Tea drinking habits have long been rooted in many different parts of Vietnam. Unlike other neighbours with complicated disciplines and solemn tea ceremony, Vietnamese appreciate plain tea which shows the real beauty of tea and hardworking tea growers. Unflavored or unscented tea served with neither milk nor sugar can be easily found on the sidewalk in every part in Vietnam. People sit on the tiny little chair facing the street while enjoying their cup of hot or iced tea having a chitchat or watching people passed by.
When talking about the perfect tea, the first destination that comes to mind of most of Vietnamese is Thai Nguyen – the highland district famous for its hundred years of aromatic tea cultivation. Situated just outside of Hanoi, a visit to tea plantation makes a perfect escape to the hustle and bustle of city life. There are plenty things to see and do in Thai Nguyen tea plantation that will definitely motivate you to travel:
1, Stroll through tea plantation
The best time to visit is from May to October in Thai Nguyen where endless lush green tea bushes beckon. Strolling through the tea fields and explore the surroundings of the hill station while striking up a conversation with the tea growers and learning how deft they pluck the right tea leaves. Tea trees in Thai Nguyen are not as tall as in Moc Chau where trees grow naturally due to the regular pollarding for every 15 years, however, enabling to deliver an exceptional tea quality.
2, Learn the tea process and try your own hand at it
From picking up leaves, through several steps of tea drying, shaping to the final product, there are so many things that will get you way excited as soon as you are ready to roll up your sleeves and make your first attempt. Additionally, making connection with local people bring you a deeper insight into their lives and generally, Vietnam tea culture.
3, Sip tea and savour every drop of tea
The famous tea from Thai Nguyen is Tan Cuong tea. The technique used in the growing process, as well as Thai Nguyen terrain and weather, are equally essential components contributing to Tan Cuong tea’s quality. The bitter taste left on the tip of your tongue in every sip of hot Tan Cuong tea can entice any tea drinkers while still implying the life of people here.
4, Meet the tea growers
Just as every kind of tea has its own unique flavours, every grower has their own story. Learn about the person who grows your tea and what makes it so special, gradually, learning to appreciate the true value of tea. You will never look at tea the same way again.
5, Learn the tea etiquette
You will not only be treated with amazing tea but also learn the tea etiquette. When you arrive, tea will be prepared to welcome you as a traditional act to show hospitality by the host. Every time you put down an empty cup, it will immediately be filled up again. or younger members usually cover their cups when drinking with elders and those with higher status to show respect.
6, Bike through village after village
A lovely bike ride through the countryside is not to be missed. Wander around the villages to see a difference of Vietnam with picturesque villages, get a glimpse of the Coc mountain lake and meet countless lovely people. “We get more love in remote areas of Vietnam” Agnieszka shared her thought after her trip to Vietnam.
7, Visit Thai Nguyen Tea Cultural Space
Along the way to explore the areas surrounding, you can visit Thai Nguyen Tea Cultural Space where 500 objects and Vietnam’s largest ceramic teapot are displayed and learn the history of tea in Thai Nguyen.
8, Bring some tea as souvenirs back home
Of course, enjoy your tea at home and savour the memories.
Tea Affair and Bike tour are one of the most popular choices for our guests and a must for tea lovers. Read the amazing experiences of Jess and Laurence in their Independent Travel Cats blog and why not join Footprint’s Tea Affair and Bike, have a seat and enjoy a cup of tea with us. Vietnamese tea is more than a beverage but rather an experience!