Late afternoon and early evening. West Lake is truly a magical place. You really need to see it if you can. The photos are not in order, just random. The pictures do not do the place justice and want to go back someday to explore much more of it. This place has tons of significance to the Chinese people. It is surrounded by the city of Hangzhou which has almost 10 million people. We only saw a small part of the park, but it worth so worth it. The bridges, the statues, the landscaping, the foliage were all lovely. It looked like a fairy tale kingdom. I would love to ride a boat on West Lake to get that view also. Someday, sigh.
Not sure why I am taking 4 weeks to discuss one day. I had tons of pictures in the beginning too. The Houtu tea factory, museum, and tasting room were gorgeous to see.
The first two pictures are us walking into Houtu. The pillar in these photos has the history of tea on it. The next picture is of a stone used to grind matcha tea. Next four pictures are artifacts used to make traditional Lung Ching aka Dragonwell green tea.
I really liked the detail of the place as you can see with my several photos of the architecture and decor. One of the rooms had people grinding fresh matcha and allowed us to try some. It was tasty but still prefer Japanese matcha. One of the pictures has a traditional English tea set up, which made Sharon Hall feel really happy and a little homesick. Several photos of the architecture and decor again, including the tree lights and the tea cut out of the building to bring in light. The last photo is of us seeing their machinery to produce matcha tea at the factory. If you notice the feet we had to put on blue footies over our shoes in the factory, not a fashion statement, lol.
The next two weeks will be pictures of West Lake and me discussing the rest of my trip because I did not take many photos at the end.
In the morning we traveled towards Hangzhou and had lunch at a delish restaurant that was right next to the Houtu tea factory, museum, and tasting room. We did a tour of the factory and it was very nice to see. The head of the Houtu factories was nice enough to transport, feed, and lodge us for a night in Hangzhou. There were about two dozen people and we were able to see West Lake.
The first four pictures are on the way to the restaurant. The next three are from the restaurant. The features picture is of Kyle taking a picture of our appetizers. We had two rooms for our group. You can see a bit of our second room in the featured picture.
I have a few pictures of the Houtu Tea Factory, Museum, and Tasting Room which I will show next week and the week after some of my photos of West Lake. West Lake really deserves two posts for all the lovely pictures.
The last day in Yibin was filled with exploring the place we had the 1st Confederation of International Tea Smallholders (CITS) Meeting. The place had a greenhouse and tea gardens. We took a tour and were entertained until the meeting. The meeting was informative because we were shaping the documents and the tone of the CITS. Afterward, we had lunch and went to the airport to get on Tibetan Air to Hangzhou.
Was a little sad because we had to say goodbye to some really nice people who were not going to the First International Green Tea Conference in Shengzhou with us. Once we got to Hangzhou we took a bus to Shengzhou where our hotel was. When we arrived we went to our rooms and went to a dining hall to eat a late meal.
The last two photos are the inside of Yibin Airport.
Well not sure where to start and this trip happened about two months ago. I guess I can say that March 13th I was working my last Badger State Brewery Winter’s Farmers Market and drove down to Chicago that night to take an early flight to China on March 14th. This was the worst place I stayed at the whole trip because it was a musty room, though every other room was great to excellent.
I meet so many nice people and only minor inconveniences during the whole trip. It was truly life changing and wonderful.
A great story I have about Beijing Airport is a few hours before boarding Air China to Yibin I was sitting and an elderly lady with her daughter and her daughter’s baby sat next to me. The elderly lady got up and her daughter sat next to me with her baby. We chatted and she mentioned that she is the one who gets international films for the Chinese people and she was taking her 10-month old baby girl on her first flight. I was also her baby’s first foreigner and the baby would touch me gently and stare at me. She was cute. They were going to the Hong Kong Film Festival and the mother figured it was a short enough flight for the baby. She mentioned going to Cannes, Sundance, Toyko Film Festival, etc…. I told her why I was in China and she took my card. Just one of many lovely moments I had in China, though I wished I got her card.
Please look at the pictures below and the captions and I will continue my story in other blog posts.