Longjing Tea or dragon well tea (龙井茶), a type of green tea of over 1200 years old growing in the surrounding area of the world famous West Lake in Hangzhou, is the “No. 1 among the Top 10 Famous Tea in China”. With verdant color on the leaves, strong fragrance, sweet flavor and elegant form, Longjign tea is given the reputable name of the “Green Queen” and the “Golden Card” of Hangzhou city. Since its surrounding area has fertile land, multiple high mountains and very good climate, the Longjing Tea could grow under the God-given natural condition. And for different original places, Longjing Tea is divided into Shi (Lion, 狮), Long (Dragon, 龙), Yun (Cloud, 云) and Hu (Tiger, 虎) to indicated the plantations of Shifeng, Longjing, Yunqi and Hupao.Therefore, tourists can visit the plantation to appreciate a full land of Longjing Tea and know the essence of this super precious and valuable tea in Chinese culture.
In Qing dynasty, the Emperor Qianlong (乾隆, 1711-1799 AD) often came to the regions south of the Yangtze River and visited Hangzhou. Once when he came to Longjing Shifeng (龙井狮峰) and learned the tea-picking, his follower told him his queen mother was ill. After he returned to Beijing, his mother smelt the fragrance of the Longjing Tea that were put in his sleeves in Hangzhou and felt better after drinking the water with the tea. So Qianlong was so happy that he praised Longjing Tea as tribute and ordered people to pick every year to present for his queen mother. Afterwards, Longjing Tea became more famous as the head of all tea types in China.
As for the name of Longjing, there is a local legend. In ancient time, there was a clean spring running continuously in the village, which seemed the water granted by the Chinese dragon, so people put a carving dragon head there to let the spring spurt from the dragon mouth. One day, a geomancer felt the spring very magic after drinking, and suggested the villagers dig a well for drinking. Therefore, they did so and named the well “Longjing (Dragon Well)”.
You want to see the look of Longjing Tea and know more about the Chinese culture of tea? Just go to the plantations in Hangzhou to get close to the green fairies.
Longjing Village (龙井村) at the west side of the West Lake is the very “place of origin of Longjing Tea” and is called the “No. 1 Village of Tea”. Longjing Tea produced here is called Long (龙) and regarded the best among all that from the original places. Surrounded by the super high mountains, Longjing Village is not only the residence of over 800 people but the growing plantation of near 800 acres of Longjing Tea as well. Therefore, you can visit the wide tea garden to admire the verdant eye-pleasing scenery of the Longjing Tea trees standing row by row, which looks like a gorgeous green gem side by the West Lake. Also, when you breathe the clean air with the special delicate aroma of the tea, you would feel people living here are so happy and lucky like the immortals in heaven.
Moreover, you can walk to the Hugongmiao Temple (胡公庙) at Shifeng in Longjing Village to admire the “eighteen Emperor Tea Trees” that the Emperor Qianlong had picked tea leaves from. You can see these precious trees living for more than 250 years being enclosed with stone carved rails and to imagine the historical scene.
● Longjing Mountainous Park
Longjing Mountainous Park of Longjingshanyuan (龙井山园) in the village is a wonderful place to have fun and drive the urban noises all away. In this nearly 130 acres wide garden, you can visit many specially designed attractions related to tea culture, drink Longjing Tea in the hundred-year old tea house, closely see the progress of roasting tea with hands of the tea growers, appreciate the skill of making a cup of tea that expresses the tea spirits of purity, elegance, sincerity and harmony in China. Also, in the appropriate months, you can join the local growers to pick the very fresh Longjing Tea and enjoy immersing in this green sea. Moreover, you can try the local experience of “enjoying tea at dragon well” in the garden to know about the culture and manner of tea from ancient China for over 1000 years.
Besides, the park has the largest area in east China of butterflies, a special street with abundant kinds of snacks of tea, and many excellent folk performances. Inhaling the air with high content of anion, you will seem doing facial in the tea garden that is like a fairyland.
Meijiawu Village (梅家坞村) teems with Longjing Tea and is very famous for the five visits of the great Prime Minister Zhou Enlai. Many famous people from other countries like the US, Vietnam, Kambodia, etc. have visited Meijiawu Village and given good reputation. As a result, you can go there to see the beautiful mountain supported by water and mountains and fancy houses dotted under the green hills with the lush verdant tea field, which is like an oil painting of green jadeites. Wandering in Meijiawu Village, with the refreshing fragrance of the wide range of tea, you can close the eyes to hear the melodious singing of the little birds and nests and the whisper of the tea leaves in a breeze, and all those great enjoyments are like the gift from the heaven.
What’s more, there is a tax-free store selling Longjing Tea in Meijiawu Village, which gives you a good chance to buy some valuable tea either as a souvenir or a gift for your friends and family. And if you want to closely know about the tea culture, you can experience the tea-picking with the tea growers in March and April. And if you plan to taste the new Longjing Tea of the year, you can visit Meijiawu Village during April and May, especially before and after the Tomb Sweeping Day in China.
● Dragon Well Tea Culture Exploration Program (March - April)
If you are want to know more about the tea and interested in the culture of tea, you shall not miss this tea exploration program.
In the morning, visit the Longjing Tea field to be amazed by its verdant beauty, and then, you can take your bamboo basket together with the local tea growers to pick the tea to get close to the view and the tea experience. After that, return to the family of the tea grower and see him how to dry the tea leaves. Next, leisurely sit here to taste the tea and see the tea ceremony performance and the introduction. Finally, you can enjoy a lunch with delicate and authentic local dishes.
Note: If you are interested in the program, tell Travel Consultant in advance for at least one week so that we can book it from the local tea growers.
There is a very interesting and basic trekking route that is called Shililangdang (十里琅珰) in Longjing Tea Plantations, and if you have more strength, take a light hike along this picturesque route with a little difficulty to breathe more fresh air with Longjing tea aroma and catch more charming pictures of the emerald plantations into your pleased eyes.
Bus station (Entrance to Nine Creeks) – Wuyun Hill – Yunqizhujing – Longjing Village – Jiuxiyanshu
You can choose a short section to have a hike. Among the whole trekking tour, we recommend you hike the part from Meijiawu Village to Longjing Village (about 2.9 km for 1-1.5 hours), since you can appreciate the freshest sightseeing of Longjing tea plantations. Between the two Villages, there is a low hill but easy to walk.
See the Tourist Map of Wanlinbei Hill for the location, distance, time for walking, etc. about Shililangdang Trekking.
Situated at the southwest side of the West Lake, only less than 15 km from Hangzhou down, Longjing Village and Meijiawu Village are very close to each other and easy to get to by bus, taxi, etc.
To Longjing Village – 10 km from Hangzhou Downtown
To get to Longjing Village, you can take a bus for about 1 hour, and also, you can drive there for about a half hour.
Distance from the West Lake: 6 km; 18 min’s driving
Distance from the Lingyin Temple: 5 km; 13 min’s driving
To Meijiawu Village – 13 km from Hangzhou Downtown
You can get to Meijiawu Village by taking a bus for about 1 hour and 10 min. And if you drive or take a taxi, you can arrive here within 30 min.
Distance from the West Lake: 9 km; 20 min’s driving
Distance from the Lingyin Temple: 7.5 km; 15 min’s driving
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a Hangzhou private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Longjing Tea Plantations with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
All seasons are suitable to visit Longjing Tea plantations to appreciate the wide range of tea trees. However, March and April are the best months to see the tea-picking of the local tea growers and can join them. To taste the new Longjing Tea, you can visit there during April and May, especially during the couples of days around the Tomb Sweeping Day in China. And in winter, you can appreciate the elegant scenery of pure white snow spreading on the verdant tea trees.
1. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes for there are some a little mountainous paths in the plantation villages.
2. After visiting the plantation, you can go to the “Bamboo-line Path at Yunqi”(云栖竹径) 5 min’s driving away from Meijiawu Village to appreciate the vast bamboo sea. And you can drive for about 10 min to visit Lingyin Temple to feel the strong Buddhist culture.
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