Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hangzhou's Dragon Well

One of the most famous teas on earth, Dragon Well Tea is named after a water well. Located in Dragon Well Village in China's Hangzhou Province, the Dragon Well got its name from an ancient legend. According to this legend, a benevolant dragon lived in the village's well and ensured that the local tea fields had enough water. The village and the tea they produced was named after the well, in honor of the dragon. Although no longer the main water source for the village, the Dragon Well has been preserved and an entire area dedicated to tea and the well have been built around it.

It is a lovely area. The entrance to the area is quite beautiful. It has meandering paths lined with trees and plants and there is a stream running through it filled with koi fish. It occupies a large area with a mountain and it is dotted with tea pavilions and tea houses nestled amongst ancient trees and ferns. Visitors can bring their own tea and sit in one of the pavilions, or can purchase tea in one of the tea houses. It is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.

The well itself is surrounded by a beautiful rockery and the well has a beautiful border that was added during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). There is also a little museum on the site. Few visitors to Hangzhou actually make it to the Dragon Well, but it is very much worth the time.

For more photos you can check out my Flicker photo album

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