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Pay a visit to a Zhouzhuang teahouse telling a special story


Pay a visit to a Zhouzhuang teahouse telling a special story

Sanmao tea house in Zhouzhuang, a renowned water town in East China's Jiangsu province [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Not just a place for acquiring an authentic tea experience, visitors to the Sanmao tea house in Zhouzhuang are also able to learn about the touching story between two writers - Zhang Qihan and Sanmao.

The owner of the tea house is Zhang Qihan, a local writer in Zhouzhuang. When Sanmao, a famous Taiwan writer, first visited Zhouzhuang in 1989, they hit it off from the start, and immediately felt like old friends. An essay by Zhang Qihan named Sanmao's Visit in Zhouzhuang was published in newspapers. From that time, they kept in touch with each other via letters.

In a letter, Zhang invited Sanmao to visit Zhouzhuang again, recommending possible arrangements for her trip to the ancient water town, which included wandering waterways on a traditional boat, enjoying the moon rising over the Nanhu Lake and sampling the famous Granny Tea.

Sanmao,on the other side of the Strait, accepted his invitation joyfully. She excitedly told her father in a letter that she would go to Zhouzhuang to relish hairy crabs, a famous local seasonal delicacy.

However, in 1991, Sanmao, at the age of 47, committed suicide at home in Taipei, Taiwan, never able to fulfill the appointment with Zhang.

In January, 1994, in memorial of Sanmao, Zhang established the tea house named after her in Zhouzhuang, which only has two small rooms with no lavish interior decorations.

Despite its simplicity and humbleness, guests still can feel at home there. Photo albums of Sanmao, correspondence between the Zhang Qihan and Sanmao and pictures of famous people visiting are displayed in the teahouse.

Sanmao was a Taiwan novelist, translator and writer. Born as Chen Maoping, Sanmao was her pseudonym adopted from a character of acclaimed caricaturist Zhang Leping's most famous work, entitled Sanmao. Her work ranged from autobiographical writing, to travel writing and reflective novels, to translations of European comic books.

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