Unveiling Springtime Charms: Ideal Travel Plan for Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu

Before Travel

A travel plan is an absolute must if you want to spend your holidays exploring the beauty of some part of China. Among so many choices, Shanghai and its neighboring places should be on the top of your list. That is where you can find both the ancient and modern, urban and rural, coastline and inland of China! In this post, let’s delve into the enchantments of these three fabulous places – Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu– and how to make the best of them during your spring travel.

The three regions within China (screened)
Shanghai is the place for arriving at and leaving China

Set the Stage in Shanghai

Shanghai, the mega-metropolis of China, bats first on our list. Spring, with its comfortable temperatures and bright colors, is a perfect time to soak in the magic of this vibrant city.

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai is renowned for its historical and aesthetic significance, attracting visitors for its exquisite classical Chinese garden design dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The garden seamlessly blends traditional architectural elements, intricate rockeries, koi-filled ponds, and lush vegetation, offering a serene escape in the heart of bustling Shanghai. In spring, the garden glows with flowering trees, ornamental ponds, zigzagging bridges and traditional pavilions.The garden’s rich cultural heritage, coupled with its central location near the vibrant Yuyuan Bazaar, makes it a must-visit destination. During winter, there is a Yuyuan Garden Lantern Fair to celebrate Chinese new year.

In pics: Yuyuan Garden lantern fair in Shanghai (2024)

The Bund

After a scrumptious spread of Shanghai’s signature soup dumplings, make your way to The Bund. A walk along this waterfront area presents an stunning backdrop of glittering high-rises on the opposite side of the Huangpu River. You can find a lot of art deco pieces scattered among the colonial architectures.

Shanghai Museum

Located in People’s Square, the Shanghai Museum is home to a vast collection of Chinese art and artifacts, including ancient ceramics, jade, calligraphy, and paintings.

If you have more time, then Shanghai Disney, Zhujiajiao Water Town, and Jingan Temple should definitely be on your list!

Journey into Nature’s Heartland in Zhejiang

Our next stop is Zhejiang, a coastal province known for breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage and dynamic cities. Renowned for tea culture, Zhejiang seamlessly blends tradition with modernity.

West Lake

West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of Hangzhou. The picturesque lake is surrounded by hills, pagodas, and historic temples. Take a boat ride, stroll along the causeways, and explore attractions like Leifeng Pagoda and Lingyin Temple.Spring is when Hangzhou’s iconic West Lake is at its blooming best. Picnic under the flowering peach trees or go for a boat ride, the choice is yours.

Wuzhen Water Town

Experience the charm of a traditional water town at Wuzhen. This well-preserved ancient town is crisscrossed with canals, lined with historic buildings, and features stone bridges. Wuzhen offers a glimpse into China’s traditional way of life.

Qiandao Lake (Thousand Island Lake)

Located in Chun’an County, Qiandao Lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and numerous green islands. Take a boat cruise to enjoy the scenic beauty and explore some of the islands, each with its own unique attractions.

Mount Putuo

This sacred Buddhist mountain is one of China’s four sacred mountains of Buddhism. It is located on an island southeast of Shanghai and is a popular pilgrimage site. Explore the temples, climb the mountain trails, and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

Discover the Cultural Hub of Jiangsu

The last leg of your spring trip to China is an exploration of the ancient beauties lurking in the province of Jiangsuis which is known for its rich history, classical gardens, and vibrant cities. Here are four places you might consider visiting in Jiangsu.

Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River in Nanjing

Confucius Temple in Nanjing, is a historic site dedicated to the revered philosopher Confucius. It features traditional architecture, stone tablets, and tranquil gardens. Qinhuai River, flowing near the temple, is a picturesque waterway with charming boats, ancient bridges, and vibrant nightlife, offering a glimpse into Nanjing’s rich cultural heritage.

Classical Gardens at Suzhou

Spring is an excellent time to explore Suzhou’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed gardens which come to life with plum, peach, and cherry blossoms.Suzhou is known as the “City of Gardens”. Private gardens were first built in the 6th century BC. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, there were more than 170 gardens inside and outside the city, and more than 50 of them exist now.

Suzhou classical gardens, houses and gardens are integrated into one, which can be enjoyed, visited and lived in. The formation of this architectural form is a creation of human beings who are attached to nature, pursue harmonious coexistence with nature, and beautify and improve their living environment in cities with dense population and lack of natural scenery.

Yangzhou and Its Slender West Lake

In the spring, poetry and painting are portrayed to the south of Yangzi River. Yangzhou, as one of the most frequently mentioned cities in this region, is showcasing a picturesque spring scene, and the poetic and romantic atmosphere of the city is hidden in the misty spring sunshine. You can spend your time getting familiar with the misty rain, feeling the tenderness of the slanting willows and blooming flowers at the Slender West Lake.

Zhouzhuang Water Town

Often referred to as the “Venice of the East,” Zhouzhuang Ancient Town is located in the southeast of Suzhou City, at the junction of Kunshan, Wujiang, and Shanghai. It is a pre-selected site for world cultural heritage and one of the first batch of national 5A level tourist attractions. Zhouzhuang is surrounded by water on all sides, with the river forming the town and the water forming the street, with the street as the market. 14 ancient stone bridges built in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties are well preserved on the well shaped river channel.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” – Miriam Beard


Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu each offer their unique blend of attractions that get enhanced in the magical season of spring. Comprehensive planning allows you to experience the cities in all their glory. So, pack your bags and brace yourself for an enthralling springtime vacation in China. As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books.” So go out and savor the firsthand experiences that these destinations have to offer.

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