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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Shanghai Culture  »  Shanghai Folklore  »  
Killing Time in Teahouse

Killing time in teahouse(孵茶馆), namely enjoying tea in a teahouse which is a traditional pastime in Songjiang. It is an important part of Shanghai culture. In various teahouses, people drink different types of tea by bottle or bowl. During the period of the Republic of China, there were thousands of teahouses throughout the Songjiang region and almost all the people either in the city or the countryside were preferred to talk about business or cultural affairs in teahouses.

During the period of the Republic of China, teahouses can be mainly divided into two groups. One is the teahouse held by country gentlemen or literati in the name of poetry society in the big houses of the host. These kind of teahouses served special kinds tea for their group members, such as “Gu Zhai” and “Xiao Pai Huai” in Songjiang city. However, these teahouses were not affordable for common people while their group members were always rich man and officials.

The other kind of teahouses were opened for common people. There were square tables and benches in these teahouses. Those who drink tea here were preferred to drink a pot of tea all by himself alone. The servants in the teahouses held a large red copper kettle to add water and tend shop. The elders were used to get up early, as time passes, they have formed the habit of drinking morning tea. Some of them even arrived at the teahouses at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., so the teahouses would open their door earlier. Every morning is the busy hours for teahouses. As time passes, the business was not that busy and the teahouses always closed their door in 3 p.m. or 4 p. m.

People would always go to the same teahouses for drinking tea. Some of them even have their settled seat in teahouses as the boss of the teahouse would keep a seat for specific drinker and other drinker would not sit there either. The drinker sometimes may drink a pot of tea for the whole morning, but the boss would never say anything to let the drinker go. When the drinker put the cup upside down, it means that he finishes his drinking. And then the servant can take away the pot and the cup. Drinking in teahouses would not cost much, so many workers could afford to drink tea every day.

During each spring festival, there is the custom of drinking “shoe-shaped gold ingot tea”. In every New Year, form the first day of the first lunar month to the thirtieth day of the first lunar month, the servants in teahouses would serve tea with two olive and cakes for every regular customer. In return, the drinker would give some money reward. All the olive and cakes are prepared by these servants and they would divide the money rewards equally. The boss of teahouses would just charge the cost of tea. 

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