Niang Niang Miao (娘娘庙) Temple and Tea House
She told us of the many changes she had seen in the surrounding area over the years but that the temple and the tea house were much the same to when she first arrived.
Most people visiting or living in Chengdu know about Wenshu Monastery. In fact, it is one of the first places people visit when they come to the city, and for good reason: it’s beautiful, peaceful and the trees surrounding its boarder somehow make the air taste cleaner and sweater. You can hear birds singing, people chanting, and if you’re lucky, see monks relaxing and even playing ping pong! But it is what lies just behind Wenshu Monastery that most people miss! Hidden in the corner of a small back street, behind Chengdu’s largest Buddhist Monastery, is one of Chengdu’s smallest Taoist Temples connected to an ancient tea house.
Niang Niang Miao (娘娘庙) temple dates back around 250 years and the tea house connected to it is almost as old. Visit early in the morning and you will find the two female Taoist monks who run the temple practicing Tai Chi. Master Xu is the older of the two, she has been living in the temple for 28 years. She is a wise teacher who has a deep understanding of the Tao. While there, she told us of the many changes she had seen in the surrounding area over the years but that the temple and the tea house were much the same to when she first arrived. She talked to us about change being good, how the natural flow always brings change and so we should welcome this change openly. However, she also warned us of the unnatural over-consumption and development taking place in China: “change can be positive but we must limit ourselves, we must remember our culture and our roots.”
She also warned us of the unnatural over-consumption and development taking place in China.
As the morning goes on, the tea house fills up with interesting characters. Old men sitting outside drinking and chatting; a group of friends waiting at a table inside for the 8 RMB lunch to be served, that they assure us is very worth the wait; and at the back of the tea house, a teacher giving a lecture to around 15 elderly students, about how to read a person’s soul to tell their future. If you ever find yourself near Wenshu Monastery, Niang Niang Miao (娘娘庙) Temple is definitely worth a visit. Sit down, have a cup of tea, maybe even stay for lunch, and who knows, perhaps learn something about the Tao.
Niang Niang Miao Temple 蜀汉广生宫古娘娘庙道观
Recommended time to visit:
Arriving before noon is the best time to find people relaxing in the tea house.
Take the line 1 metro to Wenshu Monastery and then it’s a short walk to the tea house.