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day trip – guangzhou august 31

This is a tour of the classic sights of our Pearl River neighbor, Guangzhou!

Guangzhou, or Canton as it was formerly known in the west, is home to proud local traditions, some of the most respected dining establishments in China, and a unique meeting of east and west in Chinese history.

On this tour we will visit the Chen Clan Academy, an ornate complex built in the Qing dynasty. You can see the educational, social, and religious purposes the academy served, as well as learn about the traditional building techniques used and other ancient handcrafts preserved by Cantonese artists. After this Lingnan cultural primer, we head on to another Guangzhou institution, dim sum. In Guangzhou you can easily and happily eat all day and everywhere, and dim sum seems to be invented to suit the Cantonese people’s yen for all-day feasting. We’ll eat in a famous tea house in the old Liwan district of Guangzhou, one listed in the newest Michelin guide in China, Guanghzhou.

From there we’ll stretch our legs and see some of the historic arcaded shop house streets of Liwan district. Many museums and time-honored shops line the streets.

Next we’ll see another side of Guangzhou on Shamian Island, set up in the 19th century as a foreign “concession,” or place set apart for foreign embassies, banks, and diplomats’ homes. The stately arcades and leafy avenues today are a popular place to pose for wedding photos, or just to have a cup of coffee.

After tooling around the historic corners of Guangzhou, we’ll enjoy another classic Cantonese dinner before heading back to Shenzhen. Wumizhou is a special kind of congee hotpot, especially good with various seafoods cooked right in the congee, and washed down with Zhujiang beer. After seeing a few sides of Guangzhou, we’ll have a greater appreciation for its unique heritage and modern charms.

Price: 475RMB per adult, 380RMB per child 1.2-1.5m. Ask me for small kid’s price and partner discounts for ABNet or SWIC members.

includes round trip private shuttle, entrance tickets, dim sum lunch, and Cantonese dinner

Private shuttle picks up from Shekou (Futian also available – contact us). Journey to Guangzhou about 2 hours.

Minimum 8, maximum 14

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Guanghzou in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

weekend – huizhou beach august 24-25

Quayside lanes too hot in the noonday sun, the only sounds are a sizzling wok behind a speckless doorway. On this new trip from China Tea Leaves, we’ll skip town to find brilliant-colored villages and an easy-going beach town in our neighbor Huizhou.

To the east of Shenzhen, a taste of Minnan culture seeps in the the local culture from nearby Fujian province. Here temples celebrate stories unique to this region, under sweeping cornices decorated in the distinctive multi-colored mosaic tiles you find in Xiamen and Fuzhou. Lanes are further spotted with clan houses and temples in crimson and turquoise green; everyone’s door is swept neat as a pin and festooned in orange and red couplets.

After our village exploration, we’ll head to one of Huizhou’s best coasts on Xunliao Bay, with powdery fine sand, then enjoy some local Hakka and barbecue dishes near our bayside hotel. On the second day, we’ll visit another pristine corner of this peninsula of Huizhou before heading back to Shenzhen. Clear waters and skies never seemed so close to Shenzhen before.

This may become your go-to escape for a holiday in the sun.

You may also join us for day one only of the trip, still enjoy the villages, beach, and dinner, then head back to Shenzhen on Saturday evening.

Price: two days: 960RMB each adult, double occupancy at hotel
includes private transportation, hotel (double occupancy) at a good quality mid-range hotel, dinner and breakfast. For Saturday I will ask everyone to pack a lunch for the village, Sunday lunch cost additional.
one day: 465RMB each adult
Ask for kid’s price, and about discounted partner price – available for ABNet members or SWIC members

Saturday, August 24 – Sunday August 25
Day One
8:15 Depart Shenzhen
10:30 Arrive Huizhou
Walking tour, exploration, Picnic lunch in villages (please pack lunch yourself)
Shuttle to beach, short walking tour in town, then free time on the beach
Food court barbecue dinner (included)
Day Two
Breakfast (included)
Visit another beach
Lunch (additional)
13:00 Depart Huizhou
~15:00 Arrive Shenzhen

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Huizhou in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

day trip – shunde august 17

Arcaded sidewalks, storefronts steaming with goodies, courtyards lined in jewel toned stained glass. Take an early spring stroll through historic Shunde for a day of gastronomic and visual delights.

Shunde (顺德) district of Foshan city is a wonderland of the culinary kind, and is known by Chinese as the hometown of the best chefs of Cantonese cuisine, typically the highest regarded cuisine throughout China. Our destination will be the winding streets of Daliang, Shunde, not far from the medieval looking canals, where you’ll find pastel colonial buildings and decaying sign boards of tried and true restaurants. On this day trip we will sample some of Shunde’s classic eats, such as steamed cake, rice noodles, claypot rice, and Shunde’s famous milk desserts shuang pi nai and ginger milk. There is a phrase circulated by foodies, 食在广东,厨出凤城 (shi zai guangdong, chu chu feng cheng), that is, eating in Guangdong, your chef has come from the Phoenix City, a nickname of Shunde’s central Daliang district. Down the tidy alleys of Daliang, we’ll be seeking out some time-honored shops, such as “Remember” Milk, makers of shuang pi nai, China’s panna cotta, and niu ru, handmade milk discs that can be cooked into many dishes at home.

A must-see in Shunde is the nearby Qinghui Garden (清晖园), known as one of the four best Lingnan style gardens. Various courtyards unfold, revealing unexpected views and materials, such as stained glass, ceramic tile, wrought iron, gilded wooden pavilions and more. Wandering this Qing dynasty complex makes for a lovely afternoon, and ranks as one of the most beautiful spots I have seen in all of Guangdong province. It is worth taking the time to discover all the gems of each corner, a potted garden of bonsai, a tower lined in stained glass, a waterfall, a lucky koi pond, and on and on.

Come enjoy a day out learning more about the culture of southern China and feasting on Shunde’s offerings.

Price: 385RMB per adult, 220RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (345/200 for Shenzhen ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me.
Minimum 8

Saturday, August 17
Depart 8:00AM, return Shenzhen 6:00PM

includes round trip private shuttle, entrance tickets to Qinghui Garden, food throughout the day, and tour

Note: We will be sampling local foods in small reputable restaurants. Adventurous omnivores or flexible eaters will be happiest on this tour. I’m a pescatarian myself, so I can guide eaters around some restrictions but we will be trying some dishes that you probably haven’t had a chance to try in Shenzhen.

How to Book:
Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Shunde in your introduction. 加我微信的时候,清备注Trips或Shunde;如果没有,我可能不加你。

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

day trip – foshan august 3

Let’s go out to discover Foshan, the colorful hometown of Cantonese traditions! Time spent in Foshan’s storied neighborhoods always makes for a great day out to learn about kung fu, lion dancing, ancient ceramics and traditional culture.

Foshan city is part of the Pearl River Delta and the third largest city in Guangdong, with distinctive Cantonese cultural traditions and rich history. Its name means “Buddha mountain.”

On this day trip, first we will visit the Nanfeng Ancient Kiln. Here you can see a ceramics kiln that has been in continuous operation since the Ming dynasty, for over 500 years. There are also many charming sculptural alleyways and shops to find a wonderful ceramic souvenir.

From here, we’ll head to lunch in Lingnan Tiandi, a historic district developed with many restaurants and quaint cafes. Cost of lunch is on your own. I will recommend a few restaurants to choose from, and provide a suggested menu to order from. I will recommend that groups of 3-5 dine together, rather than our entire group together for efficiency at the restaurants.

After lunch, we will explore the Ancestral Temple (祖庙 zu miao), which has been a central part of Foshan people’s religion for centuries. In this well preserved temple, you can also learn about Ip Man and Wang Fei Hong, two major kung fu masters from Foshan. The elements of Cantonese opera are demonstrated at the temple’s own traditional stage. And don’t miss the heart of the Ancestral Temple, the ornate halls of Beidi, the northern emperor god, to whom locals pray to watch over Foshan.

We will catch a lively performance of the temple’s students demonstrating the Foshan styles of kung fu and lion dance. The thrilling colors and traditions of Foshan will add to your best memories of your time in China.

Price: 360RMB per adult, 270RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (25RMB off for Shenzhen ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me.

Saturday August 3
Depart 7:30AM, return Shenzhen approximately 6:00PM

2-3 Pick ups by private bus will be arranged around Shenzhen, to be convenient to public transportation, for example Chegongmiao metro and Sea World metro.

includes round trip private shuttle, entrance tickets, including kung fu and lion dance show, and tour

Minimum 8

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Foshan in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

day trip – macau july 18

Our neighbor across the Pearl River Delta, Macau, has an outsized reputation as the “Las Vegas of the East,” and a quick European mini-holiday. But beyond the glittering lights and tourist-flooded streets, you will discover another side of Macau. Ornate temples wafting with incense, traditional bakeries, craftsman’s studios, and chapels and shrines with curious history can be found if you take the time to explore the winding alleys. 

On this insider tour of Macau, we’ll see a relic of a Christian saint, a secret garden inside a public library, the most beautiful black-and-white mosaic street in Macau, and a temple dedicated to the snake goddess held to be creator of the Chinese universe. In the afternoon we’ll stop by a cozy wine bar for a glass of Portuguese wine. After the end of the tour, you can stay on in Macau to enjoy its nightlife and fine dining.

Price: 550RMB for adults, 280 for kids
525RMB discounted partner price – available for ABNet members or SWIC members
includes round trip round trip ferry to Macau, tour, and glass of wine for adults
Ferry to Macau about 1 hour.

I will guide the group to restaurants in Macau, cost of lunch on your own.

Thursday, July 18
8:45am Ferry from Shekou Ferry Terminal
9:45am Arrive Macau
Walking tour, lunch, wine bar stop
Free time in Macau
16:15 Ferry from Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal (if you prefer a later ferry so you can stay on in Macau, let me know at time of booking)
~17:15 Return to Shekou

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Macau in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

a gourmet tour of yunnan – july 24-28

Lofty mountains and flowing waters, a wildflower for your hair and a mushroom for your umbrella. Yunnan in summer is wet with dew and rain, but it is the perfect playground to discover all the wonderful things coming to life in fields and mountainsides! Come along with China Tea Leaves on this unique Yunnan tour, Summer of Mushrooms edition!

This five day tour celebrates the mighty mushroom, and all the many varieties which can be found in Yunnan province. Yunnan is wonderfully biodiverse, with microclimates, forests, and mountains harboring thousands of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on earth, including many, many varieties of mushrooms. Actually, epicureans from around the world source their funghi from Yunnan, including as much as 2,000 tons of matsutake which make their way to Japan every year (in China called 松茸 song rong).

We will fly from Shenzhen direct to Lijiang (丽江 elev. 7900ft/2400m). There we will be picked up by private shuttle to head to Shaxi (沙溪 elev. 6890ft/2100m), a pristine valley with a well preserved Bai minority village and world class historical sites. Our hotel for two nights will be the Old Theatre Inn, located right inside a temple/theatre that served entertainment for the gods of the Bai people. Here we will be treated to a tour by a local guide to pick wild mushrooms, and for lunch we will cook a few dishes based on local produce and our own foraged mushrooms. We can also visit the famous Sideng market in the village, where your eyes can savor a rainbow of edibles, teas, herbs, as well as the diverse minorities of the region.

From Shaxi we will head back to Shuhe (束河 elev. 8000ft/2440m) near Lijiang, an old town located on the ancient Tea Horse Road. We will continue to eat our way through Yunnan, savoring mushroom hot pot with the summer’s bounty, fresh fruit, local walnuts and more. We can shop the markets of Shuhe and Lijiang for matsutake and black truffles to bring to friends and family back home. We’ll take a short hike on the Tea Horse Road itself, peeking in on wildflowers and mushrooms growing along our path. At last, mushrooming complete, we can lay back and relax in our courtyard home, sipping tea and letting the mesmerizing guqin take us on a mind-bending journey.

Wednesday, July 24: Morning flight Shenzhen to Lijiang, shuttle to Shaxi
Thursday, July 25: Local mushroom tour in Shaxi
Friday, July 26: Visit Sideng market in Shaxi, shuttle to Shuhe
Saturday, July 27: Tea Horse road hike in Shuhe, visit market in Lijiang (or Shuhe as weather alternate)
Sunday, July 28: Afternoon flight Lijiang to Shenzhen

Price: 3808 per adult (double occupancy), child price on request

Price includes: Local ground transportation in Yunnan, four nights (double occupancy) at quality courtyard hotels, meals, local guide fee, entrance tickets, travel insurance, and full service guide by Greta of China Tea Leaves. Does not include airfare to Lijiang. Contact me for current airfare and booking info.

Payment: by cash, WeChat or Alipay. Deposit of 1800 due at time of booking.

Reserve by July 5 and get a free limited edition Summer of Mushrooms t-shirt!

Minimum 5 people, maximum 8

Note: On this trip we are only picking and eating safe mushrooms, nothing hallucinogenic or dangerous. Puns are for literary purposes only. 🙂 Please pay attention to our local guide in Shaxi, who will advise us which mushrooms are safe to pick and consume.

Note: Much of this trip is at high elevation – 6890ft/2100m and higher. Travelers may feel effects of the elevation, but can usually adjust to normal activity level within 1-2 days. This itinerary does not include intensive hiking, but please notify us of any health conditions when booking. China Tea Leaves is not responsible for any injuries or accidents sustained during the trip.

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Yunnan in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

day trip – macau june 29

Our neighbor across the Pearl River Delta, Macau, has an outsized reputation as the “Las Vegas of the East,” and a quick European mini-holiday. But beyond the glittering lights and tourist-flooded streets, you will discover another side of Macau. Ornate temples wafting with incense, traditional bakeries, craftsman’s studios, and chapels and shrines with curious history can be found if you take the time to explore the winding alleys. 

On this insider tour of Macau, we’ll see a relic of a Christian saint, a secret garden inside a public library, the most beautiful black-and-white mosaic street in Macau, and a temple dedicated to the snake goddess held to be creator of the Chinese universe. In the afternoon we’ll stop by a cozy wine bar for a glass of Portuguese wine. After the end of the tour, you can stay on in Macau to enjoy its nightlife and fine dining.

Price: 625RMB for adults, 520 for kids age 6 and up
includes round trip round trip ferry to Macau, transportation in Macau, tour, and glass of wine for adults
Ferry to Macau about 1 hour.

Minimum group size 4 to keep this price

I will guide the group to restaurants in Macau, cost of lunch on your own.

Saturday, June 29
8:00am Ferry from Shekou Ferry Terminal
9:00am Arrive Macau
Walking tour, lunch, wine bar stop
18:15 Ferry from Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal
19:15 Return to Shekou

Please let me know if you would like to board a later ferry and I will check availability for you.

Note: You will need original passport for this trip, and enough entries on your visa to come back into China.

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Macau in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

daytrip – dapeng july 16


Summer is here, and it is high time to get ourselves to the seaside, for some history and a bit of fun.

Shenzhen is bookended in history, with Dapeng Ancient Fortress holding down the eastern extremity. Dapeng Ancient Fortress is a fortified village that dates back to the Ming dynasty, predating the urbanization of Shenzhen, and was in charge of controlling pirates off the coast of China. Today it still retains many narrow alleys to walk, with people living a quiet life in the village and shops selling traditional foods and gifts.

We’ll start the day with a tour of the grand Dongshan Temple, a renovated Buddhist temple near the Dapeng Fortress. Wander the ornate courtyards, discovering the halls of Guanyin, the eighteen arhats, and perhaps even the place where the legendary mythical bird or Roc, or “Peng,” landed to give Dapeng its name.

Jiaochangwei is another former military village, still situated directly on the seaside. Now it takes the form of a young Chinese surf town, with many colorful hostels and restaurants for a weekend beach getaway. Western food is available for lunch in the cafes of Jiaochangwei.

Delve into local history while enjoying the sea air in Dapeng and Jiaochangwei.

Tuesday July 16
Adults: 200RMB
Kids 1.2-1.5m: 150RMB

SWIC or ABNet members receive a discount of 20RMB off each

includes round trip private shuttle, guide of temple, fortress, and beachside walk by Greta. Lunch additional.

Departure: 8:30am
Return: 4:30pm

Private shuttle picks up from Shekou (for other pick ups contact me). Journey to Dapeng about 1.5 hours.

Minimum 6

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Dapeng in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

day trip – watertown july 13

小桥流水人家 To make your home by a small bridge and flowing water.

These words describe the idyllic scenery of Chinese villages, which people come from across continents to see, often seeking out the tourist canal towns around Shanghai. But we have such a quaint village right in our backyard around the Pearl River Delta. The irrigated towns and paddies of Guangzhou and Foshan are a prime but overlooked place to find a classic scene of Chinese life.

On this day trip, we’ll head to the outer villages of Shunde district, part of Foshan just to the west of Guangzhou.

In the water town of Fengjian, you can wander the shaded streets of this village, catching glimpses of the local people’s relaxed life. Fishermen repair a net, two neighbors play chess along the river banks.

Shunde is also home to some of the most famous dishes of Cantonese cuisine, especially the popular desserts double skinned milk and ginger milk. We can taste these plus other snacks and sweets while lounging near the flowing river.

You can also take your family for a paddle in a traditional wooden boat in a loop around the canals. (Price not included in tour: small boat 150 per boat/up to 5 people, large boat 250 per boat/up to 10 people, pay directly to boatmen on the day)

A lovely traditional place to escape just for a day away from the city.

Price: 330RMB per adult, 235RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (20RMB off for Shenzhen ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me.

Saturday, July 13
Depart 8:00AM, return Shenzhen 6:00PM

Default pickup in Shekou. Contact me if you are outside of Shekou for other pickup options.

includes round trip private shuttle, access to two water towns, lunch and Cantonese dessert, and tour

Minimum 8

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Watertown in your introduction.
加我微信的时候,请备注Trips或Watertown;如果没有,我可能不加你。

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

day trip – zhuhai bridge & tai o july 9

Take a day out to experience the Pearl River and Hong Kong, from the cutting edge to the traditional, a snapshot of China in one seaside adventure.

One of the main features of this trip will be to cross the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. This mega structure is 55 kilometers in total length, crossing the Pearl River Delta at its wide mouth of the South China Sea and connecting the two special administrative regions of China by a land link for the first time in history. The HZM Bridge is now the longest sea crossing in the world, made up of three cable-stayed bridges, four artificial islands, and a 4.8 km undersea tunnel. This is one of the greatest engineering feats of our time, and it is right in our backyard!

We will start our sea adventure by taking the ferry from Shekou Port to Zhuhai. Then, we will make our way to the crossing point to board the shuttle that will cross the mega bridge, whisking us to Hong Kong in just 40 minutes. The massive structures built for this project will leave you in awe, and as you buckle in to cross the bay, you know you are on a space age adventure. After viewing the bridge from a distance on the ferry earlier in the day, enjoy the quick and smooth ride across the stunning bridge over the delta’s turquoise waters. 

After we arrive in Tung Chung Hong Kong, we will journey on to Tai O, the quintessential fishing village of Hong Kong. Scarcely a kilometer away from the modern marvel of the HZM Bridge lies this quiet port, where life in many corners has not changed for centuries. Fishermen untangle their nets, felines wait to steal some of the day’s catch, houses teeter on stilts over the inlet’s waters. We’ll have time to enjoy the ambience of the quiet village. Plenty of local foods are available to sample, from sweet doughnuts to local fish and XO paste. We will also take a short cruise to get a closer look at the stilt houses and venture out into the bay in search of the famous pink dolphins of this side of Hong Kong. 

As the sun lowers, you are free to stay on in Tai O or Tung Chung for dinner or shopping. I can help book a return ferry or train back to Hong Kong (return fare not included; small booking fee if I book). (The high speed train from Kowloon to Futian is another of China’s modern wonders!) This package as quoted below will get you back to Tung Chung. Contact me for more information about getting back to Shenzhen.

Date: Tuesday July 9, leave Shenzhen 8:30 AM, finish at Tung Chung Hong Kong approximately 6-7:00 PM

Price: 458RMB per adult, 328RMB per child (1.2-1.5m) under 1.2m ask me. 
SWIC or ABNet receive a discounted price of 428RMB per adult, 308RMB per child.
Maximum 12, minimum 6 people.

Includes ferry to Zhuhai, cross bridge shuttle, local transportation links in Zhuhai and Hong Kong, Tai O dolphin cruise, tour.

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Tai O in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)