Unlike all the other touristy trap, this experience is legit! All 5 stars~~I especially enjoyed sipping tea with our newly made villager friends. Real life experience.
When in Chengdu this tour is a must. We had to go to a different plantation because of the recent earthquake damage, but had one of the best days of our holidays. Coral our guide was one of the best we have ever had and Jerry our driver always got us there safe and sound in horrific traffic. This place was true China in the mountains. We picked our green tea with our baskets tied around our waist, then joined in frying it. The couple that owned the plantation were fantastic, did not speak English but our guide did a fantastic job and we all had a wonderful time. We then had a home cooked lunch and sat outside drinking green tea all afternoon. A few of the neighbours came wandering down to have a look at what we were laughing at and joined in as well. This was a fantastic tour, but made even better by our wonderful guide Coral.
I'll admit I was skeptical about this tour, particularly because there was not a lot of information and no reviews. But I am so glad we still decided to go! Our tour guide was very friendly and fluent in English. She was not only incredibly informative about the tea-making process, but she also shared a valuable insight into the local culture. We traveled to a local farm (or tea plantation) where we picked tea for a little over an hour. It was hard work, but definitely an important part of the experience and really made us appreciate the process! We then were served one of the best meals on our entire trip, and the cook was very accommodating to the allergies of one of our group members. Afterwards helped roast our tea leaves on a special stove. By the end we had a nice packet of tea to take home! Unlike some "tours" in China, we were not asked to buy anything, but instead were able to simply enjoy the experience and leave with a special gift.
If you have any interest in how tea is made or want to have a more rural experience in China, I would definitely recommend this tour. The only downside was that it is fairly expensive, particularly when compared with other tours available in Chengdu. But if this is something you're passionate about (as we are), it's definitely worthwhile and the experience of a lifetime!
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