Cities of Eastern China + Mount Putuo 11-Day Discount Tour (CIT629)

CIT629 - PDF icon - 116 x 150 CIT629 icon - Chinese page - 150 x 150 CIT629 - PDF icon - Chinese - 116 x 150
Wuxi icon with text - 75 x 75 Suzhou icon with text - 75 x 75 Hangzhou icon with text - 75 x 75 Shaoxing icon with text - 75 x 75 Ningbo icon with text - 75 x 75 Putuoshan icon with text - 75 x 75 Shanghai icon with text - 75 x 75

Departing on June 29, 2012

Please note: As this is a discount tour, the tour guides featured on this tour are primarily Chinese speakers and are not fully proficient in English. This tour is recommended for Chinese speakers or people traveling with Chinese speakers.

Shanghai - Pudong skyline - CIT - 214 x 120 v2
Shanghai skyscrapers
(photo by CIT)

Day 1 (6/29): U.S.A. – Shanghai
Today you will board a plane bound for China, where you will witness the vicissitudes of China’s five thousand-year history.  Your tour will begin in the dynamic city of Shanghai.

Day 2 (6/30): Arrival in Shanghai
Today, after arriving in Shanghai, you will be greeted at the airport by CIT’s professional tour guide and escorted to the hotel where you will be staying overnight.
Shanghai Accommodations: Wujiaochang Holiday Inn 五角场假日 (4-Star) or equivalent

Yixing zisha (紫砂, purple clay) teapot by Cheng Jianming
An Yixing zisha teapot
(photo by Shouzen Zisha Teapots)

Day 3 (7/1): Shanghai – Wuxi (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will proceed by coach to Wuxi, nicknamed “Little Shanghai” and called a “land of plenty.”  Your first stop in Wuxi will be the lovely Li Lake Park, whose enchanting variety of flower gardens and “mountain-and-lake” scenery look like something out of a poem or painting.  Afterward you will tour a Zisha Teapot Museum, where you can admire and purchase stunning examples of the region’s highly sought-after “zǐshā” (purple clay) teapots, also known as Yixing teapots.  Then you will visit Three Kingdoms City, a re-creation of a Three Kingdoms-era town featuring architecture, costumes, and performances from the 3rd century A.D.  Finally, you will take a boat tour of Lake Tai, which is the most iconic symbol of Wuxi and is also famous for the freshwater pearls that thrive in its clean water and favorable ecological conditions.  Lake Tai boasts a vast expense of emerald water and peaks that appear and suddenly disappear in the lake mist, creating a magical, constantly changing scene.  You will stay in Wuxi for the night.
Wuxi Accommodations: Sujia Business Hotel 金龙商务 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 3 Attractions:

A Jiangnan-style garden and pagoda in Suzhou
Jiangnan-style garden in Suzhou
(photo by Kao Shiyang)
  • Li Lake Park (蠡园公园, Lí Hú Gōngyuán)
  • Zisha Teapot Museum (紫砂茶壶博物馆, Zǐshā Cháhú Bówùguǎn)
  • Three Kingdoms City (三国城, Sānguó Chéng)
  • Lake Tai (太湖, Tài Hú), including a boat tour

Day 4 (7/2): Wuxi – Suzhou (B/L/D)
After breakfast today you will head to Suzhou, famous for its classical gardens.  First you will tour Cold Mountain Temple (also known as “Hanshan Temple”), made famous by the poem “Anchored at Night by Maple Bridge.”  The temple grounds feature carvings, statues, and stelae reflecting the area’s rich literary heritage; a treasure hall; a bell tower; and numerous other towers and buildings.  Your next stop will be a visit to one of the four most famous classical gardens in China, the Lingering Garden, which features a variety of beautiful and interesting works of architecture and landscaping, as well as a distant view of picturesque Tiger Hill, with its famous leaning tower.  Afterward, you can take a leisurely stroll along Guanqian Street and enjoy its Qing Dynasty-era commercial street atmosphere, with many old and famous shops, before heading to your Suzhou hotel for the night.
Suzhou Accommodations: The Garden Hotel 园外楼饭店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 4 Attractions:

Hangzhou - West Lake - hilltop pagoda - Gustavo Madico - 187 x 140
West Lake, Hangzhou
(photo by Gustavo Madico)
  • Cold Mountain Temple (寒山寺, Hánshān Sì)
  • Lingering Garden (留园, Liú Yuán)
  • Guanqian Street (观前街, Guànqián Jiē)

Day 5 (7/3): Suzhou – Hangzhou (B/L/D)
Today you will head to the internationally famous city of Hangzhou.  You will visit Hangzhou’s iconic West Lake, situated between the downtown area and the surrounding hills.  You will take a boat tour of the lake and admire the magnificent views laid out along the shore in every direction.  Afterward, you can stroll around the lake and enjoy such famous sights and attractions as Red Carp Pond, Broken Bridge, and a view of Six Harmonies Pagoda.  Then you will proceed to Dragon Well Tea Village (literally, “Inquiring About Tea at Dragon Well”), another West Lake attraction, which will introduce you to China’s most famous tea, Dragon Well, or Longjing (龙井, Lóngjǐng) green tea.
Hangzhou Accommodations: St. Rich Hotel 圣瑞驰财富大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 5 Attractions:

Detail from a copy of calligraphy by the famed Orchid Pavilion calligrapher Wang Xizhi
Detail from copy of calligraphy by Wang Xizhi
(public domain image; photo source)
  • West Lake (西湖, Xī Hú), including a boat tour
  • Dragon Well Tea Village (龙井问茶, Lóngjǐng Wèn Chá)

Day 6 (7/4): Hangzhou – Shaoxing (B/L/D)
After breakfast in your hotel, you will proceed by coach to the culturally rich city of Shaoxing.  First, you will visit Shaoxing’s most famous tourist attraction: the Orchid Pavilion.  Once the home of the great Eastern Jin Dynasty calligrapher Wang Xizhi, this area is noted for its great beauty.  Afterward, you will tour the Former Residence of Lu Xun, the childhood home of one of modern China’s literary giants.  Lu Xun also resided and taught here for two years later in his life.  The last stop on today’s itinerary is Shen Garden, whose architecture and landscaping are replete with Song Dynasty characteristics such as densely packed sights and features, systematically arranged points of high and low elevation, and lush but carefully placed trees.
Shaoxing Accomodations: Qinwang Hotel 秦望大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 6 Attractions:

Lights along the river in downtown Ningbo at night
Downtown Ningbo
(photo by Taco Witte)
  • Orchid Pavilion (兰亭, Lán Tíng)
  • Former Residence of Lu Xun (鲁迅故居, Lǔ Xùn Gù Jū)
  • Shen Garden (沈园, Shěn Yuán)

Day 7 (7/5): Shaoxing – Ningbo (B/L/D)
Today you will travel by coach to Ningbo, where your first stop will be the famous Tianyi Pavilion, China’s oldest private library still in existence, as well as the oldest extant library in Asia and one of the three oldest family libraries in the world.  The Tianyi Pavilion’s current collection boasts around 300,000 ancient texts, some 80,000 of which are rare and highly prized.  In addition to these texts, the collection features many examples of painted and calligraphic art, stone inscription rubbings, and other examples of fine local handicrafts.  After your tour of Tianyi Pavilion, you will proceed to the nearby town of Xikou and the Former Residence of Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang’s birthplace, which features a cluster of buildings including a “great stove house” and a Western-style house, among others.  Most of the buildings here were built in 1946; the two-story Western house, situated next to Wu Hill and overlooking Shan Creek, was built in 1930.  Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek’s son, also resided here with his wife and son upon his return to the area.  Tonight, you will stay in Ningbo.
Ningbo Accommodations: Jiale Hotel 嘉乐大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 7 Attractions:

Beaches and hills on the island of Putuoshan
Beaches and hills on the island of Putuoshan
(photo by Don-kun)
  • Tianyi Pavilion or Tianyi Chamber (天一阁, Tiānyī Gé)
  • Former Residence of Chiang Kai-shek (蒋氏故居, Jiǎng Shì Gù Jū)

Day 8 (7/6): Ningbo – Mount Putuo – Ningbo (B/L/D)
Today you will head from your hotel straight to the docks at Zhujiajian, where you will board a high-speed ferry for your trip to the “Buddhist paradise” of Putuoshan.  There you will explore the island’s lovely and tranquil scenery.  Mount Putuo is one of the “four sacred mountains” of Buddhism in China, and is also one of 1,390 islands in the Zhoushan Island archipelago.  Mount Putuo is famous for its atmosphere of magic, mystery, and sacredness; its appearance has been compared to a green dragon crouching in the ocean, and the renowned poet Bai Juyi described it as “an enchanted sea-mountain from an ethereal realm.”  One of your stops on the island will be Puji Temple, known colloquially as the “First Temple.”  Situated at the southern foot of Lingjiu Peak on Baihua Summit, it was founded in the year 916.  After many years of misfortune and prosperity, the Kangxi Emperor issued an edict that it be rebuilt during an inspection tour around southern China, and later also bestowed upon it the honorific “Universal Savior of Many Souls.”  After touring the temple, you will then visit the Purple Bamboo Forest, a cluster of rock formations that takes its name from the color of the stone, cross-sections of which reveal cypress and bamboo leaf-like patterns.  After your tour of the island concludes, you will return to downtown Ningbo, where you will spend another night.
Day 8 Attractions:

A temple and lake on the island of Putuoshan
Lake and temple in the “Buddhist paradise” of Putuoshan
(photo by Llee Wu)
  • Mount Putuo (普陀山, Pǔtuóshān)
  • Puji Temple (普济寺, Pǔjì Sì)
  • Purple Bamboo Forest (紫竹林, Zǐzhúlín)

Day 9 (7/7): Ningbo – Shanghai (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will travel by coach to Shanghai.  Along the way you pass over the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, which at 22 miles long is the world’s longest trans-oceanic bridge.  Upon your arrival in Shanghai, you will visit lively Old Town and its Temple of the Town Gods Shopping Center.  Then you can get a sense of the changes Shanghai has undergone in the last century as you take an evening stroll along bustling Nanjing Road and admire the old European buildings, left over from colonial days, that line the Huangpu River at the Bund.  There you can also enjoy the stunning sight of an imposing cluster of modern skyscrapers across the river in Pudong, an area that, though it seems impossible, was still mostly farmland just twenty years ago.
Shanghai Accommodations: Wujiaochang Holiday Inn 五角场假日 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 9 Attractions:

Shanghai - Old Street - skyscrapers - D. Fuka - 210 x 140
Old Town, Shanghai
(photo by D. Fuka)
  • Old Town (老城市, Lǎo Chéngshì) or Old Street (老街, Lǎo Jiē)
  • Temple of the Town Gods Shopping Center (城隍庙商圈, Chénghuáng Miào Shāngquān)
  • Nanjing Road (南京路, Nánjīng Lù)
  • The Bund (外滩, Wàitān)
  • view of Pudong (浦東, Pǔdōng)

Day 10 (7/8): Shanghai (B)
Today you have an open itinerary, a free day to go shopping, explore the vast, cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, and do whatever you please!  If you would like some recommendations on places to visit and restaurants to try, please feel free ask us or your tour guide.  You can also visit our website to peruse our other tour itineraries featuring Shanghai or our Shanghai Photo Gallery and Information Page.

Day 11 (7/9): Shanghai – U.S.A. (B)
Today you will say goodbye to Shanghai as you transfer to the airport by coach for your trip back to the United States and home, sweet home!

Total Price (including tax): $1899

Departure Date: 6/29/2012

Extra charge for single occupancy: $250/person

Please note:

  1. Only Chinese-speaking tour guides are provided on this tour.
  2. This tour departs from San Francisco (SFO) only.
  3. There is no discount for children not requesting a separate bed on this tour.
  4. Once your booking is confirmed, no changes can be made within 30 days of the departure date, including cancellation for any reason, changes to your itinerary, or name changes (exchanging your booking with another person).
  5. Any tour member who wishes to leave the group during the tour must pay an extra USD $99 per person per day.

Tour price includes the following:

  1. round-trip international air ticket and all domestic travel fares within China
  2. 4-Star deluxe accommodations throughout the trip (two people per hotel room)
  3. expert tour guides
  4. entrance fees and tickets for all places and programs listed on the itinerary (non-refundable if unused)
  5. three satisfying meals a day (except on international arrival and departure days and as noted on the itinerary)
  6. travel accident insurance

Tour price does NOT include the following:

  1. Chinese visa processing fee
  2. domestic airfare within the U.S. (to and from SFO)
  3. any and all personal expenses
  4. tips for tour leader, tour guides, driver, bellhops, etc.
  5. any other expenses caused by acts of God, natural disasters, fires, weather, acts of government or authorities, political changes, strikes, war, riots, quarantine, customs regulations, damages or injury caused by accidents beyond the responsibilities or control of travel agents

Please read the “Standard Booking Notice” on our website’s Booking page before making your tour reser-vations.

China International Travel CA, Inc. cancellation policy: Notice of cancellation must be received by fax or mail; verbal notice only will not be considered sufficient. Please contact CIT to confirm that we have received your cancellation notice. A cancellation fee will be charged according to the following criteria:

– 60 or more days prior to departure: $200 per person will be assessed.
– 45-59 days prior to departure: $300 per person will be assessed.
– 31-44 days prior to departure: $400 per person will be assessed.
– 30 days or less (including nonappearance): 100% of total charge.

If tickets for any form of transportation (including, but not limited to, airline, cruise, or train) have already been issued or final confirmation has been received at time of cancellation, an additional penalty will be assessed in accordance with the policies of the company providing the transportation.

We strongly suggest that our clients consider purchasing cancellation insurance to prevent the loss of your tour investment in the event of illness, accident, or some other unforeseeable circumstance that might prevent you from going on the tour. Please see our website’s Booking page for more information about the insurance policies we sell from USI Affinity, a trusted travel insurance company.

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California Seller of Travel Registration #2095947-40
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