Sichuan Tea Culture: Teahouses in Chengdu

Far away in the West China, Sichuan is home to the giant panda preserve, awesome wild natural scenery, renown spicy Chuan cuisine, as well as a unique branch of Chinese tea culture – the Sichuan tea culture. There’s no better way to experience the quaint and exotic Sichuan tea culture than to follow in the locals’ footsteps to the countless teahouses in Chengdu.

China’s leisure city Chengdu has the largest number of teahouses in China, and long taken credit for the most comprehensive ones, showcased in the all kinds of sizes, multifarious designs and layouts, warm and attentive services with authentic tea at different prices, exquisite tea sets, and various fun and refreshing entertainment originated from Sichuan traditional culture and folk customs and arts.

Recommended  China Tea Tours with Easy Tour China

Chengdu Tea Culture  Traditioanl Chinese Teapots

The Chengdu teahouse is gem of Chinese tea culture, and the most important part of locals’ daily life: for leisure, relaxing, chatting, meetings, as well as being the court of civilians in the old days. Tea house is to Chengdu people what café is to Western people.

Chengdu teahouses are both indoor and outdoor, mostly with tranquil ambience. The big, well furnished tea houses can house up to 1000 guests, while the little ones are with only several small square tables and bamboo chairs. Some of them are century-old converted from a museum or a temple, some are fancy, renovated, and eye-catching, and some are hidden gems in the remote corners. The teas mostly served in include jasmine, Dragon Well, and Bi Luo Chun.

Top Sichuan Tea Houses

What people do in the teahouses of Chengdu

Tea houses are far more than places for drinking tea, they are places for bǎi lóng mén zhèn (摆龙门阵), which means chatting and gossiping. Besides, people come here to smoke, watch TV, read newspaper, play cards or chess, play Majiang, and just kill the time.

Best Chengdu Teahouses

The entertainment of teahouses

The forms of teahouse services are becoming increasingly diverse. Tea enthusiasts gather together to enjoy the wonderful performances of Sichuan opera, Chinese dulcimer, puppet show, acrobatic tricks, or the tradition form of storytelling when sipping the tea. People can also try a special and efficient way of cleaning up ears.

The most popular Teahouses in Chengdu

Another performance visitors should not miss is the Chengdu tea ceremony, the “Tea Doctors” serve the tea with unique teapots and their surprising, creative skills.

Chengdu Tea Ceremony Drinking Tea in China

The most famous teahouses in Chengdu

Heming Teahouse (鹤鸣茶社): located inside the People’s Park, it is a riverside outdoor teahouse, and one of the most popular teahouses in Chengdu.

Shunxing Ancient Teahouse (顺兴老茶馆): it is the best one for Sichuan Opera, combined with offering delicate Chengdu snacks.

Sichuan Opera Teahouses

Yuelai Teahouse (悦来茶馆): it is a cheap alternative, with free Sichuan opera performances from 14:00 to 16:00 every Tuesday and Saturday.

Laozhaiyuan (老宅院): off the main track of the Wide and Narrow Alleys (宽窄巷子), this humble 200-year-old teahouse is a peaceful escape without anything flashy, just tea.

The most famous Chengdu teahouses

Chengdu cuisine

Trip to Bajiaozhai National Forest Park for UNESCO Danxia Landform

If you have come all the way to Guilin from another corner of the world, don’t rush to leave away. Instead, allow yourself one more day 150km (93miles) further to Ziyuan country for the Danxia landform wonder in Bajiaozhai National Forest Park. There’s no place in China where you’ll feel more caught up among the hoodoo peaks of the country than in Bajiaozhai.

Bajiaozhai National Forest Park in Guangxi

Located on the border between South China’s Guangxi and Hunan provinces, the park is also named Mount Yuntai. There are eight big peaks stretching to different directions, with the prominent peak reaching 818 meters linking by a 1708-stair trail. After the ascent, visitors will see the historic relics of Yuntai Temple back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), and no one can fail to be impressed by the park’s majestic showcased in the lots of precipitous rounded hills.

Road to Bajiaozhai National Forest Park

Bajiao Zhai is of typical Danxia landform, formed with the erosion of red sandstone, and was shaped 67 million years ago. Among the Danxia forests, there are rock drifts, rock reefs, valleys, stone peaks formed by water erosion, stone walls, stone pillars, stone caves, rock fort and isolated peaks formed by collapse and landslides, and honeycomb-like caves formed by weathering dissolution.

China UNESCO Danxia Landform

Bajiaozhai National Forest Park offers magnificent scenery all year round, but nothing can match its grandeur when blanketed with fog. Standing on the tops, you can see the peaks rise dimly in the fog, feeling like stepping into a fairyland. Soon, visitors can take the cable car up and down which is now on the trial run.

Further Reading for Zhangye Danxia Landform in China

Bajiao Zhai Cable Car

Bajiaozhai Park Plank Road

Bajiaozhai National Forest Park

Bajiaozhai Park Danxia Landform

72 Hours in Hangzhou – Heavenly City in China

Since the late October, Hangzhou in East China’s Zhejiang province has offered international tourists a 72-hour window to explore the city without a visa. According to the policy, transit passengers from 51 countries and regions, including the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan among others can enjoy a 72-hour stay in Zhejiang Province after entering China via Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, only if they have third country visas and onward tickets to leave for a third country or region within 72 hours.

Beautiful Hangzhou awaits you!

Hangzhou West Lake

West Lake

If you a transit and plan to have 72-hour trip in Hangzhou, see what are the perfect 3-day itinerary to discover the most of this famous cultural, historic city.

Day 1: Hangzhou City Sightseeing Tour

Hangzhou has a sophisticated transportation system, while taking the public transport via city bus, metro or taxi is a great way to travel around.

For foreign visitors to Hangzhou, West Lake blanketed with small islets, gardens, pavilions and temples in the city center is a must-see sight, and the symbol of Hangzhou. It is highly recommended to take a boat down through the lake to admire at the stunning scenery. Or you can also have a West Lake biking tour, all fun and relaxed.

Later, have a visit to Lingyin Temple and Feilai Peak. Hided away in lush forested hills, the 1688-year-old Lingying Temple is one of the most prestigious Buddhist monasteries in China. it will be an extraordinary experience to see the ancient architectures, the Buddha statues and the Buddha caves. In the caves on the Feilai Peak, there are 470 Buddhist stone carvings dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and the Yuan Dynasty (1271 -1368).

Hangzhou has amusing night life, you can have various entertainment and feast on the delicate, delicious local dishes and snacks in the famous food streets.

Day 2: Hangzhou Tea Tour

If you a tea master or a tea enthusiasts, never miss the profound tea culture in Hangzhou. It is the birthplace of famous West Lake Dragon Well Tea – one among top ten China teas. Visit the Chinese Tea Museum, located in Longjing (Dragon Well) Village, west of charming West Lake, and covers an area of 22,000 square meters (about 5.4 acres) with a 3500 square meter (about 0.9 acres) construction area.

Why not visit a tea farm by picking tea leaves on your own? Then know more about Chinese tea by learning the frying tea process and trying some tea food.

Day 3: Hangzhou Watertown Tour

East China is famous for elegant water towns.

Approximately 75km away from Hangzhou, Wuzhen Water Town is divided into four parts by a cross-shaped river, with the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal running across. Indulge yourself in its haunting history and culture, graceful water town scenery of dozens of ancient bridges and rows of well-preserved dwellings, unique-flavored tasty foods, various and colorful folk-customs and festivals.

The Most Distinctive Traditional Dwellings in China

When it comes to discover the unique ancient dwellings of the world, you can’t miss those in China. China has some of the world’s most distinctive ancient dwellings, with beautiful, delicate craft and elegant, artistic design rarely seen in the world architecture. Moreover, many of them are still well-preserved and in good condition. This is a list of a representative selection of traditional Chinese dwellings, with which you will also have a deeper knowledge of local customs and lifestyles, as well as the ancient Chinese culture.

Fujian Tulou (福建土楼)

Tulou, mainly distributed in the mountainous areas of South China’s Fujian province, is a unique type of rural dwellings of the Hakka people. These odd-looking structures were mostly built between the 12th and the 20th centuries, primarily aimed at defending against the bandits and robbers. Usually a tulou is made into a vast, enclosed and fortified earth building, capable of housing up to 80 families living a communal life.

Fujian Earthing Building

Xiamen Tulou Building

Huizhou Architectures in Southern Anhui (皖南徽式建筑)

Head to the ancient Hongcun and Xidi villages in southern Anhui province and we promise you’ll be dazzled. There are clusters of well preserved dwellings of white walls, black roofs, delicate structure and beautiful decorations dating back to Ming and Qing Dynasty. They fully demonstrate the extraordinary characteristics of Huizhou architecture style, which is regarded as an fine example of ancient Chinese residential buildings.

China Huizhou Architectures Chinese Traditional Architectures

Kaiping Diaolou (开平碉楼) 

Another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in China, Diaolou in Kaiping country, Guangdong province is a multi-storeyed defensive tower building and a special type of residential house. It is a perfect blend of Chinese, ancient Greek, ancient Roman and Islamic structural and decorative forms. There are all together 1,800 tower houses in Kaiping, retaining a harmonious relationship with the local agricultural landscape.

Chinese residential house

Guangzhou Tower Buildings

Stilted Building in West Hunan (湘西吊脚楼)

Stilted Building of Tujia minority people is a gem of Chinese residence and its timberwork structure system is further fantastic. The houses are mostly built down the hillside, supported by wooden pillars. People live on the second floor, while the first elevated ground floor is served as the storehouse, which is against moisture and allows for wind movement. If you make a trip to Fenghuang ancient town, you will see Stilted Building on the riverside.

Fufeng Timer Stucture

Stilted Building in China

Cave Dwelling in Qikou Ancient Town (碛口窑洞)

On the Loess Plateau of Northern China, Qikou is an enchanted culture-rich ancient town. It was an important ferry along Yellow River, making its dwelling a unique fortress style with mixed features of ancient Chinese commercial town and Northwest Jin’s traditional dwellings. what’s more surprising is the distinctive cave dwelling in the Lijiashan Village, which resembles a huge tomb with individual cave-like gates and windows.

North China Dwellings

Ancient Chinese Dwellings

Pingyao Old Town Dwellings (平遥民居)

The residential houses of Pingyao is of the courtyard style – typical northern China dwelling, including the principal room facing south, a wing room, festoon gate, big gate, screen wall and some other essential structures and decorations. The Ancient Dwellings Town situated on No. 18 West Avenue of the old town is the home to the epitome of ancient Pingyao dwellings. And you’re encouraged to have a visit of Qiao Family Compound or Wang Family Compound, both of which are masterpieces of this traditional civil architecture.

Pingyao Ancient Dwellings Town

Chinese Courtyard House

Take Great Photos of Yourself When Travelling Alone

When traveling with friends or tourist groups is fairly meticulous and nervous, many prefer to travel alone, all fun and surprise, without travel buddies restricting them from discovering new things. But how are you supposed to get those pictures of yourself to record the wonderful journey if you’re going it alone?

Here, we collect tips and tricks for taking a great selfie on the journey, for solo travelers.

China travel photography tips

1. Avoid the monotonous, boring tourist pictures like this.

Travel tips

2. Prepare yourself the good selfie gadgets, such as the self-portrait mirror, snap remote, tripod, etc.

How to pack before traveling in China

3. Shoot yourself by using the widest angle your camera offers, with you in the middle, surrounded by simple, plain scenery, like grasslands, desert, beach…

Travel tips for Solo traveler in China

4. Be aware of the location of the sun to avoid ghastly shadows under the eyes or the silhouette effect. Make good use of the light in the morning, and that of the sunset.

Tips for Traveling alone in China

5. Don’t be shy and have the camera moved in on your big smile for a close-up sequence. You can also have close-up views of the rest of your body, or when you are doing something interesting or having a peacefully relax.

Selfie tips

6. Shy away from the crowds if possible. But when you are traveling in China during the National Day holiday, there’s no way you can make it. A bright idea is to use the slow shutter with the exposure time lasting for 1 or 2 seconds, focusing on your body and standing still for 5 minutes. Then the camera will do the rest and make the crowds around you like the flowing water.

take a great photo of yourself

7. Take in the new surroundings, and take full advantage of local specialties, the little kitty or puppy, and the props, such as the feather, fallen leaves. Put them in the frame with you.

China Tours for solo travelers

8. Try a few times more, until you get the satisfy ones. And ignore what people around are looking at you oddly.

Tips for traveling alone in China