day trip – treats of shunde december 15

Arcaded sidewalks, storefronts steaming with goodies, courtyards lined in jewel toned stained glass. Take a holiday 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.

To break up our culinary jaunts, we’ll duck into 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.

 

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

Price: Promotion for new trip: With minimum 10 people: 288RMB per adult, 200RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (discount for Shenzhen ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me.
If 7-9 people, price is 348RMB per adult.

Saturday December 15
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)

harmonies from a hidden valley – guizhou nov 17-18

One of the most beautiful villages in China, hiking, rice terraces, minority culture…all on a two day trip from Shenzhen? Yes, and you can come join an easy escape to the smoke ringed mountains of Guizhou province.

We will be whisked away by high speed train to southeast Guizhou province, known as Qiandongnan, an autonomous region of the Miao and Dong minorities. This trip will focus on the area of Zhaoxing Dong Stockaded Village (肇兴侗寨), often mentioned as one of the most beautiful villages in all of China.

The image of a Dong village amid the hills appears as a gateway to another world, with tiered drum towers and ornate covered bridges peeking out from a tangle of wooden houses. The Dong build these elaborate wooden towers as meeting houses and communal singing halls. The “Wind and Rain” bridges are thoughtfully built throughout the town and countryside as places to rest and socialize while journeying from one place to another. Zhaoxing has one of the best collections of both types of these buildings, and the town is a beautiful sight in the misty dawn or glowing into the night.

The Dong are also known for their colorful embroidered dress, and for their grand singing tradition. They have passed down folk songs using layered a cappella harmonies.

You will be amazed at the hidden world we can discover within just a few hours from Shenzhen.

The basic plan:

Saturday

High speed train from Shenzhen North to Guizhou, with a transfer in Guangzhou
Shuttle to Zhaoxing Dong Village
Tour the village, with its many Wind-and-Rain bridges and Drum towers, unique features of Dong villages.
Visit the Dong Minority Culture Center and Weaving and Embroidery Museum
Dinner
Free time

Sunday

Breakfast and Dong Grand Song performance
Shuttle to Tang’an Stockaded Village, another Dong village, surrounded by rice terraces
Hike from Tang’an to Zhaoxing
Return to Shenzhen by high speed train

Price: Adult (double occupancy) 1680RMB
Child (1.2-1.5m, share with 1 or 2 adults) 980RMB

SWIC or ABNet members get 10% off

Dates: November 17-18
Depart from Shenzhen North Saturday 7:38am, return Shenzhen 9:45pm

Group size: 4-10

Includes high speed train tickets, hotel (double occupancy), village entrance and shuttle tickets, meals, travel insurance, and guide.

Note: This trip is being offered at a special price during the low season and as a new trip. Price may go up in the future, so book now to enjoy this price!

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

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

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

day trip – foshan december 1

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 December 1
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 november 11 and 24

 

This trip will be held on both Sunday November 11, and Saturday November 24.
Inform me which date you prefer when signing up.

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 boats 150/up to 5 people, large boats 250/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, November 11 or Saturday November 24
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)

daytrip – watertown october 28

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 boats 150/up to 5 people, large boats 250/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, October 28
Depart 8:00AM, return Shenzhen 6:00PM

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

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 Watertown in your introduction.

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

october holiday adventure – 5-8 days in yunnan

 

Looking for an adventure for your October holiday? We’re gathering a group of intrepid travelers to venture to one of my favorite places in China, the northwest region of Yunnan province. This is a five-day trip taking place during the golden week in October 2018, extendable to 8 days including an optional hike.

Yunnan is the China of your dreams, with blue skies, colorful clouds, cobblestone villages, and mountain vistas. I’ve designed the trip to get to some lesser known places and skip the most crowded days of the national holiday, so you don’t have to worry about the crowds.

Yunnan province is located in southwestern China, tucked between Tibet, Sichuan and Guangxi provinces, Myanmar, and Vietnam, and is one of the most diverse provinces in China, with dozens of ethnic minorities; flowers, mushrooms and other wildlife; and dramatic landscapes with the weather of eternal spring.

We will fly into Lijiang (丽江 elev. 7900ft/2400m) to start our adventuring. First we’ll travel down to the Dali (大理 elev. 6480ft/1975m) region near the famous Erhai Lake. The Bai minority are the most populous in this area, with elegant ladies in colorful headdress working the markets, restaurants featuring local vegetables and even the Bai people’s own kind of cheese, and of course narrow lanes made lively with hand painted entrances and distinctive tie dyed fabrics.

We’ll also visit nearby Xizhou (喜洲), another Bai town, known for its daily market, ornate courtyard homes, and well known embroidery shops.

On our third day we will venture up to the Shaxi (沙溪 elev. 6890ft/2100m) valley, where green rice paddies and blue hills encircle the special town of Shaxi. The preservation of its central opera stage, temple and other distinctive buildings won an award from UNESCO. We’ll arrive here on Friday in time to catch the action at its market, frequented by villagers who come down from the hills for their weekly supplies.

On the fourth day we’ll head northward ascending to Shuhe and Baisha (束河,白沙 elev. 7900ft/2400m), in the region of Lijiang. Shuhe and Lijiang were stops on the old Tea Horse Road, which connected Tibet to southern Yunnan and beyond, for centuries of trade of horses (from Tibet) and tea (from southern Yunnan). This area is the home of the Naxi minority, with their own writing system and religion. We’ll stay in the relatively quiet town of Baisha, which was the former capital of the Naxi kingdom.

If departing on the 5th day (October 7), we’ll visit the Tea Horse Road museum in Shuhe in the morning before your flight, to send you off dreaming of wildflowers, clear running streams and mountain adventures.

If your holiday schedule allows, what better way to finish off your time in Yunnan than with a stunning 2-day hike in the Tiger Leaping Gorge?  (虎跳峡 elev. 6230-8690-6890ft/1900-2650-2100m). This is one of the most renowned hikes in the world, following a deep gorge along the Jinsha River, which becomes the Yangtze River as it flows from here through Sichuan province. Every view is breathtaking, gazing up at snow mountains so close you think you could reach out and touch them.

After one tough day of hiking, we will stay overnight in a guesthouse on the trail, and wake up to silent mountains looking on outside our window. We will continue hiking through farming enclaves, waterfalls and vistas to reach our shuttle back to Lijiang.

Our final night will be spent in Baisha, before we fly back from Lijiang to Shenzhen.

After days dreaming in the heights amongst a rainbow of wildflowers and prayer flags, you will return to Shenzhen with a vision of paradise in your mind’s eye and a burning desire to come back to Yunnan province.

Day 1: Fly to Lijiang, travel to Dali, visit Dali old town
Day 2: Visit Xizhou, market and crafts
Day 3: Travel to Shaxi, Sideng market and hiking
Day 4: Travel to Baisha
Day 5: Fly Lijiang to Shenzhen, or visit Shuhe
(optional Day 6: Tiger Leaping Gorge
(optional Day 7: Tiger Leaping Gorge
(optional Day 8: Fly from Lijiang)

Group size: 6-10 people

(Note: Much of this trip is at high elevation – 7900ft/2400m and higher. Travelers will feel the effects of the elevation, but can usually adjust to normal activity level within 1-2 days. The Tiger Leaping Gorge hike has some steep inclines and is at high elevation. Hiking at this elevation is tough and incurs a real risk of altitude sickness. There are donkeys available on the trail for those who feel uncomfortable, for an additional fee. The trail is in good condition, and no special prior hiking experience is necessary. But this hike is best suited for those in good physical shape. Please notify us of any health conditions when booking. China Tea Leaves is not responsible for any injuries or accidents sustained during the trip.)

Announcement: This trip has already been launched in agile mode to accommodate a group early bookers! If you are interested in joining this trip, just contact me and I will do my best to add you to our group! Please note some exclusions in the price due to ongoing registration.

This trip is already confirmed, so registering will remain open until Thursday September 27

Price:

3800RMB per person for 5 days, 4800RMB per person for 8 days.
Contact me for current price

Does not include airfare or meals. Price includes hotels (double occupancy), private shuttle transportation for 5 days, travel insurance, and personal English speaking guide. Price based on hotels available at time of writing; please contact me for current price and inclusions.

Recommended flights: Oct 3: CZ8581 SZX-LJG, Oct 10: CZ8582 LJG-SJX. Approximately 3100RMB. If you need help booking your flight, just contact me. I can book it for you for a small fee.

discounts available for ABNet members or SWIC members

Single supplement: 500RMB for 5 days, 750RMB for 8 days option

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)

daytrip – watertown september 9

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 boats 150/up to 5 people, large boats 250/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, September 9
Depart 8:00AM, return Shenzhen 6:00PM

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)

daytrip – foshan september 29

Come on a day trip to see Foshan, the colorful hometown of Cantonese traditions! Enjoy a day out in the autumn weather, while you 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, so you can hear the orchestra or singer practicing (few performances each day at select times.) 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.

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 September 29
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)

daytrip – baishuizhai waterfall september 2

 

Looking for a refreshing experience to break up your sweltering Shenzhen summer? Well, look no further than the treasure of northeastern Guangzhou, Baishuizhai waterfall in Zengcheng district.

Baishuizhai (白水寨瀑景区) is the tallest waterfall in mainland China, falling a total of 428.5 meters between two former volcanic peaks. These hills are covered in lush bamboo forests, as well as natural hot springs.

While hiking heroes opt to climb the 9999 steps to the peak of the mountain, kids and casual walkers can climb up the boardwalk skirting the waterfall itself. In several tiers going up, the waterfall is crossed back and forth, at some points close enough to touch and feel its spray. Our goal will be the lookout platform at around 3200 steps.

This is a truly refreshing experience, only 2 hours drive from Shenzhen.

Please pack a simple picnic lunch, that we will enjoy on our hike on the side of the waterfall.

Price: 350RMB for adults, 220 for kids (1.2m and up, through high school). Under 1.2m and can share a seat, free!
320RMB discounted partner price – available for ABNet members, SWIC members, and students of Purple Peony Studio
Includes round trip private shuttle, entrance to the scenic area, and guide

Journey to Zengcheng about 2 hours.

Sunday, September 2
8:30am departure
10:30am arrive at waterfall park
Hike plus lunch along the waterfall
4:00pm depart
6:00pm arrive Shenzhen

Pick up in Shekou, other pick ups available – just contact me.

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

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

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

day trip – macau july 10

 

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, SWIC members, and students of Purple Peony Studio
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.

Tuesday, July 10
8:45am Ferry from Shekou Ferry Terminal
9:45am Arrive Macau
Walking tour, lunch, wine bar stop
Free time in Macau
21:00 Ferry from Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal (last ferry will be booked; but can board earlier ferry if you wish and there are available seats)
22:00 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)