Standing on the estuary of Yangtze River, Shanghai is the economic, international trade, cultural, science and technology center of East China and a top tourist destination, hence attracting various talents and countless tourists abroad. And yet, many of them desire to explore some areas close to Shanghai as well. Here are seven choices within half a day (except Mountain Huangshan) from Shanghai for best weekend getaways.
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Zhujiajiao Water town
About 50 kilometers away from the city center, Zhujiajiao is the closest water town to Shanghai, featuring both historic sites and natural scenery. Take a fantastic cruise down through the rivers to glimpse at its 36 ancient bridges and more than 1000 ancient houses dating back to Ming and Qing Dynasties on the banks. Some time-honored temples are also worth a visit.
Xitang Ancient Town
Xitang finds itself about 90 kilometers from Shanghai, but looks like a completely different world: cobbled streets, old buildings, arching bridges, crisscrossed rivers, rowing boats and overall slow-paced lifestyle. It maintains many well-preserved architectural structures from the Ming and Qing dynasties and is known as one of the six ancient towns in southern China.
The high speed train takes only half an hour from Shanghai to Suzhou (100 km apart), which is well known for resplendent gardens and beautiful scenery. Among the over 100 surviving ancient gardens, Humble Administrator’s Garden, Garden of the Net Master, Lingering Garden and Lion Grove are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Grand Canal passes through the city and make it “Venice of Orient”.
(Garden of the Net Master in Suzhou)
About 200 km away from Shanghai, Hangzhou is also a metropolis reputed as “paradise on earth”. Marco Polo described it as “the most beautiful and elegant city in the world” in 13th century. West Lake ranks the top among all attractions in Hangzhou. Besides, it is also famous for the production of tea and silk.
Nanjing finds itself 300 Km or so from Shanghai. It is a nice and modern city yet teeming with amazing historic sites, as it ever served as the capital of 6 dynasties.
Wuzhen Water Town
Ancient docks, waterside pavilions and corridors, stone railings and bridges, arched gates across the street, imposing dwellings and spacious courtyards typify the elegant water town of Wuzhen. It is located at the center of the triangle formed by Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing.
It will take a 6-hour driving from the city center of Shanghai to Mountain Huangshan, as they are 672 km apart. Mountain Huangshan is widely recognized as the most beautiful mountain in China with breathtaking landscape. Hiking up the mountain by different trails. Besides, the two traditional villages of Xidi and Hongcun nearby are also worth a visit.