Tea Village in Hangzhou

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On May 21, we went to Tea Village called 'Mei Jia Wu Village' in Hangzhou
It was located a little far from the city which was pretty quiet and peaceful.

Even though i enjoy drinking tea, i did not know much about the tea and its plantation and how people grow it.

As a basic information of tea, there are 6 different kinds of tea: Green tea, Black tea, Oolong tea, Dark tea, Yellow tea, White tea. (We had chance to try every different kinds of tea while we were in China)


As soon as we entered the tea village, we saw the farms and mountains covered by tea plantation. A lady from the village taught us that the good tea leaves are distinguished by small and light green color.

These are the steps to make a final tea product

1. Picking the fresh tea leaves
2. Dry in the air
3. First drying
4. Absorb moisture
5. Second drying
6. Dry tea leaves

When it says 'drying tea', people may not quite understand how they do it.


A man uses his hand and dry tea leaves in the hot metal tub.
They told us every kilogram of dried tea leaves contains 72,000 pieces of tender shoots, and it takes 8 hours of drying process to finish it.
It was amazing to see how they really process teas. Then, we went to a small room and tried different kinds of Green tea.


Another lady from the village told us drinking tea everyday helps remove toxins from our body from the food that we eat.
She put some rice inside of a cup and filled the cup with water, then she dropped in some iodine, which every foods contains.
After few seconds, the water turned black, then she filled the cup with tea. All of the sudden, the black water turned back to normal water again.

We were so amazed after seeing how tea actually effects our body and it was enough to make all of us to take out our wallets to buy some of it.

English Corner

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This is Me and Nora, she had stopped Kristine, Alysia, and I and started to talk a little bit of English to us and asking all of us what we were in China for and how long we were there. Nora had asked us if we wanted to come to English Corner and we had no idea what it was, but she said that on Sundays people of all ages gather at this corner where they want to practice their English. So, we went with her and found about 30 people sitting there and all swormed in on us wanting to talk. Everyone was very interested in all of us and also they all wondered how much things cost in America. It was very fascinated to see all these people that could speak English, it was very refreshing to be able to be understood!=]

Gardens of Hangzhou

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As the horticultural student on this trip, I have found it fascinating to behold the garden designs within the city. I think it's safe to say that all of us are impressed with the amount of greenery that has been crammed into this city. Every single roadway is lines with trees, flowers, and shrubs, and the medians are filled with plant life, not concrete.

Highlights of gardens we have seen thus far:

*Hangzhou Flower Nursery: It wasn't what you would envision as a US nursery; it was similar to an arboretum or botanical garden. The sign did say Hangzhou Flower Nursery though. Towards the entrance were HUGE annual plantings in swirling patterns and there was a fountain in front of a flower petal shaped garden filled with color. Today was the second day that we saw tons of couples taking wedding photos and videos. (21 and 22 are lucky days to get married and they fell on the weekend, so many many people were getting married.) We walked through an area that was more boggy and had ponds. The lily pads were starting to be in full bloom. There are so many water features and bridges in Chinese garden design. They also make use of rocks or stepping stones through water; something we should do more in the US. Jill, our guide, took us to see the orchid nursery; there were many tables filled with pots of orchids and they had a shade structure in place. Unfortunately, they weren't blooming; I'm unsure of species but the leaves were very long and thin- almost grassy. I saw a lot of bamboo today and walked through some small "bamboo forests." I've had a few people tell me that it's invasive and spreads a lot; I didn't know that before hand. Another random fact- you can eat bamboo- its fairly tough and kind of bland; good fiber source! Jill gave us some free time to look through the bonsai garden; these were fairly large bonsai and all of them were up on high pedestals. My favorites were the ones that looked really windswept, and one was hanging all the way down to the ground out of the pot. I definitely saw some new plants today!

Wedding Photos in Front of the Flowers & Fountain


*HuXueYan's Former Residence: HuXueYan was a rich, rich man back in the day and he lived in a house with his mom, wife, and concubines. The residence was surrounded by walls that were about 20 feet tall (my guess), and it was actually in the heart of what is now a busy street area. Inside the walls and exploring the villa was really peaceful though; we couldn't hear much street noise and there weren't many other tourists (which was refreshing). The carvings, painting and all of the detail in the house was amazing! But my favorite part were the gardens; there were gardens tucked in all sorts of little courtyards, and the last thing we visited was the immense garden area. It actually wasn't that big, but the detail that was crammed into the space was incredible. We took a lot of pictures! There was a central pond with bridges and a pavilion to sit in; there were balconies overlooking everything, and the funnest part was an area of little caves formed from rocks; I almost got lost in there! All of the garden elements that are central to China could be found in this garden, and it was a delight for me to finally see a private garden! I think we all enjoyed this visit very much.

Our Group in the Garden Pavilion

Leaving ZFU

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Today was our last day at the school. It was amazing yet really hard to do cause we all had gotten so attached to all the students and the school as well. We exchanged last emails, Skype names, and for future use if they ever get facebook, our facebook name.
We are so glad that we did get to spend the time we had with the students and also can not wait till fall semester when a couple of the students come out for a semester to Crookston.

Thank you so much ZFU staff, faculty and students for an amazing and memorable time.

(If anyone has a group picture with all of us student and would not mind sending it to me I will gladly add a picture to this post.)

Day of arrival at the school (ZFU)

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We arrived at the school on May 23, 2011. It was really fun.We arrived and had some time to settle down in our room and than we headed to a welcome dinner. The dinner was very nice.


We than after the luncheon went on a school tour. The campus is split into three sections. A, B, and C. They have an amazing and very beautiful lake on campus surrounded by lots of green trees, shrubs, and flowers. there was a wooden walkway that crossed over the lake as well.Overall the campus was very large.

After the tour of the school we went to our very first class at the school, Chinese history and culture. We learned all about the dynasties and a few of the important people during each dynasty. Our class was 2 hours long as would be all of our classes here at the school.

We ended our day with a Foot message (which was more than just a foot message) sponsored by the school. We thanked them very much for the message and all of us decided we were going to be coming back later in the week on our own and get one more before we left.

I have a feeling that we are all going to have a very fun time while we stay here at the school.

Olympic Village Beijing


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Second day in Beijing. After climbing the great wall our group had a nice time at the Beijing Olympic Village. It was a great experience meeting thousands of local people and tourists from all over the world visiting this amazingly beautiful place.
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This a picture of the four fellows of the group along with Jacob, the best tour guide in Beijing.
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Full group picture with the water cube at Beijing Olympic village as our background.

Peking Opera

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May 18 2011

The peking opera was very interesting. It was in a way the same as the usual opera in America but because of the language and culture it was totally different.

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Even though the beginning was not very interesting we all loved the rest of the opera. We were thrilled when the monkey king began his fight against the 18 warriors. The movements and talent of each person especially the monkey king were amazing. Somethings had to have taken a long time to master and others you could tell took a whole lot of built up muscle.

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Monkey King and 18 warriors

Monkey King and the Drunken Warrior

Temple of Heaven ...Peking Duck

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The Temple Of Heaven favored us as the rain predicted did nto happen, clear skies and light breeze made the 78 degrees day a true blessing. The pictures don't show but kites where flying all around the area that added to the natural splendor. The area was very crowded as it was national visitors day. A few hours in the area doesn't do it justice the landscape and grounds would have been wonderful to explore.
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Needless to say after climbing the great wall yesterday, the forbidden city in the morning the temple this afternoon, and the bargain shopping at the Silk Road-Free Market - food was the next item on the agenda. No one could ever say they left the table hungry with the amount of food provided. The Duck platter was cleaned off in no time. JP, Sue, & Lisa joined us. The feast was provided compliments of Mindy- A great full thank you from a hungry and very satisfied group.

Celebrities among us

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korean  school boys.jpg A group of high school boys from Kora swarmed some of the group. Rob got into the mod as did Levi and Allie. Kristien was selected for individual poses. Never realized that we would draw the attention we did. Truly became a people watching people watching people . Soo Yin said because were were so active and animated....Diversity well represented in the UMC group.

Forbidden City

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Forbidden City - grp.jpgSY director.jpg Groups photos inside north gate of the Forbidden City. Jacob our tour guide needed four arms for holding all the cameras handed to him.. "1 yuan per shot" was used instead of "say cheese" rate of inflation was steep by end of day it was 4 yuan....
Soo Yin got into the director mood- her assistant was Alysha with James in the limelight.

Recent Comments

  • delag016: Kristine: I have a pic just like that! Yay for read more
  • delag016: So lucky you guys got to go here. Our group read more
  • delag016: I think what makes it different from American Opera is read more
  • delag016: I'm so jealous right now haha. I was there exactly read more
  • delag016: I'm so jealous right now haha. I was there exactly read more
  • atind003: Haha, I am not starving anymore! Having great Chinise food... read more
  • atind003: I said hi to Eric, Peter and Scotty for you read more
  • stonecarver: Thanks for all the pictures. Good to see you outside read more
  • rfrench: Hi all it looks like you are all having agreat read more
  • thiel196: LOL!! I was not in the picture but instead was read more

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