Our first visit was to a "tea emporium" where we were treated to a "Three Courses Tea" ceremony. It was a thinly disguised sales pitch for the local product. Yes indeed, another shopping opportunity.
The sales pitch was delivered by a lovely, and quite thin, young woman. At one point she attributed her slender figure to the fact that she had been drinking local tea for many years. When one of the..., um..., portly members of our party asked if drinking tea would make him slim like her she only hesitated for a few seconds before replying with an emphatic "no".
Laughter all around.
She had a habit of emphasizing declarative statements by making a loud "mmmm" sound. This picture catches her in mid mmmm. The first couple of times she did it it was cute and provoked appreciative laughter among her listeners, but half a dozen times more it became a bit annoying.
I don't know how much tea she sold, but several members of the party left the emporium carrying packages.
Two members of our party were celebrating birthdays while we were in China. In their honor the tour leaders made arrangements for a party after lunch
The cakes, aren't they lovely?
Cutting the cakes.
Then it was on to our next destination.
While waiting for our bus I snapped a few pictures of this figure passing on the street outside the restaurant.
The noise our party was making attracted her attention and she turned around to watch us. She seemed bemused by our presence. She remained there for a few minutes until we boarded the bus and were on our way, a reminder that we in our own way were as exotic as the land through which we traveled.
On the bus we traveled through extensive rice fields. Cultivation is still by hand -- very labor intensive -- which helps to solve the problem of surplus labor, but isn't efficient enough to feed China's huge population, which still requires massive food imports.