Ive been working and living in Shanghai for a few years now so it was wonderful to take this tour and dig beyond the central city. Even as a Shanghai veteran, the water villages totally surprised me, and Miki was the perfect host.
We were picked up from the Hilton hotel and driven to Jinze, the first water town of the day.
The boatman greeted us for a 30 minute ride on the canal. We came around a corner and saw the completely undisturbed water town. We were the only ones there and felt completely at peace, not to mention a little bit spoiled! More spoiling was to come after the boat ride as we were invited into Mikis tea house. Mikis sister Nancy had just cooked a chicken soup for 3 hours - it was tender, delicate and completely delicious! We also tried chrysanthemum and Longjing teas, as well as handmade dumplings.
We arrived to the second part of the tour around 6pm. We loved how Xitang is totally different from Jinze. From quiet Jinze to bustling Xitang - such a contrast and both completely fascinating!
We wandered through the alleys by the canals, checking out all the bars, restaurants and little shops along the way. We visited a wine store where Miki invited us to taste their homemade wines. There were dozens of flavors all made of different Chinese herbs. They had a fun range of bottles too so you could choose your favorite wine of which we found many! and match it with a bottle to take home. I couldnt believe it when the shop owner gave me the wine I liked most as a gift, because we were Mikis client! That was just another special touch that made this so much more than just a tour.
To finish up, we went to Mikis friends bar. Miki totally surprised us by jumping up and singing like a professional! Amazing.
We not only had an incredible day but by the end of it, we also felt that wed made a great new friend. A five star day through and through. Thank you Miki, we will see you again!
What an incredible day out with Miki Tours! We started by visiting her sister at a traditional and very cool! teahouse. Her sister made us delicious dumplings and chicken soup - so good for the soul! The water town that the teahouse was in Jinze? is completely tourist-free and super local. It really gave us a feel for the real life in China.
I've been to a few water towns around Shanghai but Xitang is my new favourite! Amazing atmosphere, stunning views and a great local feel. We ate some delicious snacks along the way and also tried several different flavours of a delicious Chinese wine. It was particularly fun doing the sunset tour - the sunset was great and the village really came alive when it was dark - very atmospheric!
Our guide, Miki was caring, informative, entertaining and extremely sweet. I recommend this tour to anyone - you're in for a treat!
This was an amazing trip from beginnng to end. We would rate it as one of the best excursions we have ever done. Our tour guide Mary was exceptional. Highly recommend doing the Sunset Tour. We enjoyed the peace and serenity of the non tourist water town we went to first. Then the lights and colour of Xitang was such a contrast to say nothing of the food and experiences we had. First class all the way.
Jinze boat riding to Mikis teahouse and romantic Xitang water village, a very unique experience!
We booked the Xitang Sunset Tour based on the excellent reviews.
The tour started with the water town of Jinze. Traditional and undeveloped water town , A gondola boat brought us to Mikis teahouse, where Nancy Mikis sister prepared authentic home made dumplings and other food for us the chicken soup was really great!.
After Jinze, we went to Xitang water village ,Also a traditional 2000 year historical water town. Once the night comes, a complete change occurs. You realize all of a sudden that there are plenty of restaurants and bars, and also dancings . Chinas young people, with plenty of energy, dance with so much enthusiasm!
Traditional China and modern life in the same little town! A very living ancient water village !!! Amazing!!!
The tour ended in a little bar in Xitang.We had a big surprise: all of a sudden, a singer went on the stage: it was Miki herself!!!Not only is Miki an excellent tour guide, she sings and performs like a professional!
We highly recommend this lovely guide Miki and her company Miki Tours .
My husband and I booked a day tour with Miki Wei to tour local water villages outside Shanghai. Miki did an outstanding job. We toured Jinze and Xitang water villages. In Jinze we were rowed to Miki's tea house, which she purchased to control food quality, hence we enjoyed outstanding fare. We enjoyed excellent tea and food. Next stop was Xitang. We arrived at sunset as many red lanterns were lit. Xitang is charming, Miki also is charming, we had a wonderful day. My American husband is very strong against local Chinese tour agents, but he and I give MIKI TOURS 5 stars and even 10.
-- Wang Zhi Hui
Id give it 6 stars if I could. We booked a private tour with Miki Tours - The Xitang Water Village, Sunset Tour with Riverside Dining. We were a party of four and we really didnt know what to expect. Having done several cruises together we have been on many tours, and we can honestly say this was the best experience. We had two tour guides giving us their full attention at all times. They shared with us a lot of local information and history of China. The tea ceremony, the meals, the boat ride and finally water village and a local bar were excellent value for money and greatly enhanced by the family feel of being looked after by Miki and her team. I would recommend it to anyone.
We took this tour on March 21 and had an amazing time with Miki! In one afternoon/evening we got to experience some very unique experiences! Miki was a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide whom we enjoyed greatly. It was terrific to see the contrast in an undeveloped water village to a much more developed and popular water village. The food at both the tea house in the undeveloped water village and the riverside restaurant in Xitang were excellent. We were amazed at the number of different things we had the privilege of experiencing - more than the tour description! And all the thoughtful little gifts from Miki were very sweet and appreciated. We would all highly recommend this tour! Thank you, Miki!
Only visiting Shanghai for a few days, my friend and I were a little hesitant to leave the city to visit the countryside. Boy, are we glad we did! Xitang is an absolutely magical place and is a good glimpse into the local culture and history. The charming water village provided much needed contrast to the buzz and density of Shanghai. What was once an important trading post due to it's position and water access, Xitang now caters to tourists without feeling overly touristy a feeling which we like to avoid. Small bars and shops line the old canals, while countless explorable alleyways connect traditional homes to the main areas. Here, it is easy to get the sense of stepping back into time.
Miki Tours does an excellent job, possibly the best tour experience we've ever had. The driver picked us up on time at our hotel in a comfy and clean vehicle. Along the route, Miki explained various points of interest. She seems extremely passionate about what she does and has a huge wealth of knowledge about everything we encountered along our way, being able to answer even trivial questions about what certain buildings are for, or the way life works in China. Once we arrived at the village she took us around and explained the history of different buildings, bridges, and corridors something we didn't expect to find so fascinating, but the way she narrates made it so. Miki was very engaging with me and my friend, asking us about what we like and then catering the experience to us we mentioned liking to have a drink so she took us to sample rice wine, for example. She then took us to a bar for a round of beers, and before we knew it she had everyone in the bar singing together. And then, just when we thought it couldn't get any better, she took us to an absolutely delicious family style restaurant, where we tried a dizzying array of local dishes, each one seemingly more delicious than the last. After a bit more walking to help digest, we arrived back at the van, which took us back to Shanghai just in time for a reasonable bedtime, or in our case, a night on the town.
I would highly recommend anyone who has a few days in Shanghai to give this tour a try, or any tour led by Miki Tours' company. All of her suggestions were perfect. Miki, if you're reading this, thank you for the great time!
The guide and experience were fantastic. Miki totally customized the tour to us, while throwing in a lot of great surprises along the way. She clearly knows the town very well, and even took us on a bonus tour of a less developed water town when we said we had more time. My tour companions mentioned they felt like a local friend was showing them around their hometown. This tour costs a little more than some of the other water town tours but we thought it was an awesome value based on the amount you will see and experience! Based on other reviews I was hoping this would be a great tour but it far exceeded my already high expectations.