Just an hour bus ride out of Hangzhou, near the West Lake, there are several quaint little tea villages with absolutely stunning scenery. We visited the most famous village – the Longjing Tea Village – after which the famous Longjing green tea is named.
It was a really lovely day trip out of Hangzhou – after about an hour wandering along the narrow paths of the plantations, we were invited into a local farmer’s house to learn about traditional Chinese tea ceremonies and taste some of the delicious tea.
The village is very small and rural, with the houses and shops all mixed in with the tea plantation itself. While rural Chinese life seems pretty tough, growing tourism in the area is bringing in alternative sources of income. The people were friendly and welcoming – but do be generous too by purchasing some locally picked tea directly from the farmer’s themselves.
Entrance to the village is free and visitors are welcome to wander around the streets and the plantations themselves. During early spring, some areas even run tea picking tours, and in late spring you can try the freshly picked tea.