There are a lot of great day trip destinations around Shanghai and one of the easiest ways to get out there is to join a tour group. Most daytripper destinations are small watertowns or villages that tourists often overlook. It is a great way to see smaller towns in China, and learn more about the history of this region on a budget.
This past month, a friend and I joined a daytripper heading to Xishan and Luzhi water village. Xishan is a lush, green island, about the size of Hong Kong located within beautiful Tai Hu Lake, the third largest body of water in China. On our first tour stop, we were able to hike around Shigong Hill, a beautiful peninsula at the islands southern tip. It was so wonderful to be outdoors among the budding flowers and gorgeous scenery all while getting some much needed exercise.
Next, our tour bus took us up a long, winding road overlooking the area we had just hiked. Here, we were able to enjoy the included Chinese style lunch featuring dishes especially from that area. After lunch, we took a short drive to the Xishan Hi-tech Agricultural Park. At this stop we were able to explore the greenhouses, learn more about rural agriculture and were even allowed to pick our own strawberries and cucumbers to take home with us.
Finally, we visited my favorite stop of the trip, Luzhi water village. It is a 1400 year old trading post to the east of Suzhou. The small lanes were fascinating filled with shop owners lined along the small canal. There were numerous decorative bridges and a chance to visit Baosheng Temple.
Each month, China Spring Tours offers 99RMB per person daytrippers to different locations near Shanghai on the third Saturday of every month until the end of the year. The next daytripper will be Saturday, April 18 to Wuxi, a 3000 year old city with a rich history near Tai Hu Lake.