Shanghai tours and excursions
The Huangpu River Cruise is a classic Shanghai tour. Daily 50-minute cruises run from the Shiliupu Docks, south of the Bund (153 and 291 East Zhongshan No 2 Road), and take in views of the Bund itself as well as the impressive Pudong skyline. There's no need to book tickets, just turn up and pay.Tel: +86 21 6651 1519.
Run by the same company that offers open-top bus tours of London, Shanghai's Big Bus Tour includes a double-decker bus tour of the city with English commentary, a river cruise and entrance to some sights. Tickets are hop-on, hop-off and are valid for 48 hours.Tel: +86 21 6351 5988.
Sat in the shadow of hills and tea plantations, and home to the wonderful West Lake, Hangzhou could easily lay claim to being the domestic tourist capital of China. West Lake has been immortalised in paintings and poetry, while its Lingyin Temple, with a 20m (66ft) camphor-wood Buddha, is a place of pilgrimage for innumerable tour groups. Other sights include the Six Harmonies Pagoda, once a lighthouse for river traffic. Express trains run regularly between Shanghai and Hangzhou (45 minutes), as do buses (2 hours 30 minutes), which leave from all the major long-distance bus stations in Shanghai.Tel: +86 571 8792 8540.
Famed for its gardens, canals and silk production, Suzhou is a major stop on the domestic tourism trail. Nevertheless, if you time your visit well (avoid weekends), this small, manageable city can make a rewarding break. You won't fall for its 'Venice-of-the-East' claims, but Suzhou still offers pockets of canal-side charm and a huge number of beautiful traditional Chinese gardens. Express trains run regularly from Shanghai to Suzhou (25 minutes). Regular buses to Suzhou (1 hour 50 minutes) run from all of Shanghai's main long-distance bus stations.
Unesco: YesTel: +86 512 6530 5887.
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