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Gastro Obscura
food & drink • 9 days, 8 nights

Springtime in Eastern China: Exploring the Birthplace of Tea

Gastro Obscura
food & drink • 9 days, 8 nights

Springtime in Eastern China: Exploring the Birthplace of Tea

No dates currently available. Notify me when dates are added.
  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
  • Travel Style
    Overland Adventure
from $4,540 USD per person
No dates currently available.Notify me when dates are added.

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Trip Overview

According to an ancient Chinese legend, the divine farmer, Shennong, first discovered tea when an errant leaf fluttered into his open mouth. While foraging for edible plants and herbs, he had accidentally poisoned himself along the way, and the serendipitous tea leaf brought him back to good health. The myth speaks to the delicate leaf’s enormous power in Chinese culture and history. Since its cultivation 6,000 years ago, tea has transformed empires, religions, cultures, and morning routines—in China and across the globe. On this nine-day journey, we’ll explore the cultivation, production, and preparation of Chinese tea while learning about the rich history in which it’s steeped. We’ll stop to visit tea houses and temples, learn from monks and tea masters, explore buzzing cityscapes and tranquil lakes, and spend time with local friends and families. Though tea is our focal point, we’ll be exploring much more than the drink itself. From plantations to porcelain manufacturers, we’ll learn about the cultures and communities that go into making Chinese tea such an exquisite beverage—and, in many ways, a global force.

Gastro Obscura Trips: inspiring wonder and curiosity about the world through food and drink.

  • Lessons from tea masters
  • Conversations with merchants, monks, and connoisseurs
  • Visit to an ancient water town
  • Local history, art, and philosophy


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Trip Leader

Xiaokun ("Kun") Song
Born and raised in China, Kun eventually traveled to Europe where she received a Masters in Art History and a doctorate in Chinese Studies. Education abroad opened her eyes to the misconceptions and barriers to understanding that many outsiders face when exploring her home country. Shortly after returning home, she founded Sourcians to open China up to the curious and adventure-hungry. Using her deep knowledge and extensive connections, Kun provides meaningful experiences that inspire and awe. Her fascination for cultures has led her to use travel as a means to explore them all—from food and art to places and communities, Kun’s trips are all designed with people and learning in mind.

Additional Info


The listed price of the trip is per person based on double occupancy.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $670. After booking your trip, please request a private room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll add the option to your booking and final balance. 

Arrival & Departure

When planning your travel, we recommend that you arrive in Hangzhou by 4 p.m. on Day 1 and depart from Shanghai after 6 p.m. on Day 9. 

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking three to five miles over the course of each day, remaining on their feet for long periods of time, going up and down stairs, and walking on uneven terrain. 

  • Accommodation throughout the trip at comfortable local hotels
  • All meals as described in the itinerary
  • An experienced, multilingual guide to accompany you for the duration of the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Transportation throughout the trip
  • An experienced Atlas Obscura Leader to accompany you for the duration of the trip as well as special guests throughout
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events
  • A curious group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue (terms apply)
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences
  • Transportation and flights to and from China including airport transfers (please note that the trip begins in Hangzhou and ends in Shanghai)
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable
  • COVID-19 testing requirements
  • Customary gratuities for Trip Leader
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