1 Wangfu Chizi, Ji’nan

Swim with China’s fittest pensioners at this open-air pool, fed by spring water.

2 Qufu

Delve into the world of Confucius in the sage’s charming home town.

3 The Grand Canal

The original source of the region’s wealth, and a construction feat to rival the Great Wall.

4 Suzhou

A striking medley of tree-lined canals, ramshackle homes, old stone bridges and traditional Chinese gardens.

5 Xi Hu, Hangzhou

You will get great vistas from this beautiful lake, best appreciated by cycling the area.

6 Moganshan

An old colonial hill resort that has become fashionable as a summer retreat – it’s a great spot for a brisk hike.

7 Shaoxing

Charismatic backwater once home to writer Lu Xun, whose elegant mansion – now a museum – offers a glimpse into a vanished world.

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