The Ancient Tea and Tea Horse Road in Puer City
As early as in the middle of the twentieth Century, Xu Chi, the poet described Yunnan with three words: namely magical, beautiful and ample. At that time, authentic and ethereal prospect like three words ripples and spreads accompanied by intense fragrance of Five Golden Flowers; becoming vivid upon the long lasting Love Song for Lusheng. Caravans, walking out from the Belling Caravans amid Mountains, travel by exposing to winds and rains, and ring the bells amid vast mountain ridges.
But at that time most people only got curious eyes to colorful ethnic customs, and the legendary love stories made them intoxicated, but few people would closely ask: When did the horses shake the bells amid mountains and those shouting horses with a rough voice appear in the end? What did the horses heavily bear?
The masses had not heard the word “Ancient Tea-horse Road” until years later, which long journey of the tea’s out going of the jungle was focused on — then got why caravans amid mountain kept singing.
Pu’er Tea, which was grown in the borderland of Yunnan in China, first came into being in the original forest, transited from the wild ancient tea tree to the transitional ancient tea tree, and then evolved into the cultivation tea tree now, and it is the planting history of modern tea garden domesticated and bred constantly by people after coming out from the vast forest. This evolution experienced the interleaving and change during thousands of years of time.
In Qianjia Village, Zhenyuan, Pu’er, Yunnan, there is the oldest and largest wild ancient tea trees community covering an area of 4,200 acres or more hitherto. Among them, the tree age of No. 1 ancient tea tree in Shangbai, Qianjia Village hits 2,700 years. This ancient wild tea tree, living alone in the hinterland of towering Ailao Mountain entered Guinness Book with its unique style of king. People admire it not only because its grasp of the essence of heaven and earth, beautiful and dense shade of mountains and rivers, but also the loyalty of adherence to motherland over 2,700 years.
Kunlu Mountain Ancient Tea Garden, over 30 km away from Ning’er County Town and attracts concerns of the people over the world thanks its reservation of big-leaf, medium-leaf and small-leaf species. These ancient tea trees full of rainy mosses and wind rusts are branded with the mark of glory, and they become national treasure-level tree because of glory.
In this way, nature and plain style blending with secular and wordy style, floods among eternal leaf vein amid outstanding trunks and branches.
And then, natural unselfish and generous Pu’er, these anciently and continuously vivid, intense and thick bloody implication, with leaf vein-like and accessible ancient roads in all direction, passes through dense major canyon group of Hengduan Mountains, floods Himalaya plateau; flushes in Sheng-style songs and Qin-style charms of Hunan Province to the East, come across hidden forests in Burma and Laos Irrawaddy River to the west, mutually and finely reflects, and casts into fishing ships and nightfall songs amid the scene of banana trees and coconut palm in Thailand and Vietnam.
Ancient Tea-horse Road, extending thousands of years, is just originated from Pu’er Tea and extends to all directions with Ning’er, the government seat of Pu’er, as the source.
As the place for the name of Pu’er originated from, as the core origin place of Pu’er Tea, and as the distribution center for processing Pu’er Tea, there are five ancient tea-horse roads extending at home and abroad with Ning’er as the center:
The official tea-horse road accessing to the capital, is also known as “Previous Road for Official Horses”. This road starts from Ning’er, the government seat of Pu’er, connects to the provincial capital Kunming to the north, and directly connects to the capital of the state; and it borders on neighboring countries to the south, and exits to Burma and passes to Southeast Asia.
Pu’er-Tibet Tea-Horse Road. This road emerges as “Mutual Trading of Tea and Horse”, starting from Ning’er, the government seat of Pu’er, and directly access to Lhasa in Tibet. The branch line enters into Burma and India through Baoshan.
Pu’er-Jiangcheng Tea-Horse Road is an important transport way for selling Pu’er Tea abroad. Pu’er-Lancang Tea-horse Road also known as the “Dry-season Tea-Horse Road”, passes from Ning’er to Jingmai Mountain Tea Garden through Simao to Ximeng or Menglian, is the most convenient route to Burma. Mengla Tea-Horse Road extends to the south from Ning’er and arrives in Laos via Simao and Mengla. These twisting and turning ancient roads, some were in operation as early as from the remote Qin and Han Dynasties, carrying the gifts to the hu[FS:Page]man nature, patiently completed thousands of years of history, and connected through tens of thousands of kilometers of geographical site with its tail that had been extended into the “World War II” and those war-torn days.
Generation after generation, teams of caravans walked hard on the ancient roads, departing with Pu’er Tea, with a heart filled with hope, and with harbor hot sweat and macular blood. So the wandering caravans along tea-horse roads, slowly moved for thousands of years, like the clouds embodying the spirits of rain forest and canyon, floating towards Himalaya in series of lines, drifting into the Imperial China, flying to corners of the world, not only spiritual nature of the tea is spread in the vast land, but also increasingly unique nature of Pu’er Tea is achieved in colorful tea culture, achieving the worldwide Pu’er filled with historically settled charm.