Sunday, April 30, 2006

A day full of tea and fun in Hangzhou

What a day, we left Shanghai and set off for Hangzhou and arrived in the city about 3 hours later. The trip over was uneventful with nothing much to see, although we were surprised by all the new construction and not many people.
Once in Hangzhou that all changed the city was packed with people, not only with Hangzhou people, as the Chinese say, but also vacationers celebrating the National Labor Day or Golden Week holiday. Like every busy city, there is traffic, crazy drivers and lots of noise.

We met our Hangzhou hosts at our hotel and set off for a traditional Chinese meal which was fabulous even if I can't pronounce it all. We began the meal with hot Chrysanthemum brewed by the Chinese as a means to lower the bodies internal heat, which was a good thing since the weather was warm and sticky.


After lunch, we went back to Paul's teashop and started our afternoon tea tasting and tasting and tasting, At one point Barb and I noticed that our hosts were no longer drinking tea but still serving it to us! Paul brewed gung fu style and besides trying some new teas, we also enjoyed a variety of familiar oolongs as well as Dragon Well green tea. Hangzhou is the home of Dragon Well Village so that would only be expected and enjoyed.


Brewing Table & Tools for Gung Fu Style Tea


After several hours of sampling teas and reviewing product samples we set out to visit the local market, which was a lot of fun. We saw and shopped for many interesting items like calligraphy signs, paintings and Chinese medicinal herbs. The market was full of energy and a lot of talented local people with their wares.

More of the pictures from today in the next blog.
Tomorrow we visit the West Lake area home of Dragon Well, Beth

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