A weekend trip to Meng Ding Shan

23 Mar 2013 | Comments | By Raphael Henkes

While my friends in Europe curse the renewed onset of winter, Chengdu (成都, south-west China) enjoys a meteorological curiosity around this time - kind of like a warmup for summer. For two weeks, everything heats up, and unfortunately, stirs up lots of dust as well.

So, what better way to avoid the dust storms than to take a short, 2-hour bus trip to one of China's oldest tea growing areas - Meng Shan. Reputedly the birthplace of Chinese tea cultivation, it's somewhere to escape, breath the fresh mountain air, and watch preparations for the upcoming Spring tea harvest.

Later on I'll bore you with the details, but for now, here's a few shots I took on the mountains that hopefully will speak for themselves!

A Taoist temple. Population? One big bellied monk, and one grizzly bearded old man!

These tea workers are harvesting fresh spring buds for teas that will cost in excess of 50,000€ a kilo...

A tea master performing the sha qing (杀青) stage of tea processing. The wok is heated to about 300 degrees to stop further oxidisation.

Staring at a wall of fog - an underrated skill!

A traditional tea garden and pavillion at 1000m

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