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Attracting tens of millions of Chinese and international tourists each year, Jiangnan (Lower Reach of the Yangtze River) continues to enchant, much as it did in when Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi wrote in “Dreaming of the Southern Shore [Jiangnan]” : “At sunrise riverside flowers redder than fire; In spring green waves grew as blue as sapphire.” Today, the Yangtze River Delta region, where the four provinces and cities of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui are located, is one of the most developed regions in China’s cultural and tourism industries. Enjoying an extensive networks of river and waterways, Jiangnan is one of the most fertile plains in China, as well as one of its earliest commercial hubs. The ancient towns including Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Xitang and Wuzhen, though, are considered the most representative Jiangnan burgs to both Chinese and foreign visitors. This region owes its beauty and prestige in Chinese history and was also renowned for its educated residents and literary culture.

Recommended Route

Shanghai — Jiangsu — Zhejiang — Anhui — Jiangxi

Must-see Along The Route
01. Shanghai

Shanghai is located on the coast of the East China Sea beside the estuary of the Yangtze River. It is the largest metropolis in China and a famous cosmopolitan city in the world. It is China’s largest port, as well as an important center of finance and commerce.

It has a sub-tropical maritime monsoon climate with warm springs, hot summers, cool autumns and chilly winters. Yearly rainfall is moderate, with the Meiyu period (rainy season) in June and July and a typhoon season in August and September.

It is a city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. In 1843, it became a concession territory for many countries. From that time on, the city rapidly developed into the most prosperous one in Asia, earning the nickname “Glamorous Shanghai”.

Modem Shanghai has seen incredibly rapid growth, with the Lujiazui Financial & Trade Area and Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in particular, seeing the most dynamic economic development in China. In Lujiazui, one can see the many skyscrapers, such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Center, which are now famous sightseeing destinations. In 2010, Shanghai successfully hosted the World Expo bringing new attention to locations such as the Palace of Chinese Culture & Art, now an important feature of Shanghai’s cultural landscape.

Shanghai’s iconic stretch of waterfront, The Bund, is pure glamour. Skirting the winding Huangpu River, The Bund has an old-world European vibe rooted in its past as a booming financial hub during the early 20th century. Spired, boxy Art Deco buildings vie with creamy, columned Classical structures and stern Gothic numbers. These riverside buildings make up an architectural assortment that is as atmospheric as it is captivating, especially at night when their stone frontages are bathed in the golden glow of city lights. Just walking along the 1,700-metre riverside walkway here is a pleasure, as this is the place to see and be seen in Shanghai. Spot families out for an after-dinner stroll; see swish couples darting off to one of the rooftop cocktail bars that flourish along the old buildings’ tops. You can’t truly say you’ve been to Shanghai until you’ve walked the Bund at dusk, its most famed and romantic hour.

It’s a happy accident that from one of Shanghai’s oldest and most iconic sights you can see its modern-day counterpart. Across the water in space-agey Pudong, the futuristic business district, the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower glows like a duo of robotic cherries skewered for a summer picnic. With its tripod-like base and spire reaching up 468 metres into the sky, it’s an unmistakable, one-of-a-kind symbol of China’s technological progress. Built in 1995, the Pearl Tower is the fifth highest tower in the world. It’s said to represent a set of large and small pearls “dropping onto a jade plate” (that is, the grassy foot at its base), but whether you see pearls or cherries, it’s a must-do both inside and out. You can hop in the doubledecker elevators for a zooming ascent to the lower sphere’s sightseeing hall, from which you can see all the way to the Yangtze River. But this tower is more than some rooms with a view: it also contains a “space city,” full of futuristic science and technology, as well as a hotel, shops and restaurants. 

Culinary delicacies from all over the world can be found in Shanghai. The local cuisine is famous for its use of fresh ingredients, including many favorite local snacks such as Shengjian mantou, Nanxiang steamed dumplings and meat moon cakes.

Fengjing Ancient Town
Guyi Garden
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street
Braised Pork
02. Jiangsu Province

A coastal province in East China, Jiangsu Province borders Shanghai Municipality, and provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui, Shandong and Henan. With a total area of 102,600 square kilometers and Nanjing as its capital, Jiangsu has a population of more than 74 million and administers 13 prefectures.

Has a flat lay of land, the majority of the province is occupied by plains, with low hills, uplands, down lands dotted on brim of the province. With a lot of rivers and lakes such as Changjiang(Yangtze) River, Huaihe River, the Great Canal, Taihu Lake, and Hongze Lake flowing through the province, Jiangsu Is called “Home of Rivers and Lakes.”

Jiangsu boasts convenient transportations of land, water and air. With railways of Beijing-Shanghai, Nanjing-Xiamen, Nanjing-Guangzhou, Lianyungang-Lanzhou running through the province, Jiangsu is connected with other major cities in China. While Changjiang (Yangtze) River runs through the province from east to west, the Great Canal breaks through from south to north, Nanjing Lukou Airport, Xuzhou Guanyin Airport, Shanghai-Nanjing Freeway, High-speed trains of Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou provide convenient ways for visitors both for coming and leaving. Luxurious yachts imported from Germany are used for the tour of the Three Gorges. High-speed yachts from Singapore are used for tour of the Taihu Lake and the voyage from Wuxi to Hangzhou. Possessing complete traveling facilities, Jiangsu can offer high-quality service for visitors from home and abroad. 

The feature of Jiangsu tourism is “Green Mountains with Elegant Waters, Renowned Gardens in Ancient Cities.” Rich tourism resources, deep cultural background, unstrained folk customs, all take a part to form Jiangsu’s tourism characteristics. .Suzhou Classical Gardens and the Ming Tomb were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List.

Jiangsu has many tourist cities, including Nanjing, which preserves historical sites of six dynasties: Suzhou, which is famous for the classical gardens; Wuxi, which is famous for the beautiful lake of Taihu; Yanzhou, which witnessed the zenith of the Han and Tang cultures; Zhenjiang, which encapsulates mountains forests and temples; Yixing, which is a famous for its pottery ware, caves, bamboos, and tea; Changzhou, which still preserves the ruins of Yancheng City; Xuzhou, which is famous for the heritages of the Eastern and Western Han dynasties; Lianyungang, which boasts picturesque sea-side landscapes; Nantong, which presents an amazing riverside scenery; Changshu, which is famous for the ancient temples; Yancheng, which encompasses nature reserves for the Pere David deer and red-crowned cranes; Huaiyin, which presents breathtaking landscapes of plains; Huai’an, which has many sites for historical personages; Suqian, which enjoys the reputation as “Home of Wine;” and Taizhou, which was the birthplace of Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang. The Wuyue and Changjiang cultures, which can match the Central Plain culture, both originated from Jiangsu’s Zhenjiang, Wuxi, Suzhou, and Changshu areas. The unique water town scenes and customs, characterized by stone bridges spanning over small rivers, rows upon rows of countryside houses, mists curling upwards from swaying willow branches on riverbanks, fragrance drifting over rice and wheat fields, flickering bamboo shadows, and ear-pleasing local dialects, make visitors indulge in these pleasures. In recent years, Jiangsu has developed a new series of tourist attractions, including the Wuxi CCTV Production Base, which has attracted numerous visitors; the Suzhou Fairyland, which is considered a model among China’s third generation theme parks; the Changzhou China Dinosaur Park, which integrates hi-Tech amusement with education; the Zhengyi Great Shanghai International Golf Club in Kunshan; Mt. Lingshan in Wuxi; the Jiangyin Changjiang Highway Bridge Scenic Zone; and Lianyungang seashore. In addition, more than 40 special tourist routes, including Water Towns Tour, Yangzhou Qianlong Water lour, and Ancient Canal Tour, have been designated by the National Tourism Administration as key tourist routes.

Jiangsu historically produced many skillful craftsmen, and the handicrafts made here feature diverse varieties, fine and delicate manual work, and a high grade. Famous art works include Yuhua stones and colorful brocades of Nanjing, white marble screens of Zhenjiang, lacquer wares of Yangzhou, embroideries of Suzhou, wood-carved New-Year paintings of Taohuawu, Huishan clay figurines of Wuxi, purple-sand objects of Yixing, brocades of Changzhou, bandhnu of Nantong, shell-carved paintings of Lianyungang, crystals of Donghai, and fur-coated three-dimensional animals of Xuzhou. In addition, Jiangsu Is also well-known for the Huaiyang Cuisine, which first thrived during the Sui and Tang dynasties and excels in color, smell, taste, shape, and container, as well as various feasts and famous snacks. The delicacies have attracted numerous tourists to Jiangsu and satisfied their palates.

Jiangsu entertains tourists with fine services ensured by a high-quality service team and a complete set of standard service system. The provincial and municipal governments have established supervision Institutions for the tourist service quality and enhanced legal enforcement.

In the new century, Jiangsu, with a brand-new look, will bring you new feelings.

Welcome to Jiangsu.

Located in northeastern urban district, Zhuozhengyuan is the largest private garden in Suzhou and an important cultural unit under state protection. It has been included on the World Cultural Heritage List. Water and rockeries are arranged to rep-resent a pond and three isles, and featuring a simple and natural touch, they well preserve a style of the Ming Dynasty. The water corridor in the west, featuring a zigzagged, graceful line, is a masterpiece structure of the gardens south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Confucius Temple is a holy shrine of Confucius, a great thinker and educator of ancient China. Here, all the gates and halls are named “Dacheng (Great Accomplishments),,, implying the great accomplishments achieved by Confucius. To the left and right of the temple are Juxing Pavilion and Kuiguang lower, respectively. Crossing the Lingxing Gate, one will find four ancient steles, of which the one carrying the Tainting of Confucius Showing the Courtesy” enjoys a wide fame.

Kunqu Opera is a treasure of traditional Chinese culture and art. It is well known for its elegant lyrics, graceful tune, and exquisite performance. Hence, it is honored as “the mother of all Chinese operas.” Excerpts from the Kunqu Operra are performed at the Shantang Kunqu Opera Museum every day.

Liuyuan (Lingering Garden)
shouxi Lake
Daming Monastery
Songcheng Eternal Love Performance
Dongshan Food
03. Zhejiang Province

The east coastal Zhejiang Province is named after its largest river, the Qiantang River (it was known as the Zhejiang River in ancient times). The province has a population of 51.8 million and an area of 101,800 square kilometers, and is one of the smallest provinces in China. But it has rich tourism resources, and its capital city Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient capitals in Chinese history. 

Zhejiang has two world heritage sites, 18 national scenic and historic interest areas and 41 provincial ones. Among them, the most famous are the beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou, the great Yandang Mountain in Wenzhou, Putuo Mountain in Zhoushan and Tiantai Mountain in Taizhou.

History-rich Zhejiang has six state-level historic and cultural cities including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Quzhou, Linhai and Jinhua. In addition, it has a number of key cultural sites under state protection, such as the vivid Buddhist stone sculptures on Feilai Peak in Hangzhou; the Tianyi Pavilion Library, China’s oldest library; and Guoqing Temple, the origin of the Tiantai sect of Buddhism.

Renowned as a land of rice and fish, silk and culture, Zhejiang appeals to domestic and overseas tourists with its beautiful natural landscape and cultural heritage. Welcome to the wonderland Zhejiang!

This manmade lake, in Chun’an County of Hangzhou, is made up of 1,078 islands and covers an area of 573 square kilometers. It is well equipped with a lot of recreational facilities. It has a lot of artificial scenic spots like Longshan Island and Wenxin Island, as well as a number of natural landscapes like the Heaven Pool and Yingshan Academy.

The Chinese Silk Museum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang is the largest silk museum in the world. Visitors can gain the knowledge of the past and present profile of silk manufac­turing from a large number of silk fabrics and historical materials. The artistry of embroidery is also fully exhibited in Chinese Silk Museum. Silk works and costumes in all the stages of China are displayed in the Cultural Relics Hall and the Costumes Hall respectively. Specifically, the displayed costumes cover Aoqun (a combination of jacket and skirt of female in ancient China), Bufu (robe in the Ming and Qing Dynasties ), imperial robe and folk daily embroidery works popular from the Warring States Period to modern times . Visitors can also appreciate excellent and exquisite Chinese embroidery crafts , including Hangzhou Embroidery, while understanding the origin and development of a great variety of costumes.

Located in suburban Huzhou City, the town is a famous waterside town in the south of Yangtze River. It has preserved ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). Among them, a hundred buildings from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are typical riverside residences. In the town, tourists can also visit the former residence of Zhang Shiming (1871-1927), a rich businessman in Huzhou during the Guangxu Period (1875-1908) of the Qing Dynasty. The residence covers more than 4,000 square meters, perfectly integrating the traditional Chinese halls and the French-style buildings. It is honored as the “No. 1 Luxurious Residence in the south of Yangtze River.

Southern Song Dynasty Cultural Street
Moon Over the Lake in Autumn
Longjing Tea Garden
Zhulaoda Rice Pudding Wrapped in Bamboo Leaf
04. Anhui Province

Anhui Province is located at the hinterland of East China, crossing the Yangtze River and the middle and lower reaches of the Huaihe River. To the east, it links with Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces; to the west, it adjoins Hubei and Henan provinces; to the south it borders Jiangxi Province; and to the north it backs on Shandong Province. It is the cradle of Chinese civilization, and home to the famous Huaihe River culture and Hui culture.

Here originated the Jian’an Literature, the Tongcheng Literary School and Xin’an Culture. Furthermore, Anhui is known as the land of traditional drama and opera represented by Hui Opera. Huangmei Opera and Flower Drama Dance which are shining points in Chinese traditional culture. It brought up Hui Merchants that had been acclaimed in the business field for 300 years and China’s first steam engine, mechanical ship and telephone were produced in Anhui. All the achievements opened a new page for China’s commercial and modern industrial civilization. Anhui ancient cultural masters had exerted a far-reaching influence on the course of Chinese cultural development, such Lao Zi, founder of Taoism, Huatuo, a magical doctor of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD), and Cao Cao, an excellent strategist, politician and poet of Three Kingdoms (220-280).

Anhui province is such a place combining natural landscapes with cultural heritages. It is like a garden gathering magnificent mountains and rivers and fascinating cultural relics throughout the province. The plain on the north of Anhui is vast and fertile, while in the middle area between the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River lies the network of rivers and lakes and the chain of undulating hills. The Dabie Mountain area maintains good eco-environment. The mountain area in South Anhui boasts beautiful mountains and lush plantation. In Anhui, there are two world cultural heritage sites, five national historic cultural cities, 10 national scenic and historic interest areas and 31 national scenic areas rated above AAAA level. The recommended sightseeing list in Anhui would include Mt. Huangshan, a world cultural and natural heritage and world geopark, the Buddhist mountain, Mt. Jiuhua, Mt.Qiyuo, one of China’s famous Taoist immortal mountains. Tianzhu Mountain, the ancient Nanyue (one of the famous Buddhist holy mountains), the Xin’an River reputed as a gallery of beauty on water, and the ancient villages in southern Anhui, Xidi and Hongcun. The rich tourism resources of Anhui are described by two old sayings clearly as “The Wanjiang River surges 800 li (1 li=0.5 kilometer) the Huaihe River has a history of 5,000 years, and “Nowhere can be called dreamland once you come Huizhou, no mountain is worthy of being visited once you travel to Mt. Huangshan”.

To see old Ming and Qing courtyards, beautiful preserved countryside, shop for souvenirs and country products, and sightseeing, walk and dine, go to this amazing small village and the nearby villages and countryside. Though it is only 28 hectares in size, it has landed a place in the World Heritage List for its long history, country scenery, and well preserved buildings dating hundreds of years. The village structures blend in with the natural setting that exhibit the wisdom of hundreds of years of village construction.

Many of the villagers diverted water via small canals into their court yards, turning their houses into garden settings.

Hongcun is an outstanding representative of Huizhou traditional local culture, building techniques and landscape design. It has historical, artistic, and scientific value.

It is a key national scenic and historic interest area and is well-known for the grotesque pines and rocks, lakes and springs and flying waterfalls. It boasts 25 peaks which are 1,000 kilometers above sea level. The main peak Tiantangzhai, 1,729.13 meters above sea level, is a main peak of Dabie Mountain. With unique natural conditions and ecological landscapes, it is reputed as “botanical kingdom, animal’s paradise, cool world, cloud sea, azalea’s territory and giant salamander’s hometown”.

It is a national AAAAA scenic area. Called Mount Yishan in ancient times, Mount Huangshan is sixty-nine kilometers from Tunxi, the center of Huangshan City. It is characterized by the four wonders, namely, odd-shaped pines, grotesque rock formation, seas of clouds and crystal-clear hot springs.
Each of the grotesque pines on Mount Huangshan has its romantic charm. The oddly shaped rocks are natural and vivid, The ever-changing cloud sea is spectacular. And the clear hot spring is drinkable. Sceneries in each seasons on the mountain are distinctive. In spring, the mountain is as new, fresh and tender as a maiden. In summer, the charm of the cool green mountain sides is hard to resist. In autumn, the mountain is colorful, and the winter snowy Mount Huangshan is like a crystal palace.

Oil Paper Umbrella
Gujing Wine Cellar
Po Lun Court
Huicha Culture Museum
Love Tunnel
05. Jiangxi Province

Jiangxi Province lies along the southern bank of the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River in southeast China. It is bounded by Zhejiang and Fujian Provinces in the east, Guangdong Province in the south, Hunan Province in the west and Hubei and Anhui Provinces in the north. With a total area of 166,900 square km, Jiangxi Province has under its jurisdiction 11 cities (namely, Nanchang, Jiujiang, Jingdezhen, Shangrao, Yingtan, Fuzhou, Ganzhou, Ji’an, Xinyu, Yichun and Pingxiang.) 

Jiangxi Province is richly endowed with tourism resources, which can be broadly classified into three categories – revolutionary sites, natural tourist spots and places of historic interest. The major revolutionary sites include Nanchang where the revolutionary army’s flag was first raised, the Jinggang Mountain which is the cradle of the Chinese revolution, Ruijin which is known as the Red Capital of China, and Pingxiang which is the birthplace of China’s labour movement – all combined to make a remarkable contribution to the founding the the People’s Republic of China. Natural tourist spots include the Lushan Mountain which is a world cultural heritage site and astonishes visitors with its charming beauty, the Sanqing Mountain which is also a world cultural heritage site, Turtle Peak, Longhu Mountain, the Poyang Lake which is home to many species of rare birds, and Wuyuan which all visitors say is the most beautiful village they have ever seen in China – all of these being the generous gift bestowed to Jiangxi by the great nature. Others are those steeped in ancient civilizaiton, such as Jingdezhen, the known-to-all porcelain capital with a history of some 1,000 years, the Pavilion of Prince Teng which is one the three most famous buildings in south China, and Linchuan which is home to talents.

Welcome to Jiangxi, and you will learn more of China through the visit!

Jingdezhen has long been famous for producing ceramic products. In fact, it is the most celebrated center of the ancient ceramic industry in the world, and as such has played an important role in the history of human civilization. It maintains the extra-large scale and extremely complete and complicated ceramic system from antiquity. This, plus its beautiful natural landscape, social economy and humanistic spirit, led to the city being included into the first group of the 24 historical and cultural cities by the State Council, and its recognition as a top tourist city of China and national ecological garden city.

Situated in the northern part of Jiangxi province, Lushan Mountain is one of China’s most renowned mountains. Lushan National Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996, is a prominent tourist attraction that lures millions of tourists each year.
Apart from its breathtaking natural scenery, Lushan is the birthplace of Chinese landscape poetry, plus, the famous Lushan Plenum represents its role in China’s political evolution. From another angle, Lushan used to be a summer resort for Western missionaries in China, which gave it a reputation for being a place for Western cultural intrusion into China. The heritage that makes up Lushan Mountain is so diverse that it is regarded as the national heritage of cultural landscape.

Located in northeast Jiangxi Province, Wuyuan lies 150 km from Quzhou of Zhejiang Province In the east and Shangrao in the south, 80 km from Jingdezhen in the west and 120 km from Huangshan City in the north. It is a green pearl inlaid on the international golden tourist itinerary of Huangshan Mountain-Wuyuan-Jingdezhen- Lushan Mountain, and is reputed as the Most Beautiful Village in China by many domestic and foreign media.

Pavilion of Prince Teng
Jiuhua Mountain
Mount Wuyi
Poyang Lake
Huishi Square