Old Sichuan Teahouse

En route from Chengdu to see the Leshan Buddha in January this year, my tour guide stopped at the Sichuan teahouse at the edge of Chengdu proper. While where we stayed in central Chengdu is probably China at its most modern – Taikoo Li with all the swankiest luxury boutiques and high-end eateries,  this Sichuan teahouse in Pengzhen was as old school as you can get. It looked like it had not changed a little bit since the Cultural Revolution.

My traveling partner and I sat down and ordered some tea.  It was super atmospheric: old tin kettles boiling waters, steam like clouds floatings toward the ceiling, Mao posters as backdrops, men in thick Mao-style look-alike jackets smoking cigarettes and pipes while sipping tea. I felt like I was transported to the studio set for Chen Kaige’s film “Farewell My Concubine”. But I then realised I was in the wrong city, wrong dialect, and probably the wrong kind of tea. The tea served was pleasantly light and floral. Apparently it was a “blend of tea leaves and flowers grown on the foothills of the Himalayas, below the Tibetan plateau, near the town of Ya’an”as quoted from an English newspaper article (link below).

Anyway, I took out my Nikon DLSR, set it at super low shutter speed and started snapping casually away. I downloaded the pics, used Lightroom to adjust it to sepia. The results, I think, were pretty cool. Hope you like it.



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