Few places capture the imagination quite like China. With its borders now reopened to foreign visitors, CNN highlights China’s Hidden Treasures in a special 30-minute travel program, exploring remote tea plantations, surfing the waves off the country’s southern coast, and strolling through age-old markets where artisans keep ancient traditions alive today.
Jingdezhen, located in the northeast part of Jiangxi Province, is one of China’s most famous historic cities. CNN travels to Jingdezhen, also known as China’s “porcelain capital”. The city is home to a unique market for antique pottery. CNN follows artist Hao Zhenhan to discover how ceramics are still made by hand. Jingdezhen’s porcelain artistry dates back at least a thousand years, after Emperor Zhaoheng decreed the production of porcelain there to be used by the Royal Court during the Song Dynasty.
Today, the artistry has evolved; beyond painting on pottery like teapots, some now paint on tea itself. CNN speaks to Han Zheming, a traditional tea painter who creates patterns on liquid tea that are inspired by paintings of the Song Dynasty.
CNN then takes to the heart of China‘s tea country – Shaxi. This historic market town, located in Yunnan Province, was once a main trading center for tea leaves and horses on the country’s “Southern Silk Road”. CNN explores the town’s vibrant Friday Market with tea expert Zhu Liyuan, who curates her own unique tea experiences by exploring southern China in search of the country’s finest varieties of tea.
In Fujian Province, CNN meets up with restaurant owner Adam Chen to explore the coast just north of Xiamen. Chen takes us to a historic fishing village market to enjoy a traditional Hokkien dish made with oysters – and visit several old houses made of the shells of discarded oysters. CNN then visits Tulou, a UNESCO world heritage site that holds 46 distinctively shaped dwellings built between the 15th and 20th century.
CNN also travels to Shuangyue Bay, a port town in Guangdong Province famous for its stunning sea views and two crescent moon-shaped bays. Photographer and yoga practitioner Tina Tang is an avid surfer, who left the big-city life to explore China’s lesser-known beaches. The region is popular among Chinese tourists looking for sun, sand, and surf. CNN follows Tina to check out the local food scene and hit the waves, exploring more of the laid-back lifestyle she has found in this hidden treasure.