China is known for its extra long National Holidays with one of the most important holidays,the National Day of People’s Republic of China coming up on the 1st October. Usually government gives from 7 to 10 days for people to have short vocations, which everybody calls – Golden Week. This is a very interesting and very annoying period of time. Interesting – because you have the incredible opportunity to travel; and annoying – because you will be embracing this opportunity along with almost two billions Chinese people. Almost every person in China uses these national holidays to travel so that means the ticket and hotel prices are very, and we mean very, very high. High prices may not be the only problem you might face. It is almost impossible to book a flight or a hotel room this late in the month and all the restaurants in popular places will be fully booked so even if you can find a bed, you might have to pack cup noodles.
Given the dilemma you may be faced with so late in the month, we’ll try to help and offer some places which are very beautiful, but closer to home so you can have a nice trip with minimal problems and effort.
Just a couple of hours from Beijing you can find the ancient village, which offers a glimpse into traditional rural life. Here you can see a collection of restored Ming- and Qing-dynasty courtyard homes, where visitors can stay overnight on a traditional kang bed heated from underneath with coal. For meal you have to visit one of any small courtyard restaurants for farm fresh food. You can get there by car (around 800 RMB) or you can take a bus No.892 or No. 929 Zhiat the Pingguoyuan metro station and get off at Zhaitang station. This will take around two hours or so. Then take a taxi or bus No.M9 to the village directly. The taxi fare is about CNY15 – CNY20. It is better to catch the bus No.892 before 07:00am, because you are in China, and even if it is not very popular place, there are still a lot of people here. Another way to get there is to take Bus No.992 or 370 at Pingguoyuan station to Hetan bus stop, and then change to a micro-bus to Chuandixia.
This water-town is located just two-hour drive from Shanghai. Its narrow cobblestone streets lined with souvenir shops. If you cannot fight temptation to buy another “pretty ancient artifact”, don’t forget to bargain. Many of the old buildings, which date back to the 1300s, filled with restaurants, where you can try regional cuisine. Don’t forget to visit the Fishing Museum for a primer on traditional techniques. Sample the freshly made super-sweet hand-pulled candy.
There are 14 arched bridges around the town. For 100 RMB you can take a20 minutes traditional gondola ride, and if you tip your guide a little, he will sing a traditional song for you.
There are several options to get there:
- You can take a tourist bus form Shanghai Tour Bus Center (上海旅游集散中心). For this you need to go outside the Cao Xi Road subway stop for line 3. Get out at Exit 3 and turn right. You can see the Shanghai Tour Bus Center Building (big gray new building) just next to subway station. You can purchase your tickets there (also in advance) and the buses normally leave from Gate No. 1 at the bus center (2nd floor). Tel: 24095555. Departure time: 7:00, 8:30, 9:30, 10:10, 10:45, 12:10, 14:00. The price is ¥150 (¥75 for senior citizens over the age of 70) which includes round-trip fees and entrance tickets (¥120).
- Bus from Hongkou Football Stadium. The No.5 gate. Departure time: 8:15 and 16:15 to return. The price is ¥240 include round-trip fees and enter the tourist area of Zhouzhuang (¥120). It gives you only 5.5 hours in the town, which may not be enough to enjoy the beauty spot to lots of people.
- Long Distance Bus station, next to the railway station. This is a regular bus, not a tourist bus. Departures from Shanghai: 8:00, 12:00, 14:20 and 16:50. The last bus home to Shanghai leaves Zhouzhuang at 16:30.
- Take Shanghai subway line 11, get off at Huaqiao Station and then change tourism bus no. 7 to Zhouzhuang Bus Station
For more information how to get to Zhouzhuang you can go here.
Putuoshan is a small island located not far from Ningbo. You can take a ferry from Ningbo or an overnight boat trip from Shanghai to get to this beautiful place, which seems like another world. Island is famous for its temples, pagodas and narrow cobblestone streets. The main population is monks, monkeys and fishermen. This island has the best beaches in northern China.
To get to Putuoshan you can:
- Take a ferry from Wusong Wharf.
- Take a boat. There are 4 boats from Shanghai to Putuo: Putuo Shan Line(普陀山轮), Fayu Line（法雨轮）, Jinping Line（锦屏轮）and Luojia Shan Line（洛迦山轮. The boat will take about 11 hours, which is good for visitors not in a hurry. The boat leaves from NO.251-271, Huacheng Road, Baoshan District, Shanghai (上海宝山区化成路251-271号). Prices start from 109 RMB per person and goes up to the first class level.
- You can take a speed boat from LuchaoHarbor(芦潮港): the Feihai Line (8:00-12:00) and Feixiang Line (8:30-12:30). Address is: NO.1588, Waima Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai City 上海黄浦区外马路1588号. Prices start from 258 RMB per person.
- Take a bus. Bus trip will take up to four and a half hours. You can take a bus from Shanghai Southern Bus Station or from Tourism Hub under Shanghai Nanpu Bridge.
- Or you can take a plane from Pudong International Airport.
These are just some of the delightful places you can travel close by during the National Holidays. But you may choose to stay home and spend nice quality time with your dear ones. If you’re are indeed homeless at the moment and looking for a new place why not take this opportunity to check out what Shanghai Properties has to offer? We will be open during the National Holidays so feel free to call us directly on +86 131 2281 0421 or mail me, Adrienne Farrelly at email@example.com and I’ll arrange to show you around.
Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at +86 13122 810 421 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties