Enjoy a privately guided shore excursion to the picturesque towns of Suzhou and Zhouzhuang while in port in Shanghai. On this day trip by private vehicle, stroll through Suzhou's marvelous Net Master Garden and view its Grand Canal. You’ll explore Zhouzhuang's waterways on a Chinese-style gondola and dine on a Chinese lunch. With an expert guide, observe the traditional daily life in these centuries-old towns, situated within the Yangtze basin – a trip to be remembered!
After your cruise ship docks in Shanghai, your guide will take you by private vehicle to Suzhou, one of the oldest Chinese towns established around 600 BC in the Yangtze basin. As you explore the lovely environs, you’ll see why this village is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ for its interconnected waterways. Your guide will tell you how Suzhou was one of the few cities in China to emerge from Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution largely unchanged -- including gardens that remained almost intact. Stop at Net Master Garden, an exquisite example of a Ming dynasty garden, and admire its construction as a microcosm of the universe in a confined space, reflecting harmonious Chinese principles. Next, head to the town's ancient city wall and view Suzhou’s Grand Canal before enjoying a guided tour of a silk-spinning factory. You’ll observe the ways Chinese silk has been produced since the 14th century, and then take a break for a Chinese-style lunch at a local establishment before heading to Zhouzhuang. When you reach the water village of Zhouzhuang, float through the charming waterways aboard a Chinese-style gondola, and admire the town’s well-preserved architecture dating back more than 900 years. Your guide will point out some of the 60 carved-brick archways and 100 traditional courtyards of the buildings still in use since the Ming and Qing dynasties. Observe everyday life along the waterways – where residents do everything from shopping from boat vendors to washing their clothes – before your day trip ends with return transport to the Shanghai cruise port. Before you make the booking, please check with your cruise company or your agent to confirm the name of the cruise port. There are 3 cruise ports in Shanghai and surrounding. They are Shanghai International Cruise Terminal at Dong Da Ming Road, Baoshan Port at Wusongkou, and Waigaoqiao Port. Choosing the correct cruise port is very important.