Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ah, Dong Quan Hot Spring Resort

江南烟雨 如画也如诗

Lang Qiao - Covered Corridor Bridge

During the 3 weeks trip, there were only 1.5 days of playing, the rest of the time were business related unintended. One day in Chao Zhou checking out the temples and eating out on the street. Yes, I am still alive after lived through the horrific traffic condition in Chao Zhou and eating out on the street. You can find cars going the same direction on the other side of the street all the time! They do not stop for nothing!

The other 1/2 day of play was in Tai Shun, Zhe Jiang province. Tai Shun is a tiny little town about 400 meters above sea level, growing condition is great for small leaf tea varietals which make great green tea. My master and I met up with 2 of his classmates from graduate school in Tai Shun then headed off to the country side for sight seeing. Tai Shun is tiny but preserves many wooden bridges without a single nail, over 900 bridges in the area - the bridge museum is Tai Shun known as. They are called Lang Qiao - Covered Corridor Bridges. It was a rainy day, rather typical of Jiang Nan - South of Yangzi River. It added a layer of mystery to the beautiful scenery which greatly enhanced my mood. We then had dinner at a farmer's house style restaurant, great food and a weird smoked rabbit. :P

Farmer's house style restaurant
Our dinner table

Our dinner :P
We checked in to a hot spring resort at 8 pm and took a walk around the compound, walked down a LONG steep flight of stairs toward the bottom of the mountain valley in the dark impulsively. It was a drizzly misty night without moon light. The 4 of us stopped at a pagoda half way, enjoyed the tranquility and swifts of osmanthus flower fragrance. The cleanest air I have ever breathed in China! It's more relaxing than a spa treatment I say. At that moment I forgot about chores of my business, I forgot about everywhere else on the planet. There was nothing but my master and his close friends for over 10 years quietly joking in the misty darkness surrounded by trees, running water from the bottom of the valley was music to our ears. For all 3 of us business owners and 1 government official, quiet and stillness worth more than gold at this moment. Great companions with same thoughts which made the evening extremely cozy and warm in this damp cold night.

The 3 classmates chatted about the old days, then out of impulse, they proposed the 10th class reunion in 2010 in Hang Zhou, inviting all 8 students and their professors for a couple of days meeting, perhaps returning to same resort afterward, bringing stoves and olive pit charcoals, have tea at the same pagoda at the same late hour well into dawn instead of in the hotel room. I was invited to tag along, my happiness is unimaginable.

Upon returning to the resort, we had tea for hours using the hot spring water pumped into our hotel rooms. The feeling of drinking tea and chatting about Chinese classic literature, history, poems, customs, opera and more brought me through time to past live. Drunken Beauty is a tea made by my master, when he named this tea he must had a Song dynasty opera singer walking in small steps in her embroidered shoes, swaying her body with long sleeves singing softly. The beauty is drunk!

1 comment:

Soïwatter said...

Wonderful photos...
This is a part of the world that I would like to visit.
And my interest in tea is not the only reason. My interest for Chinese literature and culture also...

It is a good thing to see you back. I'm eager to see all your discoveries...