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Courtyard Dream House Adventure (August 3)

Traveling around Huangshan Area


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Qimen County

Since I was tasked with the planning for this trip, I made plans to come to the Huangshan 黄山 area south of Hefei. I did this because there were lots of ancient buildings and houses in this area but also because it had some of China's greatest teas.

I told Sunee we would be going to Qimen County about four hours from Tunxi. She had no idea why I wanted to go to this none tourist location. There is a story behind our journey.

About a year before this trip, I discovered and became very interested in Chinese tea. We visited the first tea plantation are in China which was three hours from our apartment at SW Jiaotong University. From that trip, I began to research Chinese tea. After about two months, I started a tea blog and my goal was to taste all the best tea in China.

One day, I came across the famous black tea called Keemun or Qimen 气门茶. Every time we went to Chengdu, we always visited the recently opened Tea City. On one such visit, I asked the dealer for some Qimen tea and he sold me some. I tasted it and was not overly impressed. I blogged this experience on my blog. A month after blogging, a chef from South America informed me that the tea I had said was Qimen was actually a cheap Yunnan black tea. I had gotten ripped off by the dealer in Chengdu.

What to do about this embarrassment? I devised a plan that was fail proof. We would travel to the source of Qimen Tea and thus we found ourselves in the nondescript little town of Qimen. Sunee thought I was crazy. We got a taxi and I told the driver to take us to a local tea seller. What a great time we had buying not only Qimen tea but several other teas unique to the Qimen area. We spent over three hours tasting, visiting and buying their teas.

The Best Qimen tea money can buy

The Best Qimen tea money can buy

Our dear Qimen friends

Our dear Qimen friends

More friends pictures

More friends pictures

Negotiating the sell of their fine teas

Negotiating the sell of their fine teas

And the haggling continues

And the haggling continues

Tasting in between the negotiations

Tasting in between the negotiations

This was one of those highlights we will always remember. What a great time we had with our tea selling friends.

But the adventure was not over. We still had an ancient town to visit. We took the bus back toward Tunxi and stopped at the town closes to the Anxici
ancient town. We found a hotel since it was late afternoon, had dinner and walked around a little. Not much in this town. In the morning, we would catch a taxi to the ancient town.

Anxici Ancient Town

The taxi we got in the morning took us to Anxici Ancient Town. It was a beauty. If one looks carefully, one may be able to see similar architecture as we saw in Shanxi Province. The Huizhou Culture has strong connections to Shanxi Province. The majority of merchants who came to this area, came from Shanxi Province. They were the finest business people in all of China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. These Chinese merchants tended to build really large manors and used identical architecture found in Shanxi. This is one great ancient town.

Entrance to Anxici town

Entrance to Anxici town

If their are Chinese brushes for sell, Sunee will find them

If their are Chinese brushes for sell, Sunee will find them

A typical doorway

A typical doorway

Cooking tea leaves from the local mountains

Cooking tea leaves from the local mountains

A very Chinese Huizhou room

A very Chinese Huizhou room

A Street scene

A Street scene

An Old doorway

An Old doorway

Down an alley through another Oval door

Down an alley through another Oval door

Several tea sellers working out of their homes

Several tea sellers working out of their homes

Roaring Twenties China girl

Roaring Twenties China girl

A pathway along the edge of the town

A pathway along the edge of the town

The girl in the doorway

The girl in the doorway

Buddhas for sell

Buddhas for sell

The exit from the town

The exit from the town

Posted by inchinahil 06:21 Archived in China Tagged tea huangshan ancient_town buddhist-temple anhui-province qimen anxici

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