In September 2015 my mum found a deal on trips to China, and when she was in need of a travel companion I jumped at the opportunity. We embarked on a 2 week trip to China, with SNA tours, where we visited Beijing, Shanghai, Souzhou and Hangzhou.
Whilst in Beijing we visited the Summer Palace and the birds nest, but unfortunately couldn’t visit Tiananmen square due to a military event that was happening that weekend. On our second day we climbed along the Great Wall of China, which was definitely a highlight- and more challenging than we anticipated. One night we were driven around in taxi bikes, before being dropped off at a local families house where they cooked us dinner. We were welcomed into their home and given insight into everyday life in Beijing.
Souzhou is often referred to as the “Venice of the East,” since the parts of the town have been built around a complex canal system. After spending a night in the city centre, we spent a day exploring the canal via boat. We also did a tour of the markets, which I enjoyed around the fruits and vegetables, but my inner vegan felt super uncomfortable having to see dead animals, fish, and even live birds stuffed into small boxes.
From Souzhou we went to Hangzhou, which the locals call Shanghai’s backyard. Here we did a cruise around the West Lake, and then toured a green tea farm.
Before we went to Souzhou and Hangzhou we had already done a day tour of Shanghai’s city. When we returned to Shanghai we spent a few days touring the French concession, bazaar, and Jing-an temple, before we finished up night river cruise to enjoy the Shanghai skyline all lit up.