heading to guilin: kumquat orchards & the seven star tea plantation

Friday, January 30: Our original plan was to take bicycle rides in the Yangshuo countryside, to take a bamboo raft ride down the Yulong River, and to rent an electric bike to explore the mountains and kumquat orchards north of Yangshuo.  The bicycle ride we did take was short and rainy.  The Yulong River rafts were closed for the season and weren’t due to open until Chinese New Year, or February 18.  And the rain prevented us from renting e-bikes to explore the countryside north of Yangshuo.

Weighing our remaining options, we arrange with Vivian at our hotel to have her husband drive us through the countryside north of Yangshuo on our way to Guilin.  We tell her we’re checking out a day early, and she reminds us we’ll lose our money for the hotel room tonight.  We don’t care.  Her husband will meet us at 10:00 a.m. to drive us through the countryside, with our suitcases in the van, and he will take us directly to our hotel in Guilin when the drive is over.

We eat our breakfast and take a walk around the hotel before we leave.  Across the street, we enjoy our last gray view of the Li River.

The Li River view across the street from our hotel

The Li River view across the street from our hotel

Behind our hotel, we find this pretty little courtyard.

the pretty little courtyard behind the hotel (Photo by Mike)

the pretty little courtyard behind the hotel (Photo by Mike)

And we take a parting shot of the Yangshuo River View Hotel.

Yangshuo River View Hotel (Photo by Mike)

Yangshuo River View Hotel (Photo by Mike)

Outside of town, we come to rolling hills covered in kumquat orchards.  At this time of year, they’re all covered in plastic sheeting to protect them from the rain.  In October when I was here, Vivian herself took me on a motorbike ride through this same countryside.  It was so much fun riding on the back of her e-bike with the wind in my hair!  The weather was lovely then.  You can see the differences in the countryside in this post: a motorbike ride through orange groves to xianggong hill

the drive through the countryside north of Yangshuo

the drive through the countryside north of Yangshuo

kumquat orchards protected with plastic sheeting from the rain

kumquat orchards protected with plastic sheeting from the rain

kumquat orchards north of Yangshuo

kumquat orchards north of Yangshuo

mountains and kumquat orchards north of Yangshuo

mountains and kumquat orchards north of Yangshuo

Our first stop on today’s drive is the Seven Star Green Tea Plantation.  In Chinese, it’s called Qi Xian Feng tea plantation and it’s about 14 km from the center of Yangshuo  According to a brochure from the plantation: It is about 600 meters above sea level.  Cloud and mist surround it perennially. Specially when it rains, the whole plantation looks like a charming beauty in white. 

I just love Chinese descriptions of places!

We walk around the tea plantation.  Luckily today it’s not raining, just awfully cloudy.

Entrance to the Seven Star Tea Plantation

Entrance to the Seven Star Tea Plantation

The green tea plants aren’t covered up.  In the distance, the covered kumquat orchards stretch as far as the eye can see.

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Views of the kumquat orchards from the Seven Star Tea Plantation

Views of the kumquat orchards from the Seven Star Tea Plantation

kumquat orchards

kumquat orchards

The plantation is a lot browner than when I was here in October.  If you’d like to see what the plantation looked like in sunnier weather, you can check out: the seven star tea plantation and return to yangshuo

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

view of orchards from Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

view from Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation

Seven Star Tea Plantation (Photo by Mike)

Seven Star Tea Plantation (Photo by Mike)

Seven Star Tea Plantation (Photo by Mike)

Seven Star Tea Plantation (Photo by Mike)

Chicken at Seven Star Tea Plantation (Photo by Mike)

Chicken at Seven Star Tea Plantation (Photo by Mike)

After we walk around the tea plantation, a young lady performs a tea ceremony for us.  I’m not a big fan of tea, especially green tea, but today it’s a warm and welcome treat.

a little tea ceremony

a little tea ceremony

After the tea plantation, we continue on our drive through the countryside, heading for Xianggong Hill, where we get marvelous views of Xingping and the Li River.

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Categories: Asia, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin, Motorbike tour, Seven Star Tea Plantation, Travel, Yangshuo | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “heading to guilin: kumquat orchards & the seven star tea plantation

  1. The plastic sheets covering all the kumquat hills looked amazing! And they have to do that every time it rains? Or just keep them covered for the rainy season? Talk about labor intensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they must keep them covered for the rainy season, Vivian, because the Chinese Vivian told me that when she took me on the motorbike ride through these orchards in October. Yes, it seems highly labor intensive!! 🙂 Thanks!

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  2. That’s an ocean of plastic, or perhaps some other material?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m really not sure exactly what it is, Gilly, but it looks like plastic to me. That is an ocean of it, isn’t it? It must be highly labor intensive to cover all those orchards!

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  3. Wow! I feel cold and damp after all these blogs!!! LOL! Poor Mike!!!!! He was a really good sport that he came and spent his only vacation time so far from home just find cold and rain, but remember that seeing YOU was the real reason he went to China, not to go sight-seeing!!!

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    • Yes, I felt really bad for Mike too, Mona Lisa, since it is probably the only vacation he can take all year. You know how American companies work people to death! Yes, seeing me and just spending time together was what it ended being about in the end. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps returning to a place you loved in a different season was not a good idea, and I’m sure you have regretted it, but you wanted Mike to see and feel the China you love. Even with the horrible weather he must have enjoyed experiencing a very different culture to what he has at home, and of course, spending time with you. Despite the snoring 😛

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    • I wouldn’t have gone back to Yangshuo especially at this time of year, Jude, but Mike really wanted to see it, so I took him back. It was really hard for me not to have experiences and weather up to par with the first time I visited. He did definitely enjoy the different cultural experience and he enjoyed being with me. That was really what it ended up being about in the great scheme of things. 🙂 The snoring is hard for everyone in my family to take. Especially as you will see when Alex comes to travel with me in Yunnan. He has no tolerance for it at all! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kat, did you buy any green tea there?

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  6. Even with the rain and dreary gray skies, the pictures were beautiful and I enjoyed seeing what you two were up to.

    Nancy

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    • Thanks, Nancy. The mountains in that part of the country are beautiful even in the dreariest of weather, so it was fun for both of us to see them, Mike for the first time, and me for the second. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Those photos of the orchards draped in mountains of plastic and the terraces in the tea plantation are so unique and it would take an army of labourers involved to maintain it all. Probably paid a pittance by our standards too. I can understand Mike wanting to see it after looking at your previous photos when you had better weather.

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    • I really do wonder, Pauline, how many people and how much time it takes to cover all those orchards in plastic. Farming is such hard work, isn’t it? I still thought the landscape was interesting even with the kumquat orchards covered in white. 🙂

      Like

  8. Hooray for Tea Ceremony! 🙂

    Like

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