ULI Asia Pacific is pleased to present a bespoke historical, cultural, architectural, urban planning and preservation study tour to Suzhou and Hangzhou. The guided tour takes place after the ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Shanghai and offers summit participants an extended trip to nearby twin cities in the Yangtze Delta.

Suzhou is home to some of the most celebrated examples of classical Chinese gardens in the country, while Hangzhou was once labelled “the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world” by none other than Marco Polo. Besides their picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage, you will experience how both cities have modernised extensively – Suzhou by positioning itself at the forefront of economic development; and the important role Hangzhou plays as China’s tech and entrepreneurship hub.

Limited to just 20 participants, the study tour gives you a unique opportunity to network with the wider ULI membership and engage in a meaningful exchange of knowledge and experiences with other industry professionals.


13 June 2019, Thursday

7:00: Depart Jing An Shangri-La Shanghai and transfer by High Speed Rail to Suzhou

On the way to the Suzhou Industrial Park your native English-speaking guide will provide an overview of Chinese history in our History Of China In A Nutshell presentation. In particular, you will learn how construction of the Grand Canal transformed Suzhou and Hangzhou into China’s most important cities, far outshadowing ancient Shanghai.

9:00 – 13:00: Visit to the Suzhou Industrial Park followed by lunch

Surrounding the Jinji lake is the Suzhou Industrial Park. Jointly designed by the city government and a Singaporean urban planning committee, the Park has been described as a masterpiece of urban planning.

Whilst visiting Suzhou Industrial Park your native English-speaking guide will explore China’s long standing admiration of Singaporean urban planning, and provide other examples of how in some ways the PRC also imitates Singaporean governance and politics.

14:30 – 16:30: Humble Administrator’s Garden & Suzhou Museum

The famous Humble Administrator’s Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered by some to be the finest in all of southern China. This Garden was built in the early 16th century, with a history of over 500 years. Located in the north-eastern corner of the ancient city Suzhou, this beautifully landscaped space is dotted with ancient Chinese residences that serve as museums to showcase elaborate furniture and artwork; water features and lotus-filled ponds; small bamboo forests, hills, courtyards and pavilions.

Next, we will visit the New Suzhou Museum, which is located adjacent to the Humble Administrator’s Garden. Founded in 1960, the Suzhou Museum has been a highly regarded regional museum. The new museum was designed by the world-renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei in 2006. The challenge was to design and build a modern museum that visually complements and embody the history, art and culture of Suzhou and Yangtze River Delta – perfect harmony with all the old, classical buildings around it.

17:00 – 19:00: Pingjiang Road followed by dinner

Pingjiang Road is an historic street that dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Alongside of its paved roads and traditional white-walled buildings we will learn how it became home to many important scholars. In addition, we will discover the origins of Kunqu Opera, and find out how the “Cake Bridge” got its name.

20:00: Overnight stay in Suzhou

Kempinski Hotel Suzhou. Surrounded by the stunning natural scenery of Jinji Lake and Dushu Lake, the hotel is located within Suzhou Industrial Park.

14 June 2019, Friday


8:00: Depart for Hangzhou via coach

On the way to Hangzhou, your native English speaking guide will provide an overview of the history of Hangzhou, known as the ‘Garden City’ and famed as one of the most beautiful in China. During the talk you will learn about Hangzhou’s incredible artistic and scientific achievements during the tumultuous Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279AD). From the military genius Yue Fei to the politically outspoken Su Shi, and from the vast tea plantations of Longjing to the tranquil shores of West Lake, this introduction will explain why Hangzhou’s history is just as awe inspiring as its scenery.

10:00 – 12:00: E-Fashion Town and Life Hub @ Hangzhou

We will visit Hangzhou’s Yuhang District, which is the interchange for the high speed rail between Shanghai and Hangzhou and is being developed into a core business and metro economic district.

E-Fashion Town features an increasingly prosperous fashion industry and has gathered a mix of new builds populated by designer studios, fabric suppliers, clothing stores, e-commerce agencies and art workshops. A total of 405 fashion companies have stationed in the town.

Life Hub @ Hangzhou is a lifestyle themed, retail anchored mixed use development next to the Nangyuan Metro Station, just one station from the Yuhang High Speed Rail Station. It consists of over 3,000,000 square feet of commercial, residential and office buildings and is designed to be an ecology and technology icon of Hangzhou.

12:00: Lunch

13:00 – 15:00: Hangzhou CBD, Qianjiang New City

Marvel at the speed with which Qianjiang New City has been developed since construction first began in 2007, and find out how work here is typical of the local government’s attempts to ease congestion and develop multiple city centers.

We will visit The MixC, a large scale integrated shopping mall developed in partnership by two of China’s largest developers, China Resources and Sun Hung Kai Properties. The project, located at the heart of Qianjian New City, enjoys direct connectivity to Metro Lines at the basement level. The MixC includes 520,132 square meters of retail, office, residential and a Park Hyatt hotel,  a state-of-the-art ice rink and multiplex cinemas. CallisonRTKL, the masterplanner and architect will lead the tour.

15:30 – 17:30: Zhongshan Road

Named after the founder of the Republic of China, this road is a fantastic example of conservation in modern Chinese cities. Dating back to the Song Dynasty (1127-1279AD) Zhongshan road contains many examples of traditional Chinese architecture as well as Western-style buildings constructed during the country’s era as a Republic.

18:00 – 20:00: West Lake Tour and Dinner

Visit West Lake, Hangzhou’s most famous destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whilst here you will have the chance to admire the calligraphy of Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong and find out why he is thought to have visited Hangzhou in disguise. In addition, we will also get the chance to visit the Su Causeway, where your guide will relate the story of the legendary poet and outspoken official who oversaw its construction. At the nearby Yue Fei Mausoleum, you will also have the chance to pay your respects to one of China’s most revered military heroes and find out why some must bow their heads to him in eternal shame.

Finally, enjoy the Impressions Of West Lake show, directed by the great Zhang Yimou, whose credits include Raise The Red Lantern, Hero, and the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The show involves a spectacle of lights, music, and dance based on the ancient myths and legends of Hangzhou and the West Lake.

Overnight stay in Hangzhou.

Midtown Shangri-La, Hangzhou. The hotel is part of the Kerry Centre complex, a modern mixed-use development in Xiacheng district, which also includes an office tower, apartments and a high-end shopping mall. Hangzhou’s beautiful West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is within walking distance of the hotel.

15 June 2019, Saturday

9:00 – Check out and transfer by High-Speed Rail from Hangzhou to Shanghai, connecting to international flights.

Itinerary subject to change



To sign up for the tour, please register by downloading the registration form at the top of this page. Submit completed forms and any enquiries to asiapacific@uli.org.

Registration closes 10 May 2019.