úterý 17. července 2012

Wenmiao - one of the last Kunming teahouses

Wenmiao used to be a temple of Confucius, but  it is a teahouse for ordinary people now. The teahouse is in the center of the city and is one of last oases of rapidly changing city.
There are two houses in Wenmiao actually - one is near the entrance, the other one is in the back of the object. 
In the first teahouse, there is traditional chinese music being played and most visitors have their own vacuum bottles, cups and tea - they pay only for hot water (one yuan if you go for water to a little window, four yuans for a vacuum bottle brought to you).
In the second teahouse named "Gai Wan Cha", the tea is served in gaiwans and you may buy a green tea (a very low grade of yunnan Chun mei) or a herbal tea. In working days, you get your own vacuum bottle; on busy weekends, water is carried around by employees of the teahouse. You pay four yuans for a gaiwan and hot water (i.e., about 0.7 USD).

People sitting in the first teahouse, "Hua Yuan Cha Shi" (Garden tea house):

One of cells in the second teahouse - visitors eating kilos of their favourite sunflower seeds.

Visitors often play various boardgames:

These pipes used to be seen frequently (see photos in the book Teahouses in Kunming), yet used only seldom these days:

This is the rhytm section of the musicians in the first teahouse. Classical opera is played, which is somewhat difficult to listen to. We used similar style of music in to make guests leave after the closing hours in the teahouse where my tea journey started (Sluníčko, Ždár nad Sázavou; the teahouse does not exist anymore):

Between songs, tea is consumed and cigars smoked. Some songs last more than an hour...

You may leave spent leaves from your mug or glass:

Hot water carried to the guests:

Around the Gai Wan Cha teahouse, there is a small pond with gold carps and blooming lotuses:

Sunday afternoon, a full teahouse:

The entrance to Wenmiao:

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