We had spare time for a break during the Christmas week. So we decided to shop for a holiday package during the Travel Revolution Fair. This was the best time to look for a suitable tour package where many travel companies were dishing out great discounts during the travel fair.
From the many travel companies we approached for information, we took up a tour package with Dynasty Travel for an 8 Days 7 Nights tour to China, the Jiangnan plus Jiaxing tour covering cities in Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi and Jiaxing. We had taken Jiangnan tour packages with other travel companies in the past but we found the itinerary offered by Dynasty Travel to be a little different which included a new city Jiaxing so this was why we signed up with Dynasty Travel.
This tour included most meals and accommodations were local five-star hotels. In addition, we would be flying on Singapore Airlines. The flight timing was very good as well.
Singapore to Shanghai 9.20 am to 2.35 pm
Shanghai to Singapore 4.25 pm to 10.15 pm
The cost for this package per person was $294. Airport tax was $370 plus another compulsory tour of $100. Tips for China tour guide and driver was RMB200. At this rate, the tour package was really value for money.
The tour itinerary from Dynasty Travel would be as follows:
DAY 1: SINGAPORE – SHANGHAI (or HANGZHOU) (About 5 hours)
Welcome to a unique experience! Assemble at airport for departure to Shanghai (or Hangzhou), check in hotel upon arrival.
DAY 2: SHANGHAI – HANGZHOU (About 3 hours)
Head for Hangzhou, visit the site of the Eight Diagrams Field of the Southern Song Dynasty, the place that the sacred ritual activities being taken by the ancient emperor, it also tells the history and culture of ancient Chinese agriculture. Visit Southern Song Dynasty Official Kiln Museum, it was built over the remains of Jiaotanxia Official Kiln and is the first of its kind with pottery and porcelain as its subject. Continue your journey to visit The New West Lake South Line and West Lake XinTiandi, view Lei Feng Pagoda Sunset. Dinner at Bafei Global Buffet : open kitchen concept, more than 500 global buffet, Chinese and Western cuisine, seafood, Southeast Asian cuisine, gourmet simmer soup, Cantonese roasted, Teppanyaki, Cantonese refreshments, Western desserts, soft drinks & wine, seasonal fresh fruits, exquisite dishes taste infinite!
International Buffet / Lunch: Hangzhou Cuisine / Dinner: Bafei Global Buffet
DAY 3: HANGZHOU – JIAXING (About 2 hours)
Take cruise on West Lake, Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor. Next visit Meijiawu Tea Village, taste Longjing tea, experience the Chinese tea culture. Head for Jiaxing, visit the Transformers Theme Park founded by Mr. Iron team, it is the first park themed with the steel carving art for robot in China. Then visit the Rice Dumplings Museum in Yuehe Ancient Town, DIY Jiangnan rice dumplings with guidance of veterans, and you can taste at own expense.
International Buffet / Lunch: Beggar Chicken + Dongpo Pork
DAY 4: JIAXING – WUXI (About 2 hours)
Head for Wuxi, visit Huishan Ancient Town, it is featured by intensive distribution of ancient ancestral temple group, blessed with charming natural beauty, and various aspects of nature give you a new experience at every turn. Next visit Teapot Museum. Visit the Qingming Bridge Cultural Area at night (Extra tour fee program)
International Buffet / Lunch: Ribs Cuisine / Dinner: Qianlong Banquet
DAY 5: WUXI – NANJING (About 2.5 hours)
Visit Li Garden, the pictures of flowers in four seasons are painted on the pillars of Four Seasons Pavilions inside the garden. Li Garden lies by Li Lake and it is said that Fan Li who was a prime minister of the Yue State in Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC) was very meritorious in helping the king to conquer another state. However, he has decided to live in privacy with Xi Shi (one of the Four Beauties in ancient China) after the big success was achieved. They lived in this area and boated in Li Lake. In order to commemorate Fan Li, the lake was named after his name. However, the garden was named after the lake. Continue your journey to visit Taihu Pearl Gallery. After lunch, proceed to Nanjing, drive along Ming Dynasty Wall, the largest existing wall in China as well as in the world. View Yue Jiang Tower from far. Visit the Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River at night (Extra tour fee program)
International Buffet / Lunch: Taihu Cuisine Dinner: Huaiyang Cuisine
DAY 6: NANJING – SUZHOU (About 3 hours)
Visit Memorial Hall to the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre, visit and take a lift to Yangtze River Bridge. Next visit Jade Carvings Workshop. Then proceed to Suzhou, tour to Pingjiang Historical and Cultural Street – “Water and Land in parallel, River and Street adjacent to each other”, this is a typical characteristic of Water Village. Later to visit Suzhou Museum and Zhong Wang Fu – the palace of Prince Zhong: Li Xiucheng, the leader of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, it’s the most well kept palace in the history of China on the peasant rebel army palace. Take a photo stop at Bird Nest, Jinjihu Scenic Area, drive pass Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, the commercial center – Yuanrong Times Square, the Largest Shopping Aircraft Carrier in Eastern China. Visit Suzhou Guanqian Street at night (Extra tour fee program)
International Buffet / Lunch: Boiled Salted Duck Cuisine / Dinner: Pingtan Cuisine
DAY 7: SUZHOU – SHANGHAI (About 2 hours)
Visit Silk Factory, continue to Yangcheng Lake Peninsula – Yi Ou Lai Suzhou Village (Lunch inside the village at own expense, both Chinese and Western foods are available), which is the first boutique tourist shopping village built by Value Retail group in China following the nine boutique shopping villages in Europe. After lunch, back to Shanghai, go to Health Care Shop. Then go to Nanjing Road (shopping area, enjoy a variety of snacks at own expense). Drive pass New Bund, the skyline of Shanghai, which tourists always come, also known as the “exhibition of architectural”. In the evening, take participate the extra tour fee programs: Visit the world’s largest Disney Flagship Store and Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise.
DAY 8: SHANGHAI (or HANGZHOU) – SINGAPORE (About 5 hours)
Visit Cheng Huang Temple, continue to visit the Jewelry Factory. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Singapore.
International Buffet / Lunch: Cantonese Cuisine
**Extra Tour Fee S$100/PAX **
Suzhou Guanqian Shopping Street + Wuxi Qingming Bridge night tour + Shanghai Disney Flagship Store and Huangpu River Cruise + Nanjing Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River
This tour required at least 10 participants to be confirmed. It was only near December that this tour was finally confirmed. We were called to the tour office for a simple briefing where the hotels list was given just a few days before the tour as follows:
Suzhou – Joy Holiday Hotel
Wuxi – Veegle Sincere Hotel
Nanjing – Rsun Hotel
Hangzhou – Haiwaihai Hotel
Jiaxing – Sunshine Hotel
Shanghai – Falaide Hotel
Day 1 – Singapore to Shanghai onward to Suzhou
So Christmas week eventually came. We reached Changi Airport before 7 am. First thing was to head for the Terminal 3 food court for breakfast. Next we located the tour representative from Dynasty Travel to collect our tour details and then checked in our luggage with Singapore Airlines. Since there were only 15 participants for this tour, we didn’t have a local tour leader to follow us for the tour which also saved up on tips as well.
With the movie Star Wars being launched, Star Wars exhibits and toys were on display at the airport. It was a fantastic time to enjoy the sights at the airport and to capture those picture moments even before we left for Shanghai that morning. It was a great start indeed and we very much enjoyed it.
Having had enough pictures taken, we cleared immigration and were happily doing window shopping at the airport. Finally, it was time to board our flight. We got onto the plane quite early and settled down to enjoy our flight to Shanghai. Continue reading 8 Days 7 Nights Jiangnan Tour – Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Jiaxing (December 2015)