Tea ceremony Beijing Reviews
Be aware of the tea ceremony! Jul 12, 2005
Walking around Beijing (or Shanghai!) as a western tourist attracts all sorts of curious Chinese people. Also younger people who say they want to practice their English.
When my husband and I had just left the Forbidden City and crossed the Tiananman square, when we were approached by a young Chinese man and woman in their early twenties. They called themselves Robert and Rose (it’s common for Chinese people to pick an English name when interacting with foreigners since very few can remember their Chinese name. I do the same myself since my name is Liselore. When I meet someone who is not Dutch or German, I call myself Lisa).
They were curious about us and wanted to practice their English. While walking through the centre of Beijing, we actually had a nice conversation on both our countries, and we decided to go for some drinks. Robert and Rose suggested we do a Chinese tea ceremony and we followed them to a small place where we drank several kinds of tea in the traditional way.
Everything was nice and lovely, until we saw the bill. At first (before we knew how much it cost), my husband and I had already decided that we would pay the whole bill. Everything in China is very cheap for us and we had such a nice time with Robert and Rose, talking with them and hearing their views on China and its development.
Then we saw the ceremony was over 120 Euro for the four of us, which is a small fortune in China. My husband and I were quite surprised to see the bill, Robert and Rose were not. After we said our goodbyes, we had the inkling feeling that Robert and Rose had been on the lookout for westerners and wanted to take as many as possible to ‘their’ tea ceremony. They probably earned a commission for every ceremony. We had had a nice afternoon talking with them, so we had no hard feelings. But when we were in Shanghai a couple of weeks later and a similar young couple also asked if we wanted to do a tea ceremony, we were sure. If you are approached a young Chinese couple who eventually ask if you would like to do a tea ceremony, be aware that this is quite expensive!
Part of the China 2005 travel blog
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