagine being taken on an enchanting adventure through ancient China. This tour does just that! You’ll be charmed, you’ll be wowed and you’ll be awestruck.”

K Lian, Backyard Travel China Specialist


Cycle over stone bridges, through cobbled streets and past charming traditional houses
Talk to a local tea producer and learn about the many types of Chinese tea
Enjoy a guided tour of Gongsheng Distillery
Learn the techniques used in traditional dyeing and printing of Chinese clothinghomage at the home of Mao Dun
Discover the secret story behind Lingyin Buddhist temple

*Your personal Travel Specialist will reply within 24 business hours.

Daily Itinerary


  • Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Shanghai - Suzhou - Wuzhen

    You’ll start your custom China water towns tour with a 1.5-hour drive to Suzhou, the most famous of the “Venices of China.” You’ll start your exploration of the old town navigating the narrow streets riding a bicycle. Discover the network of canals, stone bridges, cobbled streets and white, sculpted wooden facades of the houses. You’ll see locals go about their day and will notice that they often use the canal water to wash their clothes and clean their houses.

    Next, visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Master of the Nets Garden, two traditional Chinese gardens with miniature replications of nature. It is a popular belief that one should tend to one’s garden as one would tend to one’s soul. Gardening is typically practiced by retired scholars and rice merchants.

    Then, our China water towns tour continues in Wuzhen, just another short drive away. This town will give you wonderfully insightful glimpses into ancient China, with its wooden houses, cobbled streets and stone bridges making a picturesque landscape. Time permitting, enjoy a sunset stroll along the banks of the main canal where you will be able to see the reflection of the stilt houses in the water.

    Overnight in Wuzhen

    No meals included on this day

  • Day 2: Wuzhen - Anji - Hangzhou

    Your China water towns tour can be tailored to suit your interests, and today you’ll have a variety of different options to work into your itinerary.

    After breakfast, we’ll embark on a guided tour of Gao Gongsheng Distillery, an ancient distillery that still produces sanbai wine to this day. If you’d like, you can participate in an optional wine-tasting session. Be warned—just the strong fragrance of the wine could get you tipsy!

    Next, you can choose to watch a performance at the Flower Drum Opera, or a Chinese shadow puppet show to give you a further insight into ancient Chinese art forms.

    For literature fans, a visit to the ancestral home of Mao Dun, a famous 20th-century revolutionary writer, might be ideal. Or for the more hands-on, creative types you can visit the Blue Printing Atelier where you will learn the techniques used in traditional dyeing and printing of Chinese clothing.

    After the morning’s activities we’ll drive roughly 1.5 hours to Anji, where you’ll see the largest bamboo forest in China and a fantastic example of ecotourism. Since the start of the 21st century a new policy was put in place to preserve the natural heritage called “the three pures”: pure air, pure water and pure earth. On your visit you will be able to see how this policy has been implemented and also see that Anji has become an important producer of bamboo for Asia.

    Next, travel to Hangzhou, the provincial capital of Zhejiang province and the ancient capital of the Southern Song dynasty.

    On your way to Hangzhou, we’ll stop at the famed tea plantations of this region, the most renowned of which is the prized Longjing tea. The steep mountainside plantations make this visit a perfect photo opportunity. You’ll also have the unique opportunity to meet a local tea producer who will explain about Chinese tea culture and the different types of Chinese teas.

    Overnight in Hangzhou

    Meals included: Breakfast

  • Day 3: Hangzhou - Shanghai

    Start your Chinese water town tour today with a visit to the recently added UNESCO World Heritage Site of “West Lake,” a vast park of gardens, shops and pagodas. Each season brings new surprises and highlights to the lake. For example, locals say that in the autumn the moon is bigger and that it can best be seen from the “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” on Xiaoling Island.

    Hop on a bike and explore the beautiful area, which is a true symbol of traditional China. Explore the charming and romantic Quyuan Gardens situated on a small island in the middle of the lake, accessible by curved bridges. On the nearby hills you can see the tealeaf fields glowing emerald green.

    Your journey continues at Lingyin Temple, one of the most renowned Buddhist temples in the country. Here you will be able to visit the pagoda that stores the ashes of the monk who founded the temple, the 20-meter-high camphor statue of Buddha, and the impressive wall of figurines. Take a pleasant walk to see the Buddhist sculptures alongside and inside the caves of Feilaifeng, which were key in the introduction of Buddhism to China by a monk named Xuanzang. One of the most popular Chinese novels, Peregrination to the West, tells of the monk’s 20-year-long travels to understand and translate the sutras into Chinese.

    Leave ancient China behind as you catch a high-speed train to Shanghai, the end destination of your tailored China water towns tour.

    Meals included: Breakfast

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.




Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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