My first time in Wuyi Shan
My first time in Wuyi Shan
This is my first time visiting Wuyi Shan. My friend picked me up from East train station which is new station for the speed train. From there we traveled half an hours to San Gu, a tourist town next to the nation park of Wuyi Shan. On the way to San Gu I could see the peak of "Da Wang Feng" in distance on the left side of the road, it looks more like as a gigantic rock rather then a mountain.
San Gu (Google map) is a town that is very easy to find on the map. I would recommend you to stay there, if you planing to go to the mountain next day. There you can find cheap hostel from 150 CNY for one night.
When I had checked in to a hostel, the time was about 17 o'clock. My friend wasted no time and took me directly to a tea tasting session. They set up three batches of no.205 (Jin Guan Ying) from the same plantation, and they discussing which one were the best. After a long infusion of those teas, we started smelling the teaspoon for the aroma, then take a bit of tea in our mouth, and make a slurping sound and split it out. I know people doing tea tasting seriously is doing this way, but I actually not used to split out things in front of people, so I swallowed it silently, which is fine if you haven't been tasting strong tea all day long like a pro.
Wuyi teas we were tasting were much greener and aromatic then I used too. They explained that they are all selling Mo cha. Mo cha is fermented and somewhat dried tea leaf, a half finished product that still have to be roasted. Mo cha is quite nice to drink, a bit like green dan chong, but won't be able to store it very long. The trader would buy these mao cha and roast it themselves.
Next day we met early in the morning, and heading to Wuyi Shan National Scenic Area. The teas produces in this area is called Zheng Yan Cha (authentic Wuyi Tea). It is said wholesale price for the tea is somewhere between 4000 to 10000 CNY per 500 gram (1000 CNY = 1500 USD) depend on exact location the tea leaf is growing.
Unlike normal tourist route we went to the Scenic Area through the sideways, from Niu Lang Keng to Dao Shui Keng and then lastly to the trees of Da Hong Pao. Many of the places have the ending of "Keng" and that means ditch in Chinese. Just imagine we were in a gigantic ditch where the path on the bottom. Everywhere on "the ditch wall" were growing wild lily, from time to time my friend were pointing to a herb or a bush and telling me the healing properties. The path were easy to walk and felt like walking in a botanic garden.
When we are arriving to Da Hong Pao trees, which is a "must go" place for all the tourist, the natural sound slowly covered by voice from tourists and guides that speak loudly. At that time it was noon. We settled down in the tea room in front of the Da Hong Pao trees to chill out and have a cup of tea. The tea was exceptional sweet, with orchid fragrance and full of flavors, though it was probably most expensive tea I'd ever tasted. We picked the least expensive one, Shui Xian 250 CNY/8 Gram. 250 CNY is about 38 USD.
In the afternoon we went to Lang Tang to have lunch. A beautiful small village next to Da Wang Feng (the King's Peak?), there were many home hostel, even an international hostel if you prefer something cheaper.
Lan Tang, Google m
After the lunch we continued our journey to Tian You Feng, again another "must go" tourist place. We went pass Ma Tou Yan, (House Head Rock) and went pass uncountable tea bushes until we arrived to Tian You Feng. From the top of Tian You Feng we could see the famous Jiu Qu river (the River of Nine Bends). When we climbed downwards Tian You Feng, I noticed that we went opposite flow from all the other tourists. Apparently we did a unusual route to see all the tea plots rather then the "must see" attractions. Did I mention it was free entrance for us? The ticket suppose to be over 200 CNY per head. Considered of that, I had nothing to complain about route!
After we had climbed down from Tian You Feng, there were still much more to see, but we were all exhausted and satisfied for the day.
I woke up early in the morning and heading to my friend's tea plantation in Xing Cun, near the origin of Jiu Qu river. It took about one hours of car ride and the mountain were completely different from yesterday, the village were surrounded by pine tree that reminds of colder country like Sweden were I grown up. I could tell from the cold fresh air and low cloud we were at much higher sea level.
The whole village seems to be devoted to making tea. Everywhere you could smell the nice flowery roasted smell from family run mini tea factories. The views were amazing, the Bai Ji Guan (tea variety) were looking just like yellowish flowers from distance. I wished that I could stay here a couple day just to breath in the fresh air and have a long hike in the wood.
We went inside a simple house to have a tea tasting session. Across the garden were a roasting machine that made a rhythmical drumming sound and it accompany with a funny frog quaking from the field. We had a session of about 10 different teas and there was an expensive Rou Gui (1500CNY/500g, Bulk) that really stand out from the rest. It has a Gardenia like floral fragrance and a fruitiness of Long Yan, most amazing was the strong brewing had no lingering bitterness. After tasting a such amazing cup of Rou Gui, the long travel seem to be worth while.
My day of tea tasting did not end here though, on the way back to the hostel. We visited another farmer which is closer to the town of San Gu
At that time I were pretty full of tea, they were preparing something I had not tried before, Yellow Rose, Ba Rui Xian and some other that I can not remember. My mind simply were overloaded with all the thing I heard and learn that day. Overall the teas in this farm tasted fruitier then last place and less floral. Except for the Yellow Rose (tea name, no rose in it), it were amazing in fragrance, I really think that I could smell a hint of rose fragrance. Hopefully I could get hold of the finish product and have a closer taste of it.
After tea tasting we were all hungry and the farmer were showing his hospitality and took us to a popular local dinning place. It was local food for local people. All food were produced in Wuyi Shan and I had some vegetables, fishes from
Basically my tea trip ends here. Next day morning I were heading back to Shen Zhen with my new gain knowledge of Wuyi rock tea. I hope you enjoy reading this article and you can see more photo and video from the links below.
Please, share your experience of Wuyi Shan on the comment below.