NZCFS China Tours

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NZCFS Grand Canal Heritage Tour

Travel from Beijing to Shanghai visiting important sites along the route of the Grand Canal. Be captivated by the magnitude of this ancient engineering feat. The stops along the way are selected for their various points of interest, from the history of the trade, society and culture along the ancient transportation route to the attractions of modern cities with their beauty and unique features.

Appreciate some very famous historical figures — from Confucius, with a side trip to his birthplace Qufu, to the birthplace of highly esteemed ‘eldest son’ of modern China, Zhou Enlai in Huai’an. Spend a night on the summit of holy mountain Tai shan.

A tour of beautiful gardens, architecture and scenery, and unique traditions from silk manufacture to the world famous vinegar of Zhenjiang. Here enjoy a vinegar tasting of some of the more refined vinegars of the world! Enjoy diverse specialty cuisine of the region, and other interactive activity .

Take a pictorial journey along the route and find the detailed itinerary below Tour in Pictures (pdf) and Itinerary.

Download Tour in pictures (PDF)

A simple draft outline of the itinerary and an indication of the activity is as follows:-


  • Jinshan Park
  • Houhai Lake
  • Great Wall of China
  • China Grand Canal Museum
  • Canal forest park


  • Dagukou Fort ruins
  • Ancient culture street
  • Tangliuqing New Year prints
  • Eye of Tianjin
  • Puyi’s former residence: the last Emperor of China

Mount Taishan:

  • One of five sacred mountains of China, holding great cultural, spiritual, and historical significance.

Qufu – hometown of Confucius:

  • Known as Kong Fuzi or Kongzi (551-479 BCE), a Chinese philosopher, teacher and political thinker whose ideas profoundly influenced Chinese culture, philosophy and ethics.
  • Experiential activities including Tablet rubbing, bamboo slips, seals, and calligraphy.

Tai’erzhuang – ancient town:

  • Tai’erzhuang Ancient Town is home to 18 ponds and 15 kilometers of streets and lanes along the waterways, as well as old ferries.
  • An important culture place, Tai’erzhuang has many temples, churches, and pavilions along its waterways.


  • Wu Cheng’ en; a Chinese novelist and poet best know for his classic work ‘Journey to the West’, also known as ‘the Monkey King’.
  • Caoyun System Museum
  • Zhou Enlai; a prominent Chinese politician, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China.

Yangzhou & Zhenjiang:

  • Geyuan Garden
  • Vinegar Museum
  • Xijindu old streets
  • See Yangtze River from atop Biegushan Hill


  • Silk Museum
  • Suzhou Museum
  • Liuyuan Garden
  • Shangtang Street

Jiaxing – Wuzhen water village:

  • Foliage dyeing
  • Fully exploring the well-protected water village, see cultural and historical sites


  • West Lake
  • See the tea fields. Taste, pick, and roast tea leaves
  • Explore local museums


  • French Concession area
  • The Bund

Download full itinerary (PDF)

Download full itinerary (PDF)

Depart NZ (date to be confirmed)
Day 1

Arrive Beijing(Depending on arrival time)

Having local breakfast, then wandering along Beihai Park
Song Qingling Former Residence
Rickshaw tour through hutongs in Shichahai Park area
Climbing up to the Jingshan park to have a bird’s eye view of the Forbidden City(Palace Museum) and Tian’anmen Square

Day 2

Whole day Great Wall tour:

Huanghuacheng Great Wall, about 80km away from the city center, to have a close look at the ‘wild’ Great Wall, away from crowds of tourists
Visit the chestnut garden, tracing back to 800 years ago

Day 3

Whole day to explore Grand Canal sites:

The Grand Canal Museum
The Grand Canal Cultural Park

Day 4

Beijing-Tianjin via Bullet train

The Fifth Avenue: old Concession area
The Market of exotic goods
The Dagukou Fort Ruins Museum, a complete military defense system with over 500 years’ history

Day 5

Activities in Tianjin:

Former Residence of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China
Italy Street
Ancient Culture Street
Boat trip on the Great Canal to Yangliuqing Ancient Town(about 80min)
The Eye of Tianjin: Ferris wheel, the city landscape(from the boat)
Shi’s Mansion: the most famous local landlord’s mansion
Chinese New Year’s Poster Hall – national intangible heritage

Day 6

Tianjin-Taishan Mountain via Bullet train

Arriving in Tai’an around 11:30
Up Taishan Mountain by cable car

Day 7

Taishan-Qufu via coach (1.5hrs)

Sunrise in Taishan Mountain
2 of 3 Confucius Sites in Qufu: Confucius Temple, Cemetery, and Mansion

Day 8

Activities in Qufu:

3rd of the 3 Confucius Sites: Confucius Temple, Cemetery, and Mansion
Interactive activities including tablet rubbing, bamboo slips, seals for signature, and calligraphy

Day 9

Qufu-Tai’erzhuang (2.5hrs)

Explore Tai’erzhuang Ancient Town by the canal and enjoy the shows and night views

Day 10

Tai’erzhuang-Huai’an (1.5hrs)

The Battle of Tai’erzhuang Memorial Hall: a battle of Japanese aggression War in 1938 – the first major Chinese victory of the war
Grand Canal National Culture Park

Day 11

Activities in Huai’an:

Zhou Enlai Memorial Hall – the first premier of new China
Wu Cheng’en Former Residence (the author of Journey to the West, one of the 4 great classical novels in China)
Caoyun System Museum: a centralized transportation system used by central governments of imperial China to collect grain etc.

Day 12

Huai’an-Yangzhou (2.5hrs)

Geyuan Garden
The Grand Canal of China Museum (3hrs)

Day 13

Yangzhou-Zhenjiang (0.5hrs)

By public ferry across the Yangtze River (10min)
Xijindu Old Streets
Chunjiangchao Square to see the conjunction point of the Canal and Yangtze River
Beigushan Hill to have a bird’s eye view of the city and the Yangtze River (1-2hrs)
Visit a wet local market for some snacks

Day 14

Zhengjiang-Suzhou (3hrs)

Vinegar Culture Museum: Zhenjiang Vinegar, famous home and abroad
Silk Museum to learn about the history and techniques of silk

Day 15

Activities in Suzhou:

Suzhou Museum, a Chinese garden style design
Lingering Garden
Shantang Street

Day 16

Suzhou-Wuzhen Water Village (2hrs)

Interactive activity in the foliage dyeing workshop
Explore the well-protected water village: west part, enjoy some drink by the water

Day 17

Wuzhen-Hangzhou (2hrs)

East part of the water village, more local residents
Taste a cup of local Longjing green tea in a tea house
Interactive activities: picking and roasting tea leaves

Day 18

Activities in Hangzhou:

Morning exercise along the West Lake
Experiencing the local public transportation on the canal (40min)
After getting off the boat, explore the museum area: Grand Canal Museum, Sword & Scissors Museum, Umbrella & Fans Museum, Art Museum etc.

Day 19

Hangzhou-Shanghai (3hrs)

Oriental Pearl Tower to have a bird’s eye view of the city
Night view along the Bund

Day 20

Activities in Shanghai:

Explore the modern city of Shanghai, may include East Nanjing Road, People’s Park, Shanghai Museum, French Concession area (including Fuxing park and Site of First National Congress of CPC

Day 21,
Depart back to New Zealand

  • All travel (including international)
  • All meals typical of the region
  • Accommodation (4 star or best available, twin share — single supplement available on request)
  • Site entry and performance entry fees
  • Entry Tickets

* Visa and travel insurance costs not included

$8,500 (est.)

Duration: 21 days
From: 4 September 2024
To: 24 September 2024

Experience the real China with Dave Bromwich.

Dave Bromwich has been designing and taking tours to China for more than a decade. His over 50 visits have taken him to every province and his knowledge of the country are clear in these specialty tours. Unlike many commercial tours currently available, Dave’s NZCFS quality tours provide depth, engagement, culture, scenic wonders, history and unforgettable experiences.

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