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He Ming Teahouse
9am - 9pm
Renmin Rark, 12 Shaocheng Rd.
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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
People’s Park is a hive of activity at most hours of the day, not the kind of place where one might go to relax with a book. People’s Park is the site of patriotic activities, opera performances, puppet shows, snack and art vendors, and people practicing musical instruments and exercising. On the weekends the marriage market ads are posted and perused by mostly older folks looking for the perfect match for their offspring. This year the park has seen even more activity than usual with the opening of the People’s Park subway station and the re-landscaping of the west edge of the park.

The teahouses in People’s Park are oases amid the activity, where the noises and crowds fade into the background. He Ming Teahouse is the best known of these, with plenty of bamboo tables among the trees beside the pond, and no matter how many people are around it never feels crowded. Newspapers, card games, cigarettes, the buzzing of insects, birds, and the rattle of ear cleaning tools provide a typical teahouse atmosphere. Ear cleaning runs 20RMB and up for those who wish to indulge. Newspaper sellers and portrait artists also circulate. Tea is served in ‘gai wan’ style covered cups and customers can thoughtfully stir the tea leaves with the edge of the lid while we contemplate life like a character in a Chinese movie. We like that lots of local teas are represented on the menu, such as gan lu and jasmine ‘drifting snow’ piaoxue. We made do with a 15RMB glass of mao feng, a grassy tea with a bitter edge that is well-suited for summer sipping. The days when servers would come around and pour customers fresh water from a long-spouted teapot are past; the server will set a thermos of hot water on the table or on the ground and there is self serve fresh water if the table runs out. For the prices, we can’t complain.

There is no food served but many customers bring their own fruit and snacks. People who want to experience even more local flavour can eat dumplings, noodles, or other typical local snacks from the Zhong Shuijiao next door. We found it most efficient to go over and get snacks to take out first and then bring them over to the teahouse, since the servers are separated. Every Saturday afternoon there is a tea art performance on the plaza.

He Ming Teahouse
He Ming Teahouse He Ming Teahouse He Ming Teahouse