Tai Chi, Taoism and Tea

We all woke up bright and early for another day of adventure and discovery. We jumped on a bus at 7 am and drove approximately an hour to a place called Laoshang. This was a beautiful place surrounded by mountains with a marvelous Taoist (or Daoist) temple facing the ocean. The view was spectacular! We were greeted by the Taoist priest who took us on a tour of the grounds and answered our questions about Taoism otherwise known as Daoism. Taoism is one of the five religious doctrines recognized by the Republic of China and dates back to the 4th century B.C.. Taoist followers believe in living in harmony with Tao. Taoist (Daoist) are taught to live a simplistic life and detach themselves from worldly desires. It was a privilege and a honor to meet the Taoist priest. Taoist priest seldom meet outsiders and it was a great honor for us all.

Taoist Temple and Sharman

Our next stop was an introduction to Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient martial art used for both self defense and health. Tai Chi dates back to the 12th century and goes along with Daoism (Taoism) and Confusious Chinese philosophy. Today, many people of China participate in Tai Chi for both mental and physical health. We came across a group engaging in Tai Chi and the Tai Chi instructor invited us to join. Tai Chi is not easy! This form of martial art requires concentration, discipline and strength. The Tai Chi instructor was very helpful and patient with our group of novice. These Bulls were not graceful, but we gave it a try.

Tai Chi

Our last destination was an Organic tea farm. This farm was located in a beautiful location surrounded by wonderful smells of tea leaves and peaches. China is the leading producer of tea for the world. It is believed drinking tea dates back to approximately 2700 B.C. Tea has been used in China for centuries during religious ceremonies , social events and prescribed for a variety of health remedies. Tea was introduced to Europe in the 1600’s and was traded world wide along with other exotic spices. The plant is a short bush as you can see in the following photos. It is harvested by hand and the tea leaves are carefully placed in baskets. Triangle shaped hats are worn by the people harvesting the crop to keep them shaded and cool. This day of adventure and exploration was packed with interesting information and wonderful experiences. We all thank the Qingdao government for arranging this awesome day.

Picking Tea leaves
Group helps harvest tea.
Tea Fields

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