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Fanglu Pavilion of Wuzhen Ancient Town

Fanglu pavilion is located at the south side of Yingjiaqiao or Yingjia Bridge in Wuzhen Town. It is situated in the center zone. Fanglu pavilion has two stories. The ground floor has two rooms and the second floor is comprised of three rooms. Two sides of Fanglu pavilion face the water and one side faces the street. The north, east and west sides of the pavilion are installed the glass window. The insides of the rooms are wide and bright. As for Fanglu Pavilion, there is a story concerned.

The earliest teahouse operator in Wuzhen town was said to be a man named Lu Tong who was a native of Nanxun Town. One day, Lu Tong heard of a word said by a tea drinker from Taihu Lake area that there was a kind of tea tree on the Dongting Mountain of Taihu Lake, its tea was fragrant and unique. The man who drunk such kind of tea would be clear-minded and phlegm-elimination. Moreover such tea could be picked free of charge. After Lu Tong’s talk with his wife, he thought it was better to try for cost reduction and freshness.

Hence, Lu Tong selected a better day for setting off. He carried his luggage and walked towards Taihu Lake. After his arrival, he was extremely surprised the trees planted densely on the mountain. Lu Tong operated the tea for half his life, but today he was amazed about the numerous trees on the mountain. He could not distinguish the tea trees from the trees. He walked and suddenly saw a white-beard senior lying on the roadside, and there was also a bamboo-made basket full of the leaves. Lu Tong hurriedly raised this old man and tried to make him awake.

Soon after, the old man waked up and pointed at the basket and showed a gesture of grasp. He murmured unclearly:”eating”. Lu Tong understood the meaning of the old, and grasped a handful of leaves from basket. Lu Tong gave the old for eating one by one. The old smiled to chew the leaves. Surprisingly, the cracked lips turned slowly to be moist, the pale face turned to be red. After less than half hour, the old man absolutely recovered. Originally this old man was the famous man named Lu Yu who was the Master of Tea. He has been to many famous mountains and mastered varieties of tea. He tasted them by himself. On that day, he unfortunately tasted a noxious leaf and fainted. Lu Yu was over-happy when he heard Lu Tong was a teahouse operator and this time came here especially for tea picking. He became the bosom friends. Lu Yu taught Lu Tong much about the knowledge of tea and tea-making techniques. And Lu Yu also helped Lu Tong picked a lot of tea, and then they said goodbye to each other.

Lu Tong returned to teahouse and told his wife and tea drinkers his unusual experience. Everybody felt surprised. Lu Tong made the tea with the tea leaves picked on the Dongting Mountain, and the drinkers felt extraordinary and wonderful. This teahouse gradually became popular in this area. One day, a whitebeard came to Wuzhen Town, and tried to get the information on Lu Tong. Afterwards someone led him to the teahouse of Lu Tong. Lu Tong was excited and happy to see this old man. He invited this old man to his wife and drinkers. All were joyful and thanked this old man for he brought the good tea. In Wuzhen town, Lu Yu once again taught Lu Tong more knowledge about tea. Sometime, Lu Yu also sat in the teahouse and chatted with tea drinkers. At that time, Lu Yu was a little bit famous for it tea culture understanding and then he was focused by the local rich. He was tired of this and left at last. One day when tea drinkers were discussing Lu Yu, a drinker suddenly patted the thigh and said aloud”it is really not easy for Lu Yu to visit Lu Tong, and I think this tea house has better be called Fanglu Pavilion”. Others all agreed absolutely. Hence the Fanglu Pavilion as a teahouse was famous widely.

Writer: David from Hangzhou Normal University
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