Find out what it's like to visit a Thai tea garden where you get to pick tea, have an afternoon snack, and meet incredible local people!
When you support a local business when traveling, you get authenticity and sincerity. Which is the whole point of traveling anyway, right? Experiencing a place for what it truly is! Our visit to Araksa Tea Garden gave us such an intimate look into Thailand’s tea culture. Plus, it was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the main cities.
We chose the tour option which included a private transfer because we had no transportation of our own. It took about 75 minutes to get from Chiang Mai to Araksa, where we would spend the next few hours learning all about how tea goes from plant to cup!
As we pulled into the property, this super cute old man was waiting on a motorbike to guide our van up to a parking spot. We'd soon find out that he was Charlie, our guide for the day! He’d be giving us lessons in tea, and occasionally breaking out into song for the duration of our visit. Also, we were the only group there, which made the whole experience feel that much more fun and special!
Learning About Tea
Our day began under a pavilion overlooking the gorgeous property packed with tea plants.
Charlie gave a demonstration detailing the basics of the plant itself. Get this – did you know that green, black, and white tea all come from the same plant? Well, they do! The difference in tea all depends on which part of the plant you pick. We’d only just started and we already had this fascinating fun fact under our belts.
After this basic tea lesson, Charlie trusted us enough to don the tea-picking baskets and get out there for ourselves. He, along with the two sweetest ladies who were assisting him, guided us to a spot and let us loose! They gave us a few minutes to gather as many green tea plants as we could on our own. They’re more difficult to accurately identify than you might think!
After picking, we were taken back to the pavilion to see how the plants are roasted in a giant pan by hand. I couldn’t believe I was watching this woman toss all these little plants around a very hot pan with her bare hands. But she’s apparently had years and years of practice!
An Afternoon Snack
The last part of our day consisted of an afternoon snack and of course, a cup of tea! This took place at a long table set up inside their building, which was set in a minimalistic and natural way. The tea that we drank was not the tea that we picked, because it takes a while to complete the whole process, but it was delicious nonetheless! Charlie serenaded us as we drank, and all was well with the universe.
You can get more info about Araksa by clicking here. For the tea tour, snack, and private transfer, it will cost approximately $50 per person. However, they also offer a tea tour with lunch and a tea tour with a nature walk!
Have you ever visited a tea garden before? If you haven’t, (or even if you have), you should highly consider taking a day trip to Araksa Tea Garden for a relaxing afternoon soaking up one of Thailand’s most cherished cultural practices.