Yuan Zhou Chi­nese Tea Court­yard (Yuan Zhou Cha Yuan 园洲茶院)

One of the most ex­ot­ic yet ac­ces­si­ble ex­pe­ri­ences for tourists on all of Ku­lang­su is a vis­it to this stun­ning­ly re­stored fam­i­ly man­sion, which has been con­vert­ed in­to a tea house where you can sam­ple a di­verse ar­ray of lo­cal teas.

Here you can al­so sit down for for­mal tea ser­vice at one of the won­drous­ly knarled tree trunks-turned-ta­bles in one of the back rooms, or sim­ply browse around the in­side and out­side of the man­sion and its court­yards, and imag­ine the life of a wealthy lo­cal fam­i­ly a cen­tu­ry and a half back in time.

Take time to no­tice the smooth and grace­ful curves on the arched roofs, typ­i­cal of the old Min­nan ar­chi­tec­tur­al style and none oth­er. From cer­tain an­gles, in cer­tain of the mansion’s many con­nect­ed court­yards, this ar­chi­tec­ture is not just har­mo­nious and his­toric: it is just heart­break­ing­ly beau­ti­ful, a shrine to el­e­gant de­sign that speaks across gen­er­a­tions, a time­less homage to a lost era of grace and gentility.

Ad­dress: 25 Zhonghua Road, Gu­langyu Is­land, Sim­ing Dis­trict, Xi­a­men City, China