As the drum sounded, a tea culture performance was held at the Qixing Square in the village, featuring exciting programs such as “Martial Arts Drum Dance,” “Tea Art,” “Tea Dolls,” and “Happiness of a Tea Leaf.” The live audience enthusiastically captured the moments with photographs and live broadcasts.
Guocha village, which is one of the sixth batch of nationally recognized traditional Chinese villages, is an important agricultural heritage site. It is the place where the royal tribute tea during the Ming Dynasty was produced.
The Qixing Square in the village is the venue for the Baojing Golden Tea Making Skills Competition.
Besides its long-standing tea culture, the entire village now boasts a tea planting area of over 15,000 mu (about 1,000 hectares), with an average of 6 mu (about 0.4 hectares) per person. There are over 80 tea family workshops and tea factories in the village.
Shi Ailong, head of Yulong Specialized Golden Tea Cooperative, mentioned that different types of Baojing Golden Tea have distinct flavors. Two years ago, he registered his own brand “Xiangqiao’ao”, and expected to promote this brand nationwide.
In 2022, the village saw a surge in the production and sales of Baojing Golden Tea and its related products. The spring golden tea alone generated an output value of over 80 million yuan, benefiting 1,932 residents in the entire village. The per capita income increased by more than 40,000 yuan.
In addition, the village has abundant intangible cultural heritage resources. There are two national-level representative projects, one provincial-level intangible cultural heritage project, and one representative inheritor in the village. Traditional events like the folk tea making skills competition are also often held.
The favorable ecological environment and rich culture are the village’s strengths and characteristics, attracting numerous tea merchants and tourists. However, there are noticeable shortcomings in infrastructure, living, accommodation, and planning.
Guocha Village will integrate culture and travel. To ensure that those who come to the village have a good time, it is essential to improve overall planning, infrastructure, and living conditions.”
In the past two years, the village has raised nearly 30 million yuan of funds to upgrade roads, improve living environment, and build sightseeing and leisure pavilions, dramatically changing the appearance of the village.
The Qixing Square, ancient pottery kiln, walking path in the tea garden, and multifunctional tea art center together have accelerated the construction of a “field complex” that encompasses tea cultivation, tea picking, fishing, and camping. The village now receives an annual average of nearly 100,000 tourists.
During weekends and especially before the Qingming Festival, tea merchants and tourists flock to the village, bringing bustling business for the agritainment restaurants and homestay inns in the village.
The homestay inn, which looks like a tea leaf, merges seamlessly with the surrounding tea gardens.
Visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery, delicious food, tea picking and tea making, and visit surrounding attractions. The walking path in the tea garden is a particular favorite for tourists, providing a refreshing and tranquil experience.
In 2021, Guocha Village was included in the first batch of provincial-level rural revitalization demonstration villages in Hunan, and in 2022, it was awarded the title of the Beautiful Village in Hunan. In 2023, the village hosted more than 200,000 tourists.