Chengdu Tea House Culture

If you ask a foreign person what Chengdu is most famous for they will probably answer the Panda Research Base but if you ask a Chinese then it is the cities ancient teahouse culture that you will hear in reply. Any visit to Sichuan would be wasted without a visit to a teahouse and especially in Chengdu. Its unknown when teahouses were first created there, but to show you just how important they are to Chengdu's history – in 1937 city records list 667 streets and 599 teahouses, nearly a teahouse for every street in the city!

These places are more than just a place to drink tea, they are a part of life for the locals, a place to meet, relax, and gather with friends and family of all ages, a place to wind down at the end of the day. In many you will see people playing Mahjong, Chess and other card and board games. A unique feature of teahouses that foreigners may find strange at first is the ear picking service. Experts will clean out your ears with their special tools for a price as you sit back and enjoy it. A novel experience for sure. Another common service is a massage at your table and you may come across such people as musicians, singers and fortune tellers depending on your location. People sometimes will stay in a teahouse for hours and possibly a full day so many have food and snacks on offer as well. The settings vary but all are built with the customers' enjoyment in mind. There is obviously a large selection of different teas to choose from and the servers might amaze you with their water pouring skills!

There are so many teahouses in Chengdu but some of the most famous and popular are the ones located in the cities various temples. Wenshu Temple, Wuhou Temple and Qingyang Temple are the best known and all have a lovely teahouse in which to sit, relax and admire your ancient surroundings. The teahouse culture in Chengdu is a laid back way of life that many return again and again for.