There were many tea houses in China until Mao shut them down. No dens of vice, they represented entertainment and debate. People went to tea houses to enjoy a cup of tea and join in a discussion, or for a poetry reading, or simply to sit and listen to the chirping of the caged crickets.
Today, tea houses are back in fashion. They are flourishing all over China, and it is interesting to see the very young clientele that regularly frequents them. These customers clearly enjoy a certain standard of living, because tea is not always cheap in the tea houses, especially those located in areas popular with tourists, like this one in the centre of Kunming, by the delightful Green Lake.