Tagged history

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)

day trip – dapeng august 15

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.

Thursday August 15
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
will be confirmed based on guest needs

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 – 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)

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 – kaiping july 6

Come with China Tea Leaves to Kaiping (开平), for a one day getaway to a place with stunning architecture and pleasant villages, not far from Shenzhen. Kaiping is part of the five counties known as the top hometown of overseas Chinese. One in ten people with Chinese heritage living overseas have roots from this region.

It is also the hometown of diaolou (碉楼), a unique building type that acted as a fortress, watchtower, and clan house. Whereas palace and courtyard architecture throughout China expands out as it grows, the diaolou goes up. Thousands of diaolou are sprinkled throughout Kaiping’s districts, often rising seven, eight, or nine stories from low-lying villages. Those that emigrated sent back money they earned abroad, and sometimes brought back Western designs and furnishings adding to the distinction of their diaolou. This building phenomenon put Kaiping on the map as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, and makes it a must-see in Guangdong province today.

This is a special offer to see these UNESCO recognized sites in just a one day trip from Shenzhen. Our private shuttle will take us from Shenzhen to Kaiping, taking about three hours.

First we’ll visit the Zili village (自力村). Several diaolou are set amongst the rice paddies, including two maintaining their original furnishings. Go inside and climb to the top for classic views of your surroundings. From Zili village, we will head to Li Garden (立园). Along the way we’ll see village life, women farming the rice paddies, and other diaolou dotting the greenway. Li Yuan is a masterpiece of Qing dynasty design, but it also incorporates western and middle eastern elements into its myriad gardens.

After a picnic lunch, we’ll continue through the rice fields, which with all the watchtowers and arcades might be starting to look like someplace between King’s Landing and Winterfell. Finally we’ll visit Jinjiangli (锦江里) village and its fine diaolou cluster. Their turrets, arches and colorful frescoes will make you feel like you’ve been transported to medieval Italy. On our way out of town we’ll make a stop by Chikan (赤坎) town, whose many western buildings have been used as movie sets for historic Chinese films. The town is preparing for a massive renovation but we can take our chances to see backstage before the refurbishing starts. We will drive back in the evening after an enchanting day in the castles of Kaiping.

Without traveling far from Shenzhen, you can see a world of architecture and revive yourself in the slower-paced villages of Guangdong province.

Saturday, July 6: approximately 7:00 am to 9:00 pm

Price: Adult: 545RMB, 515RMB SWIC or ABNet member.
Child 1.2-1.5m: 295RMB, 275RMB SWIC or ABNet member.

Price includes: Private shuttle from Shenzhen and around Kaiping, entrance tickets, and full service guide by Greta of China Tea Leaves.
Does not include lunch. Dining options are very limited around the villages, so please pack a picnic lunch.

Minimum 8 people, 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 Kaiping in your introduction.

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

day trip – foshan april 20

Good news! This trip will be offered on both Tuesday April 16, and Saturday April 20.

Come on a day trip to see Foshan, the colorful hometown of Cantonese traditions! Spring weather is here in southern China, making 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: 315RMB per adult, 225RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (15RMB off for Shenzhen ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me.

Saturday April 20
(also available on Tuesday April 16 – please specify date when contacting me)
Depart 7:30AM, return Shenzhen 6:00PM

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

Minimum 7

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 – kaiping april 13

Come with China Tea Leaves to Kaiping (开平), for a one day getaway to a place with stunning architecture and pleasant villages, not far from Shenzhen. Kaiping is part of the five counties known as the top hometown of overseas Chinese. One in ten people with Chinese heritage living overseas have roots from this region.

It is also the hometown of diaolou (碉楼), a unique building type that acted as a fortress, watchtower, and clan house. Whereas palace and courtyard architecture throughout China expands out as it grows, the diaolou goes up. Thousands of diaolou are sprinkled throughout Kaiping’s districts, often rising seven, eight, or nine stories from low-lying villages. Those that emigrated sent back money they earned abroad, and sometimes brought back Western designs and furnishings adding to the distinction of their diaolou. This building phenomenon put Kaiping on the map as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, and makes it a must-see in Guangdong province today.

This is a special offer to see these UNESCO recognized sites in just a one day trip from Shenzhen. Our private shuttle will take us from Shenzhen to Kaiping, taking about two and a half to three hours.

First we’ll visit the Zili village (自力村). Several diaolou are set amongst the rice paddies, including two maintaining their original furnishings. Go inside and climb to the top for classic views of your surroundings. From Zili village, we will head to Li Garden (立园). Along the way we’ll see village life, women farming the rice paddies, and other diaolou dotting the greenway. Li Yuan is a masterpiece of Qing dynasty design, but it also incorporates western and middle eastern elements into its myriad gardens.

After a picnic lunch, we’ll continue through the rice fields, which with all the watchtowers and arcades might be starting to look like someplace between King’s Landing and Winterfell. Finally we’ll visit Jinjiangli (锦江里) village and its fine diaolou cluster. Their turrets, arches and colorful frescoes will make you feel like you’ve been transported to medieval Italy. On our way out of town we’ll make a stop by Chikan (赤坎) town, whose many western buildings have been used as movie sets for historic Chinese films. The town is preparing for a massive renovation but we can take our chances to see backstage before the refurbishing starts. We will drive back in the evening after an enchanting day in the castles of Kaiping.

Without traveling far from Shenzhen, you can see a world of architecture and revive yourself in the slower-paced villages of Guangdong province.

Saturday, April 13: approximately 7:00 am to 9:00 pm

Price: Adult: 545RMB, 515RMB SWIC or ABNet member.
Child 1.2-1.5m: 295RMB, 275RMB SWIC or ABNet member.

Price includes: Private shuttle from Shenzhen and around Kaiping, entrance tickets, and full service guide by Greta of China Tea Leaves.
Does not include lunch. Dining options are very limited around the villages, so please pack a picnic lunch.

Minimum 8 people, 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 Kaiping in your introduction.

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

day trip – kaiping march 30

Come with China Tea Leaves to Kaiping (开平), for a one day getaway to a place with stunning architecture and pleasant villages, not far from Shenzhen. Kaiping is part of the five counties known as the top hometown of overseas Chinese. One in ten people with Chinese heritage living overseas have roots from this region.

It is also the hometown of diaolou (碉楼), a unique building type that acted as a fortress, watchtower, and clan house. Whereas palace and courtyard architecture throughout China expands out as it grows, the diaolou goes up. Thousands of diaolou are sprinkled throughout Kaiping’s districts, often rising seven, eight, or nine stories from low-lying villages. Those that emigrated sent back money they earned abroad, and sometimes brought back Western designs and furnishings adding to the distinction of their diaolou. This building phenomenon put Kaiping on the map as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, and makes it a must-see in Guangdong province today.

This is a special offer for the first time with China Tea Leaves, to see these UNESCO recognized sites in just a one day trip from Shenzhen. Our private shuttle will take us from Shenzhen to Kaiping, taking about two and a half to three hours.

First we’ll visit the Zili village (自力村). Several diaolou are set amongst the rice paddies, including two maintaining their original furnishings. Go inside and climb to the top for classic views of your surroundings. From Zili village, we will head to Li Garden (立园). Along the way we’ll see village life, women farming the rice paddies, and other diaolou dotting the greenway. Li Yuan is a masterpiece of Qing dynasty design, but it also incorporates western and middle eastern elements into its myriad gardens.

After a picnic lunch, we’ll continue through the rice fields, which with all the watchtowers and arcades might be starting to look like someplace between King’s Landing and Winterfell. First we’ll visit Jinjiangli (锦江里) village and its fine diaolou cluster. Their turrets, arches and colorful frescoes will make you feel like you’ve been transported to medieval Italy. From here, we’ll move on to Majianglong (马降龙) Village, which is known as the most beautiful village in diaolou country. Towers peek out like Roman villas from primordial forests, and from the roof your view dances across the tops of swaying bamboo branches. We’ll make a stop by Chikan (赤坎) town, whose many western buildings have been used as movie sets for historic Chinese films. We will drive back in the evening after an enchanting day in the castles of Kaiping.

Without traveling far from Shenzhen, you can see a world of architecture and revive yourself in the slower-paced villages of Guangdong province.

Saturday, March 30: approximately 7:00 am to 10:00 pm

Price: Adult: 545RMB, 515RMB SWIC or ABNet member.
Child 1.2-1.5m: 295RMB, 275RMB SWIC or ABNet member.

Price includes: Private shuttle from Shenzhen and around Kaiping, entrance tickets, and full service guide by Greta of China Tea Leaves.
Does not include lunch. Dining options are very limited around the villages, so please pack a picnic lunch.

Minimum 8 people, 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 Kaiping in your introduction.

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

day trip – zhuhai march 16

Beach or mountain? Zhuhai treats you to both and much more, in a one day jaunt from Shenzhen.

Here’s a day out across the sea, in our Pearl River Delta neighbor Zhuhai. Like Shenzhen, it is a modern city and special economic zone, but with only 1.5 million people and miles of sea coast, it truly feels like a seaside respite from daily life.

We’ll start out by taking the ferry from Shekou to Zhuhai. From there, we’ll be escorted by private shuttle around some of Zhuhai’s top sights.

We’ll walk along the Lover’s Road, with swaying palms above and the delta’s lapping waters stretching out to the horizon. In Zhuhai, a visit to the Fisher Girl is a must. A lovely symbol of the city, she stands strong amongst the tide-worn rocks holding aloft a great pearl. Legend holds that she came to Zhuhai as the immortal Dragon Girl and fell in love with the lushness of Zhuhai, as well as one of its mortal inhabitants.

From the coast we’ll head up the nearby Jinghsan mountain, for views over the islands of central Zhuhai, and may come upon the Fisher Boy, who calls down to his paramour within sight below. A temple dedicated to Guanyin is at the base of the mountain, sheltered in a sacred cave.

In Zhuhai, there are many great dining options, from Indian to Thai to seafood restaurants along the promenade overlooking the sea. I will describe options when you book.

After lunch, we’ll head to a historical curiosity of Zhuhai, the recreated Old Summer Palace of Beijing. The original was the imperial summer retreat of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties until it was sacked by British and French forces as part of the conflict between those nations and China which was the Opium Wars. Today, the grounds in Beijing still lay in ruins, but since 1997 this theme park allows one to experience the allures of the once grand palace. A highlight is the “western” style courtyard with its baroque facades and bronze zodiac animal fountains.

We’ll return to our side of the delta with the sun sinking into the pearly waters behind us.

Saturday, March 16: approximately 8:30 am to 6:30 pm

Price: Adult: 495RMB, 465RMB SWIC or ABNet member.
Child 1.2-1.5m: 295RMB, 275RMB SWIC or ABNet member.

Price includes: Round trip ferry ticket from Zhuhai, private transportation around Zhuhai, entrance tickets, and full service guide by Greta of China Tea Leaves.
Does not include lunch. I will choose restaurant/s based on group feedback before the trip.

Minimum 8 people, 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 Zhuhai in your introduction.

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

day trip – guangzhou march 26

Trace Guangzhou’s history in the footprints of a few blocks of the city’s core. Our neighbor has been a diverse metropolis for centuries and has played an interesting part in China’s history. On this day tour, we’ll discover some of beautiful and important sites in Guangzhou.

First we’ll visit one of the enduring symbols of Guangzhou, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Sun Yat-sen, popularly known as Sun Zhongshan, was the first president of the Republic of China after the Xinhai revolution overthrew the imperial Qing dynasty. Sun Yat-sen was a native of the Pearl River Delta, and it was from Guangzhou that he initiated some of the first movements in overthrowing the Qing government. The memorial here was built soon after his death in 1925.

After our walk of the grounds and look inside the exhibit halls about Sun Yat-sen’s life, we’ll have lunch together in old Guangzhou. (Cost additional – just split the bill with the group) Lunch will be either dim sum or an authentic Cantonese restaurant.

After lunch, we’ll visit the Guangxiao temple in central Guangzhou, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Guangzhou, as the site dates back to 230AD. Grand halls and green courtyards are decorated with fresh flower offerings, and left and right of the main halls are two iron pagodas, the oldest of their kind in China. 

Next we’ll make our way to 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.

In the center of this modern city, you can discover some of the beautiful and fascinating history of Guangdong and the Chinese nation.

Adults: 315RMB
Kids 1.2-1.5m: 225RMB

SWIC or ABNet members receive a discount of 15RMB off each 

includes round trip private shuttle, entrance tickets, and guided tour by Greta. Lunch additional.

Tuesday March 26
Departure: 7:30am

Return: 6:00pm

Private shuttle picks up from Shekou (for other pick ups contact me). Journey to Guangzhou about 2 hours.

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 Guangzhou in your introduction.
加我微信的时候,请备注Trips或Guangzhou;如果没有,我可能不加你。

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