Stepping Down From Skyscrapers to Serenity in Chongqing, China
If the skyscraping megamalls and shoulder-to-shoulder pedestrian traffic of the biggest metropolis in China have you overwhelmed, solace awaits at the 18 Staircases Teahouse. Once inside, let your eyes adjust to the filtered rays of sunlight warming the smooth, dark wood of the interior. A narrow staircase winds down into an atrium dotted with low tables and wicker chairs. A small stream runs underfoot and curtained cubbyholes look out towards the river. Take a seat at the single table on the balcony overlooking ancient rooftops, and meditate upon the calm, careful movements of a traditional tea ceremony. Sip your tea slowly and contemplate this treasure of solitude in a city of 30 million people.