day trip – watertown february 23

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)

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, February 23
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.

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

day trip – treats of shunde february 16

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: 345RMB per adult, 200RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (20 off for Shenzhen ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me.
Minimum 8

Sunday, February 16
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.

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

day trip – zhuhai bridge & tai o february 8

祝你猪年快乐,珠三角好玩! New Year, new trip, new ways to explore our Pearl River Delta home!

On Friday February 8, during the Chinese New Year holiday, come with us 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, perhaps a bit more raucous than usual as villagers welcome in the new year. 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: Friday February 8, leave Shenzhen 8:30 AM, finish at Tung Chung Hong Kong approximately 5:00-6:00 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.

Because of the popularity of this route, I will be exploring adding dates before the end of the public CNY holiday. Contact me for more information.

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)

day trip – flower markets february 2

Come experience the frenzy of preparation for Chinese New Year – at the grand, traditional flower markets of Guangzhou.

The capital city will be filled with throngs of people, readying pots of orchids, tangerine trees, bamboos, and other lucky flowers for decorating their homes. Every city has places to buy flowers like these, but Guangzhou’s markets are destinations in of themselves. Lanterns stream from ancient trees lining the streets, gates and floats are constructed to welcome the year of the pig, plum blossom branches sway throughout the crowd. What better place to find the spirit of Chinese New Year?

After touring the markets, we can head to the nearby Guangxiao Temple, a Buddhist temple with nearly 2,000 years of history. Make your new year wish, visit the early Song dynasty iron pagoda, and soak up the atmosphere as families come to pray and the faithful workers quietly beautify the lush surroundings of the courts and gardens.

We will go by train from Luohu to Guangzhou East station, then take a short metro ride to reach the Yuexiu Flower Market. From there, we can walk the old streets of Guangzhou, past the classic People’s Park to the Guangxiao Temple. Return train will also arrive at Luohu.

Price: 249RMB per adult, 160RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (20RMB off for ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me. Price based on tickets available at time of writing; confirm price and schedule when contacting me.

Saturday, February 2. Meet at 9:00am at Luohu train station to pick up tickets, for 9:36am train. Planned return to Luohu at 17:48.

Price includes rail tickets, entrance to Guangxiao Temple, and tour.

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

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

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

day trip – watertown january 27

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)

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.

Sunday, January 27
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.

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

chinese new year – custom trip in blossoming hangzhou

Travel with China Tea Leaves for a classic Chinese New Year in 🌸🍃🍵 Hangzhou!

Hangzhou has always been one of our favorite places in China for its graceful beauty, and was one of the first inspirations for the concept of China Tea Leaves travel. On this trip, you can seek out the plum blossoms in the bamboo forest, taste the best green tea in China, see heaven on earth around the fringes of West Lake, and take a day trip to Wuzhen, a classic water town known as the Venice of the East.

This trip is arranged a little differently, to give you the most enjoyment with your family and the best value at a peak travel season. I am offering this trip as a featured private custom plan – not a guided group tour. This means that I can make all arrangements totally custom for what you and your family prefer, with special low planning and booking fees. I have suggested dates and activities below, but just let me know if you’d like to change something. I create the plan for you and make all the bookings, and provide you a very detailed itinerary document which acts as your guide, even though I am not actually there in person to guide you. You will also be provided an ebook – China Tea Leaves 杭州 Hangzhou, with photos, local food, and interactive maps to help you get around in Hangzhou.

(These dates are for example; trip may be arranged custom for your preferred schedule.)

February 5 Flight from Shenzhen to Hangzhou
Transfer from Hangzhou Airport to hotel

February 6 Visit West Lake – the inspiration for gardens throughout China and Japan

February 7 Taste green tea in the best region in all of China – Longjing village

February 8 Optional – Day trip to Wuzhen, Venice of the East

February 9 Transfer from hotel to Hangzhou Airport
Check out of the hotel and depart by flight Hangzhou to Shenzhen

Price: Will be quoted fully customized for you and your group

For example: (prices below are approximate. Contact me for current prices.)

2 adults

Round trip flights for 2 Shenzhen to Hangzhou: 2600RMB
Boutique hotel near West Lake (4 nights): 2980RMB (other options available)
Private airport transfers: 700RMB
Private car for Wuzhen daytrip: 700RMB
Planning and Booking fee: 700-800RMB

Total for 2: 7,680RMB

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

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

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

day trip – treats of shunde january 20

Arcaded sidewalks, storefronts steaming with goodies, courtyards lined in jewel toned stained glass. Take a winter 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: 345RMB per adult, 200RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (20 off for Shenzhen ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me.
Minimum 8

Sunday, January 20
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.

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

day trip – foshan january 19

Come on a day trip to see Foshan, the colorful hometown of Cantonese traditions! Around southern China we still get to enjoy some autumn weather for a while, 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 January 19
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 – watertown january 12

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 shady 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 along the length of the river. (Price not included in tour: small boat 150 per boat/up to 5 people, large boat 250 per boat/up to 10 people)

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, January 12
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 one Cantonese dessert per person, 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.

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

day trip – dapeng fortress january 10


A week of warmer temperatures is coming, and it will be 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 January 10
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)