China Trip – Group Travel | Atlas Obscura Trips
Photo Credit: Noah Schneider
Photo Credit: Noah Schneider
Photo Credit: Noah Schneider
Photo Credit: Noah Schneider

Springtime in Eastern China: Exploring the Birthplace of Tea

from $4,825 USD per person for 11 days, 10 nights
See Dates
  • 12 People Maximum
  • Moderate Activity Level
  • Overland Adventure
See Dates
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 11-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.

  • Lessons from tea masters
  • Conversations with merchants, monks, and connoisseurs
  • The Qinming Festival with a local family
  • 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

Pricing & Single Accommodations

The total cost of this trip is $4,825, and an additional $1,725 if joining for the Kunming extension. For those traveling by themselves, single accommodations can be provided, subject to availability, at an additional cost of $570 (or $830 if taking the extension). Please contact us to request a single room.

Arrival & Departure

When planning your travel, we recommend that you arrive in Hangzhou by 4 p.m. on March 28 and depart from Shanghai after 6 p.m. on April 7, or if joining for the extension, from Kunming anytime on April 11. If you'd like assistance booking flights, let us know and we'll connect you to our flight specialists.

Activity Level

This tour is fairly active; travelers should be reasonably fit and feel comfortable walking three to five miles each day, and remaining on their feet for long periods of time. Several parts of the tour involve some longer walks, including up and down stairs and on uneven ground.

  • Ten nights of accommodation in modern, well-equipped hotels.
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary.
  • The company of an experienced, multilingual guide throughout the trip.
  • Transport throughout the trip, in comfortable minibuses and bullet trains.
  • Admission to all proposed activities and experiences.
  • Transportation and flights, including airport transfers; note that the trip begins in Hangzhou and ends in Shanghai (or Kunming for those taking the extension).
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings.
  • If applicable, applying for a Chinese visa. (We recommend applying through the service Visa HQ.)
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Upcoming Departures

  • Mar 28–Apr 7, 2020
    from $4,825
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