Friday, 31 August 2012

Maofeng at top of the Giant Buddha of Leshan

While I was in Chengdu, I took a day trip down to see the Giant Buddha of Leshan. It's about 1000 years old, and was built to protect boats from getting sucked down by the current. It displaced so much rock that it actually did slow the current, so it worked!

This thing is massive. Staggeringly so - it's the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. You climb through a mountainous park full of Buddhist statuary, up rough-hewn stone steps to get to the head. You can't even see his feet, just the line of people scabbling down the cliff to reach bottom.

While I was there, the heavens opened up and it started raining so hard that they had to temporarily shut down the stair to the Buddha's feet. I took shelter in a teahouse in the monastery by the Buddha and had a glass of maofeng to pass the time. (As well as a handful of peanuts that a monk pressed into my hand.)

The maofeng had small and flat leaves, very green. It had a fullsome grassy aroma, much like apple blossoms. The first sip brought notes of popcorn, apples, and sweet green leaves. There was almost no astringency, but an aftertaste of sweetcorn. It was grassy and pleasant, and quite good for a reasonably cheap tea (even accounting for higher tourist prices).

It certainly warmed me and gave me strength to climb down the uneven steps, single-file, in the rain to the bottom of the Buddha!


  1. Glad to hear the trip went well. I really enjoy reading your China travel posts and look forward to more. How long were you gone and did you return with any great teas or teaware?

    1. Yup, I got a bunch of tea while I'm there. I have one more post from China to put up, then some reviews of teas that Peony Tea sent me, and then I'll get to the teas from China!