April 12th: Kunming. We will meet at the hotel at 10 in the morning. Awoono and I will take you to tour the city and have lunch. After lunch, we will hang out in a very cool local tea house (or two) to taste some special puers. It will be good to relax in a nice tea house after a long flight. We will learn about puer and talk more about the places we will visit during our trip.
April 13th: We will travel to Mo-Jiang, to my co-tour leader's hometown to visit her uncle, who is a tea farmer. At his farm, we will pick tea leaves and learn the basics of tea firing.
April 14th: We will visit another tea farmer in the Mo-Jiang area. This farmer is doing environmentally-responsible farming practices; he doesn't use chemical fertilizer or pesticides. I was lucky to taste his tea last year and it was very good. Besides visiting his farm, we will try to learn how to press puer cakes from him. We will also take you to a great restaurant to eat locally grown organic vegetables and meat.
|old style tea farming|
April 15th: We will leave early today and travel south to the Xishuangbanna area. We will be visiting one of the most well preserved tea forests, where there are around three thousand tea trees ranging from 200 years to 1000+ years old. It will feel magical to hike through an old tea tree forest.
|a huge old Puer tree|
April 16th: We will travel to Nannuo Mountain, one of the most famous puer tea mountains, known for its high quality puer maocha. We know some local tea producers and experts that will teach us more about this special tea and how to taste them.
|Puer mao cha from Nannuo Mountain|
April 17th: Today, we will be joining one of the biggest festivals in Xishuangbanna. This celebration is observed throughout Southeast Asia. This festival is celebrated by the Dai tribe, for "getting rid of the old and welcoming in the new." We will also be exploring some Dai cuisine while we are here.
April 18th: We are going to visit some local pottery places. We hope to be able to show you how the local pottery is made. If we don't catch any production in action, we will at least have a chance to get some unique jars to store your precious puer.
April 19th: We are going to travel to Lijiang today. After we check into our hotel, we will be touring the old town of LiJiang, which is an Unesco Heritage Site. This city is around 800 years old and has a well preserved old city structure that is breathtaking. The Naxi tribe is the biggest group of people who live here. We will explore their culture and cuisine, too.
April 20th: We are planning to visit a Tea Horse Old Route museum in LiJiang. LiJiang is also one of the ancient Silk Road's trade stops. This museum will offer us a glimpse into the city's history and also some puer tea knowledge. We plan to have some time in the afternoon for you to do some souvenir shopping!
April 21st: We will travel back to Kunming. Time to pick up your luggage and fly home.
*This is a tentative itinerary. It's subject to change, hopefully for the better in case unique opportunities arise!