By the Numbers: Tea & Travel in China

tea travel I'm a travel junkie with few immediate plans to change that. As I yearn for the rush of my next adventure, Spain!, websites focused on travel appease my cravings. As so, The Matador Network has given me the inspiration that I'm adopting here. In the name of tea and travel, I've taken a spin on their weekly "By the Numbers" blog offering and curtailed it for you.

Originally a coffee-addict as well, I came to China with the enticement of teaching English for 10 months at a college in little-known Zhengzhou, a typical Chinese city of six million. After I grew to love tea and my 10 months of teaching, I took off, dragging along two friends, to experience the country's quirks and extremes. Here's my tab.

Days spent traveling: 15

Cities visited: 6

Varieties of Chinese loose leaf tea sampled: 6

Number of tea houses or shops visited: 6

Number of times we drank tea in a park while getting our ears cleaned: 1 very strange time

Number of times we enjoyed massages while drinking tea: 2

Nights spent trying to sleep on a train with a hard seat at an acute 90 degree angle: 2

Price paid for transport in such a "bed": 10 USD

Concrete steps hiked up a mountain: 255

Number of dumplings consumed: 56

Number of dumplings oddly shaped and created by myself during a cooking class: 35 (essentially each one I touched)

Number of fortune cookies spotted: 0

Number of times Obama was mentioned: 3

riding my bike through China

Number of times Lady Gaga was mentioned: 5

Pandas spotted: 9

Starbucks spotted: 7

Starbucks purchased: 0

Bowls of rice eaten: 29

Cups of tea drank: 17

Number of times we were offered a fork and knife: 2

Times a chicken head appeared in a dish: 3

Times we got sick: 1 (The Sichuanese do like it spicy!)

Number of squat toilets used: Too many to count

Photos taken of one of us by random Chinese tourists: 50+

Hours spent on a bike: 6

Bikes spotted: Too many to ever count Bike accidents: 1 small collision and thus 1 swollen ankle

Number of Chinese spotted drinking tea: Look to aforementioned response

Favorite Chinese tea: The famous green tea of Anhui

Favorite place: Chengdu, the Panda Capital of the World, or Beijing. Decision making has never been a strength.

Yes, that is me on a bike in China with a panda hat, where I am surrounded by more pandas. Do not be misled, however, my count refers to pandas that are not made of plush.

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3 Comments

    • Avatar
      Oct 14, 2011

      It would be worth the trip just for the Panda hat! ;-)

    • Avatar
      Oct 15, 2011

      Spain!! How amazing. You HAVE to go to the south, Granada, and go tea house hopping at the Moorish tea houses called teterias. They have an amazing variety of teas in a traditional setting on low couches and metal round trays for tables in a dimly lit cozy room. The silverware teapots get you in the mood of drinking fine tea. Its what inspired me to start my own tea collection! Have fun and tell us all about your travels.

    • Avatar
      Oct 16, 2011

      I'm jealous. That sounds like a fun trip!

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