Sourcing Report - Spring 2015 - China - Hangzhou (杭州)
Visiting the Chen’s was the main reason we headed towards the Dragonwell tea-growing region, but because we had a little time to spare after our visit, we made our way to Hangzhou (杭州) to visit the famous West Lake (西湖) Scenic Area where Dragonwell originated.
Located in the southwest section of Hangzhou city proper, the city’s tea-growing area is both expansive and impressive. The most famous region is Lion’s Peak, of Shi Feng Mountain (獅峰山). We wound our way up to Long Jing (龍井) Village, nestled deep within the mountain, to admire the scenery.
We made a few stops along the way up. First, we came across a large group of ladies picking leaves from small bushes close by the village of Meijiawu (梅家坞). They were all very friendly, and even approached us to have their photos taken.
The sun was quickly setting but they were all still very hard at work. Made from the first buds and leaves of the season, Pre-Qing Ming Dragonwell tea is high in demand both nationally and internationally.
Can you imagine how much dexterity is required to pick those tiny buds and leaves from among all the other tea bush leaves?
The tea pickers, lovingly referred to as “ayi” (阿姨), empty their baskets often to prevent the leaves from being crushed by their own weight.
The scenery grew more and more beautiful as we drove farther up the mountain. Since Hangzhou is a known tourist destination because of its tea production, all of the tea bushes were impeccably maintained. The sun was setting quickly, so we did not get a chance to climb up into the hills, but the view from the bottom was breath-taking enough!
We saw some tea pickers leaving, and knew that we needed to hurry off as well.
As we pulled into Longjing Village, we understood immediately what we had heard about the negative impact of Dragonwell’s fame and fortunate on the village. Immediately after we stepped out of our car, a local lady scurried up to us and quipped, “Do you want to buy Long Jing tea? My family grows our own tea. Come with me and I will show you this years new tea!”
We knew that prices in the village were so inflated that only tourists and the Chinese elite are willing to pay this premium–prices start at thousands of RMB–so we politely declined, saying that we were only here for the view. (In fact, we were so flustered by her aggressiveness that we completely forgot to take a photo of the actual village itself when we got there!)
There was a tea garden in the center of the village, and we hurried up the steps to try to catch a glimpse of the view before the light faded. The lady followed, saying, “I’m just here to make sure you are okay, don’t worry about me!” She eventually stopped tailing us as we climbed higher and higher.
It was incredible what a difference a few hundred steps made!
Since the sun had already set by this point, we took one last look at the trail up the mountain ahead, and made our way back down. With a view this picturesque, it’s no wonder why so many tourists flock to Hangzhou every day!
Down below, the village streets filled with a sea of tea pickers that were finishing up their shifts and stepping out for an evening stroll. Lights flickered on as people poured in and out of open doors of stores that doubled as restaurants and homes, and families sat around enjoying a home-cooked meal, some tea and a smoke.
We took a different path down the mountain, but when we re-appeared onto the village streets, a familiar voice shouted out, “How was the view? Want to try some tea?” Talk about persistent!
Although we really wanted to try Dragonwell while we were in its namesake village, we knew that we would be hard-pressed to find an honest tea grower/merchant. In addition to the inflated price of Dragonwell from this village, another thing to be wary about is whether or not the tea is even authentic! Just as luxury purses are counterfeited, famous teas like Dragonwell are also often copied. Many producers, even ones in the Longjing Village itself, will purchase tea leaves from other parts of China, process them into Dragonwell, and brand them as the renowned local product.
Since we already have a trusted source for our Dragonwell, we took one last stroll around the village, and headed off to dinner.
Lingyin Temple best China travel
is situated in the northwest of West Lake, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang
Province, as one of big ten temples of Buddhism’s Chan Sect (Zen) in
China. It is also a famous scenic spot. When tourists arrive in Hangzhou
City, most of them will make a tour to Lingyin Temple. Therefore,
Lingyin Temple is one of the top temples in China in terms of the number
of received tourists.
Lingyin Temple was founded in the year 326 during the Eastern Jin
Dynasty (317-420). It was expanded during the Five Dynasties Period
(907-960). At that time, this temple had a large scale with 9 buildings,
18 pavilions, 77 halls and more than 3,000 monks, and became a famous
temple in the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Since its
establishment, Lingyin Temple has experienced destructions and
reconstructions of more than ten times. China tour guide for more. In 1956 and 1975, it was rebuilt twice and got its present scale.
The overall agreement of Lingyin Forehead is just like that of wats
or temples in the southern of the lower gets to of the Yangtze Stream.
On its inside axis take a position Incredible Area, Primary Area, and
Medication Expert Buddha Area. There appears the statue of Maitreya
Buddha at the middle of the Incredible Expert Area, and four Incredible
Leaders take a position on both ends of Maitreya Buddha. A seated Statue
of Sakyamuni at the middle of the Primary Area is one of the biggest
and highest seated statues of Buddha in Chinese suppliers. A huge number
of Buddhist social artifacts are valued up in Lingyin Forehead. Such
structures and statues as locations, pavilions, sutra support beams, and
statues of Buddha in Lingyin Forehead are useful for research on
China’s record of Buddhism, structural art, and statue art.
The atmosphere around Lingyin Forehead is silent and hidden and the
whole temple is hided from perspective in heavy forest. Read also Hangzhou Travel.
On one side of the temple there is Feilai Optimum (the peak traveling
here), a popular picturesque identify of Hangzhou Town. Feilai Optimum
not only has wonderful landscapes, but also is one of important
locations of historical grotto art in South Chinese suppliers. There are
more than 330 rock statues in the grotto, among which the most
eye-catching is the statue of Maitreya Buddha, illumination up with
satisfaction and revealing his breasts. It is the biggest statue in
Feilai Optimum grotto with high creative value.
CALIFORNIA is the most populous state in the US, and for good reason. Its diverse topography ranges from the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the Mojave Desert, outstanding national parks to acres of Redwood-Douglas fir forests and the third longest coastline in the US — famous for the scenic drive …read more
Seaside stroll: a combination of famous scenic spots. A merge between the ocean, silent gardens and stone carved structures. In the evening, typical sea food in a small and quiet restaurant and, yes… ate the biggest oyster I had ever seen
Day 100 of 365: Ha Long Bay (also “Halong Bay”) is in Northern Vietnam, 170 km (105 mi) East of Hanoi. The bay is famous for its scenic ocean karst topography and is often included in lists of natural wonders of the world. A MUST-SEE!! We ♡ Halong Bay!!