Zen Gardens and Waterways

4-Day Shanghai off the Beaten Track Tour - China

Prices from £445 pp

red plane icon All prices exclude international flights at the start/end of your trip. Let us book flights for you. 

View day-by-day

Duration4 days / 3 nights (flexible)

LocationShanghai - Luzhi - Tongli - Suzhou - Shanghai

Suitable for families

Call us 01273 322398


Drift through lantern-lined canals and swing by traditional tea houses on your way to sleek and glitzy Shanghai. It’s a trip of eye-opening extremes, pitting the old world against the new. You’ll get a taste of traditional China followed by a flash of neon drama in Shanghai, a city packed with skyscrapers. First, you’ll get lost in the poetry of ancient China, floating along narrow waterways and wandering through a maze of cobbled alleyways flanked with red glowing lanterns. Then, you’ll hit the buzzing streets of Shanghai.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Train Tickets and Transfers, as described

Create your own holiday itinerary 1. Add at least 3 chosen trips to your travel plan 2. Send it our way 3. Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote

Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Shanghai - Luzli - Tongli

Arriving in Shanghai, you’ll be collected by your private driver for the journey to Luzhi, set on quiet rippling canals. You’ll see everyday life in full swing along the banks, stop in a traditional teahouse for a cuppa and sift through the small souvenir stalls.

Shanghai - Luzli - Tongli

After Luzli, you’ll continue to Tongli, another half an hour down the road. Another village perched on a tangle of canals; it’s full of local atmosphere and charm. Here, you’ll settle into your courtyard hotel, lit with dangling red lanterns. You can take a walk along the canals and try some traditional Chinese dishes.

lanterns hanging over street in beijing china

Tongli - Shanghai

Today, your time is your own before you leave for Shanghai. Make an early start to beat the tourist crowds that flood the town around 11am. Until then, you’ll feel as though Tongli is almost yours alone. The best way to see the town is from the water, so you can hire a local boat and explore the network of sleepy canals.

Tongli - Shanghai

In the afternoon you’ll be collected by a private driver to take you to nearby Suzhou, where you’ll hop on the high-speed train to Shanghai. The journey is an experience in itself. On arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel, located in the hustle and bustle of Nanjing Road, and a short distance from the well known Bund promenade.

Shanghai - Departure

You’ll have the whole day to explore Shanghai, watching life unfold on the streets, strolling between the skyscrapers and learning about its interesting past. Watch local practising Tai Chi in the park and wander past the stately mansions of the Old Quarter. You can spend the evening sampling local dishes and sipping cocktails in rooftop bars before leaving Shanghai the following morning.

Restaurant at colonial-style hotel on Nanjing Road in Shanghai
Man at Great Wall of China

Speak to our China specialist, Rob

"I was lucky enough to travel across China for two months and the more I explored, the more I loved; from its ancient towns to its futuristic cities. My top highlight has to be the mountainous scenery of Yunnan."

Combine this trip with

Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:

Or choose from our ready-made China itineraries

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