A trip to the tea gardens in Hangzhou
Over the May holiday in China, I decided it would be fun to get out of Beijing and take a trip to Hangzhou. Hangzhou has some of the prettiest tea gardens and a trip to nature is always a lovely idea.
Longjing Tea is more than 1200 years old and is the No. 1 tea in China, it is considered to be the very special. The Longing tea garden is near the West Lake which is one of the most famous lakes in the world. It also was one of the busiest places I had seen on a very long time. The tea gardens are to my surprise did not smell very tea like but they were stunning to look at. A lot of the bushes had already been picked but there were many still growing fresh leaves. I found the more I drove around the area the more I found smaller tea garden with fresh leaves.
One thing I have learnt about traveling around China is the more away from the city you go the more enjoyable your time is, especially if you are traveling for culture. I loved being in the tea gardens as it was peaceful and had a history to it.
Getting to the tea gardens
If you plan to visit Hangzhou I would recommend staying within a 5km radius of the West Lake. This will give you a central position which will allow you to easily move about. During the weekends and public holidays, the West Lake area and tea garden area are extremely busy. Going by taxi or bus can take hours. I rented an electric bike instead which made the trip a lot faster, and a lot more enjoyable as one can really see the mountains that way and gave me a lot more control over my time. It also was well priced and would have been cheaper then always getting a taxi.