Going to Shganghai in September. Not a big city person really and know that we will want to get out for a few days. Are there any good places within easy reach that you can just chill out. Thinking of Putuoshan, as really enjoy swimming. Are there any other good places to swim within 100 miles of Shanghai? Also maybe a day or 2 in Suzhou. Any ideas gratefully recived!
Good luck on finding somewhere to swim, other than in hotel/gym pools!
I"d definitely recommended HangZhou.
It's a small city with magnificent scenery everywhere.
you'd find urself totally relax and enjoy in the city.
if you only have a few days to spare, would recommend the canal towns zhouzhuang or zhujiajie. if you're in for a workout, don't miss huangshan.
I just came from there (currently in China for another few weeks) and would strongly recommend Hangzhou (I think Suzhou is very, very overrated and not worth more than a day trip). You are not likely to find swimming from what I can see in any of the places you mentioned (You could try Xiamen though it's a long way south) but Hangzhou once you get away from the city side is gorgeous (especially the southern end of the lakefront) and grows on you more and more while you are there.
You can peek at my blog for my thoughts and ideas of all those places or e-mail me direct if you have any questions or want an opinion or two.
I loved Shanghai
Hope this helps.