Shanghai Water Towns

Private, food-focused Shanghai Water Towns Tour

UPDATE (20th January 2024): Please note, this tour is currently not operating due to unavailability of tea house

Shanghai Water Towns Day Tour
(Shanghai Day Tour -Private Tour)

​Join our team for this private Shanghai Water Towns Tour tour to one of Shanghai’s most picturesque water towns – Tongli Water Town! The Water Town Day Tour is a perfect choice for visitors looking to taste some delicious local food, make dumpling, experience a real Chinese tea ceremony with a certified tea master and to explore the famous nearby water town of Tongli. 

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Tour Highlights:

  • Explore one of China’s most beautiful water towns near Suzhou – Tongli Water Town 
  • Discover a less-developed, nearby water town – which showcases the differences between towns – Jinze Water Town
  • tasting experience with home-made dishes cooked for lunch;
  • Learn from a tea master during a Chinese tea ceremony at a traditional guesthouse;

Tour Itinerary:

All times outlined below are approximates as the tour is a private tour, time is flexible & subject to change

  • 8:30 am: Meet at your Shanghai Hotel Lobby
  • ​8:30 am – 10:00 am: Transfer to Tongli Water Town
  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Explore Tongli Water Town
  • 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm: Transfer to Jinze Water Town
  • 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Enjoy a local lunch at teahouse
  • 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Traditional Tea Ceremony & Chinese Dumpling-Making Class
  • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Return tranfer to Shanghai
  • 7:30 pm: Arrive at your Shanghai Hotel/END OF TOUR


Please note, if you’d like to find out the latest pricing for our Shanghai Water Towns Day Tour, please contact us directly.

Tour Inclusion:

The above Shanghai Water Towns Day Tour includes the following :
Private MPV Van Transportation: 
  • All petrol/gas, van rental, highway tolls, parking fees & driver’s fees throughout entire tour route as above;
Entrance/Attraction Fees: 
  • All entrance tickets per the above activities requiring entrance fees;
  • Chinese Lunch;
  • ​Dumpling Making Class & Tea Ceremony;
Tour Guiding Fees: 
  • Professional (Fully-licensed) English speaking tour guide;

Tour Exclusions:

The above Shanghai Water Towns Day Tour excludes the following :
  • We have proposed a dumpling making class in the late afternoon so visitors can also enjoy the dumplings they’ve made during the tour!

Please note, different cuisine is available based upon your specific preferences 🙂

  • Please note, we don’t require ‘x’ amount to be paid by clients on a daily basis to tour guide/driver or force tipping. However, gratuities are greatly appreciated at the conclusion of tour by guide/driver only if service is excellent.
  • Accommodation, flights, travel insurance and any other person expenses during tour;

Detailed Tour Itinerary:

In the morning, meet your guide and driver at your Shanghai Hotel lobby (we recommend starting at 8:30 am but it depends upon the location of your hotel!). Upon meeting, we will begin the tour with a transfer to Tongli Ancient Water Town, which is located approximately 1.5 x hours outside of Shanghai. 

Tongli Water Town is located in Suzhou, which is considered to be the ‘Venice of China‘ with over 1500 years of history. Over recent years, Tongli has become very popular to visit and whilst it’s popular with tourists, locals still local along the riverside here. You’ll spend the morning navigating the local alleyways, visiting an exquisite traditional garden and discovering local life for people living here before being transferred to a less developed town – Jinze Water Town.

From Tongli Water Town, it takes approximately 30 minutes to get to Jinze Water Town. Upon arriving at Jinze Water Town, you’ll notice a major difference between the two towns.  Tongli is busy, crowded and more developed whilst Jinze is largely undeveloped, peaceful and serene – a large contrast but great to experience both! With over 2,000 years of history, Jinze Water Town is also home to our Wei-Wei Teahouse where we invite guests in to taste delicious local food, learn dumpling-making and enjoy a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

After getting into Jinze, our local cook will begin preparation of your lunch and if you’re interested, you can even join her in the kitchen! For lunch, you’ll taste a range of seasonal home-made dishes and if you have any food preferences or restrictions, please advise us in advance so we can accommodate.

Following your tasty home-made lunch, you’ll relax and enjoy a traditional Chinese tea ceremony conducted by an actual tea master. The tea ceremony will take place inside the guesthouse, which is an enjoyable, insightful and unique afternoon activity at a traditional water village.  Learn about the Chinese tea culture, how to present tea in the traditional form as well as insight and knowledge about different types of tea and tea sets.

Afterwards, we’ll commence a hands-on dumpling making class with our lovely chef who cooked your lunch!  You’ll learn different ways to make and cook dumplings and even better, taste them as a snack when finished! At the conclusion of the dumpling-making (and tasting), we’ll depart Jinze Water Town with transfer back to your Shanghai hotel to conclude the tour. END OF TOUR.

No Forced Shopping. No ’empty’ days. No up-selling. No hidden costs.