Dreaming of tea in….Shanghai

There are some nice tea houses in Shanghai and a must taste is the Chrysanthemum tea.  Served in most tea houses this special tea has unique taste.  It is a mixture of Chrysanthemum flowers and chines wolfberries.  the lysium barbarum wolfberry species grown in Ningxia, Tibet and the Himalayan regions are supposedly beneficial for health (antioxidant and anti aging).  Here are images of the old tea house in Yuyuan gardens, expensive and touristic but a must wisit for the time visitor in search of impression of Old shanghai.

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Chrysanthemum tea

 

Green tea sencha and Maofeng Huangshan grown mostly around the Yellow mountains.

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Green tea

 

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Yuyuan Garden Tea House in Shanghai

 

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The Old shanghai teahouse
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The old china hand reading room in Shanghai

When in Shanghai come to these tea rooms.  The Old Shanghai Tea House and the Old China Hand Reading room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shanghai Greens …

Chinese greens sold in Old Shanghai morning market
Chinese greens sold in Old Shanghai morning market

Southwest of the Bund towards Yuyuan Gardens is the touristic and crowded Old Street lined with shops, temples and traditional tea houses. But, come in the early morning hours, walk down the many alleys around the area and watch the local market teeming with vegetable sellers showing off their baskets filled with fresh greens. This is a small area with arched passages surrounded by nineteenth century buildings surprisingly still preserved amidst the rapid growth of the city ultra urban development.

Vegetable sellers in Old Shanghai
Vegetable sellers in Old Shanghai

A charming market within the walls of old buildings – a nice walk to get a glimpse into vanishing Old Shanghai.

Morning market in Old Shanghai
Morning market in Old Shanghai

More images of Old Shanghai market …

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In a Tea House …

Renmin Park Tea House Chengdu
Renmin Park Tea House Chengdu

Tea houses in China are probably one of most typical stopover for any visitors who love this beverage, renowned for its health benefits since the dawn of humanity. Chengdu was my gateway to my first visit to China, and besides looking out for pandas, savouring local tea was top of the list and so I went to see Renmin park with its lovely tea house. The place is popular with locals. Walk along the shady trees or do like the locals – relaxing away chatting with friends over tea served in large thermos bottles.

Chatting over a cup of tea in Renmin Park Chengdu
Chatting over a cup of tea in Renmin Park Chengdu

While delighting in local snacks …

Local Sichuan snacks
Local Sichuan snacks

Or spending afternoons relaxing and playing mahjong ….

Playing games  in Renmin Tea House Chengdu
Playing games in Renmin Tea House Chengdu

Misty Mountains …

The mist of the Yellow Mountains

This is Huangshan known as the Yellow mountains highly praised by poets and painters throughout the centuries. I have always wanted to visit this place and here I am … The scenery is beautiful with fabulous sunset and sunrise. An inspiring landscape of granite peaks surrounded by the unique Huangshan pine trees. I was quite lucky to catch a glimpse of the mist descending the mountains just before dawn. These images are taken with a Canon film camera using my favourite Ilford Delta 400. A little grainy but that is the beauty of black and white film negative shots …

As the sun rises illuminating the dark corners of the mystic mountains ...
As the sun rises illuminating the dark corners of the mystic mountains …

A memorable journey just like how I would imagine and staying a night on the summit is a must to catch the first sun rays at dawn …

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Xi’an and the Hui people …

The Great Mosque of Xi’an

It looks like a Chinese pavilion but it is actually the Great Mosque of Xi’an built in the 8th century and one of the oldest in China. Like many visitors I came to Xi’an to see the famous life size terracotta warriors made during the legendary reign of Qin Shi Huang first Emperor of China who united the country in the midst of the warring period of 1st century BC. But Xi’an one of China’s great ancient city is not only well preserved reputed especially for the amazing fortified walls as well as the magnificent Drum and Bell towers but also its delightful Muslim quarter – home to the Hui people. The Muslim quarter is laden with shops and food stalls with the people recognizable through their clothing. Most wear the traditional skull caps and the women with their scarves over their heads. Especially when night falls the streets are transformed into a blazing crowded world of budget style restaurants and food sellers offering traditional local Muslim snacks. But away from this busy and noisy area hidden among a small alley is the charming compound of the Great Mosque. Many visitors coming to Xi’an would probably bypass this place and head for the more famous attractions but this was too interesting for me to miss out. So I came early in the morning as to avoid the midday heat for a visit. It was a friendly welcome at the entrance of the great Mosque where visitors are asked to pay a small fee … The place feels like an oasis of tranquility. Set in a lovely garden the Great Mosque is constructed like a Chinese style building rather than the traditional Islamic domed structures and minarets. There is a school inside the compound where boys are placed to one side of the building and girls on the opposite side …

Attending the Koranic school (Madrasa) in the Great Mosque compound

By late afternoon time for prayer where a pageantry of the Hui community meets up in the prayer hall.

Preparing the evening prayer (maghrib) at the Great Mosque

And my eye caught this image …

And here are more images of the Great Mosque and the Hui Muslim community within the compound …

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Dreaming of tea in … Shanghai

Chrysanthemum tea

There are some nice tea houses in Shanghai and a must taste is the fresh Chrysanthemum tea. Served in most tea houses this special tea has a unique taste. It is a mixture of Chrysanthemum flowers and Chinese wolfberries. The Lycium barbarum wolfberry species grown in Ningxia, Tibet and the Himalayan regions are supposedly beneficial for health (antioxidant and anti aging) Here are some images of the the old tea house in Yuyuan gardens, expensive and touristic but a must visit for first time visitor in search of impressions of Old Shanghai.

Yuyuan Garden Tea House in Shanghai

Green tea is another of my favourite especially Sencha and Maofeng Huangshan grown mostly around the Yellow Mountains.

Green tea

When in Shanghai I enjoy coming to these tea rooms. The Old Shanghai Tea house

The Old Shanghai Teahouse

and the Old China Hand Reading room, the literary tea room in the French Concession, opened by Deke Erh the Shanghai photographer.

The Old China Hand Reading Room in Shanghai