We took our holiday guests to Guangzhou’s Fangcun Tea Market for a little adventure and shopping. Sometimes when you hear the word “market” here it conjures up an image of crowded spaces with too much stuff and or people, general chaos and overstimulation.
I had heard from reliable sources that the tea market isn’t that way. And, sure enough we arrived there on a brisk day, we were just about the only customers in the few blocks that made up the market.
We wandered through shops of teapots, loose tea, tea accessories (like trays, tools, and good luck clay animals) and expensive tea sets. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon – the highlight was being served tea by Chinese shopkeepers.
Rows upon rows of tea pots – in all price ranges – from $5 US to $500US! There were also many sets with the tea pots and matching cups.
It’s almost open air at the Guanzhou Fangcun Tea Market. The thing that looks like a central sidewalk is actually a road for bikes and mopeds. :)
Buy tea by the kilo!
These look like gold coins but they are actually pressed tea into a round shape and wrapped in gold foil. Nice little gift!
There were about 100 boutiques at the Fangcun Tea Market. Here, we bought 1/2 and 1/4 kilos of tea.
The fancier tea comes in wheels, wrapped in paper. Some of these wheels are 100+ years old. Chinese locals buy them during special occasions as an emotional or financial investment. For example, you might buy a wheel at the birth of your child and then drink it at their wedding.
A shopkeeper invited us in to taste tea before we bought! It was awesome to be part of the local culture.
This lovely lady allowed us to sample more than half a dozen varieties.
The lavender flower buds await the hot water….yep, they make a special kind of tea!
There they are, waiting to open up with time and hot water.
I took a picture of the shop where the ladies were so welcoming and helpful so I can go back there again!
Love the tea tower!
Snack cart lady – selling kumquats.