Finding beautiful countryside in east China's Zhejiang
When it comes to Hangzhou, the world famous West Lake usually springs to mind. This episode of ''Beautiful Countryside in China'' recommends a 600-year-old tea culture village nestled along the western side of the West Lake Scenic Area, providing an additional option for your next visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Surrounded by green hills, Meijiawu Village is known as the production site of Longjing tea or Dragon Well tea, a type of green tea that has been adored by the Chinese since ancient times.
Today, almost every villager in Meijiawu makes a living out of growing and selling tea. The whole village is covered by tea fields that give off an extremely refreshing fragrance. It's a great idea to take a walk around and breathe the fresh air.
When spring comes, it's time for the locals to pick fresh tea leaves. Visitors are welcome to join the picking and processing. After that, they simply sit down with a cup of pure and fragrant Longjing tea, chat with the locals or even join a few rounds of mahjong, one of China's most popular pastimes.
Meijiawu is an ideal place to enjoy a slow day in Hangzhou and experience the locals' lifestyle. The local specialties add more flavor to the tea culture village. Stay at the local farmer's guesthouse and have a go at the authentic rice made by burning firewood, braised pork and prawns stir-fried with Longjing tea.
There are also tea art shows and multilingual exhibition halls for international visitors which contain plenty of information about its tea history and culture.