After pickup at your central Shanghai hotel, relax into your private, air-conditioned car or minivan with your guide. Then, set off on your roughly 2.5-hour journey to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province and one of China’s ten imperial cities.
On route, take in China’s towns and villages, and hear about Hangzhou from your guide. Renowned for its beautiful scenery, this lovely city is eulogized for its West Lake, a dream-like expanse of water framed by mist-shrouded hills.
On arrival, board a sightseeing boat and enjoy a leisurely lake cruise. As you glide over the calm waters, soak in the surrounding scenery of weeping willows, pagodas, and gatehouses, all set against the lush hills and skyline of Hangzhou itself.
After your cruise, continue to the Lingyin Temple, the city’s best-known Buddhist temple and also known as the 'Temple of the Soul’s Retreat.' Nestled in forested hills, this serene sanctuary has origins dating to 326 AD, and houses a magnificent 65-foot (20-meter) statue of Buddha Sakyamuni.
Climb to the temple and explore its highlights with your guide. Admire the elaborate halls, courtyards, and corridors, and view the statues and Buddhist relics as you hear about the building’s history.
After relaxing over a traditional Chinese lunch at a local restaurant, travel onward to Meijiawu, a tea farming village cocooned in bright green terraced hills. Composed of more than 500 households, Meijiawu is a famous production area for fragrant Dragon Well Tea, considered one of China’s best varieties.
Take a tour of the village to see its charming teahouses and learn about local tea culture, and stop to taste some of the prized tea at an elaborate tea ceremony.
Finally, return to Shanghai, where your tour concludes with a hotel drop-off.