For almost a year now, I’ve been saying to my friends and family, “I’m going to China.” This is usually followed with someone asking me, “Great! So where in China?” So far I’ve given them the routine answer of Sichuan Province, specifically to the city of Chengdu. However, it donned on me the other day that China is big… it’s HUGE!
Of course the primary reason to visit Chengdu is to visit my friend Colby (SoHan is his Chinese name). However, I will have to get to Chengdu to meet him. This leaves me quite a journey, as I believe I will be entering China through Hong Kong. Between Hong Kong and Chengdu lies about 850,000 miles if one was to travel there directly. As I plan to be there during the Spring tea harvest (mid to late April), I may want to take a more circuitous route to get to my dear friend.
Do I head up to Chaozhou to see the birthplace of modern Gongfu Cha? If I did, I could continue continue north to Fujian and taste some of the freshest Oolongs from Anxi or the Wuyi mountains. Then, I might head west to Jiangxi and visit Lu Shan! Such a trip would take days, maybe even weeks to perform, but the teas (and tea farms) I could explore would be countless!
Once in Chengdu, I would be at no loss of tea or tea culture. The city is one of the oldest centers for tea (having been at the center of Tang Dynasty tea production). Today, Chengdu boasts hundreds of tea houses, many of which are open-air and occupy much of Chengdu’s public urban space.
Needless to say, I am very excited and am looking forward to building my itinerary. I am taking requests to places to visit, and teas to taste (and bring back home for friends to sample). As this process continues I will keep you all posted!