Yingge is one of those terrific little areas just a daytrip out of Taipei. It has its own unique charm and magic. As everyone in Taiwan knows , Yingge is the ceramics mecca of Taiwan. It took me a long time to finally be able to make it there, and I’m very glad I finally had the chance to go.
Yingge has a few tourists attractions related to ceramics, the most obvious of them is “old street” (鶯歌老街) where you have hundreds of ceramics shops with a variety of prices and quality.
The Taipei Times had a good article on Yingge’s old street:
To get to Yingge Old Street, continue down Wunhua Road until it splits off into Guocing Street (國慶街). Keeping an eye out for vehicles, cross the street and make a right on the footpath under the railway overpass. Hang a left on Jianshanbu Road (尖山埔路, Yingge Old Street’s official name), and follow the cluster of tourists up the hill.
Yingge Old Street is lined with more than 80 shops selling ceramic objects at a wide variety of price points. Teacups can be had for as little as NT$20, but Peter Wang (王淳興), an art supply store and studio owner who has worked in Yingge’s ceramic industry for 30 years, cautions that many of the goods are cheap imports from China.
“Tourists come to Yingge and sometimes they don’t have a positive impression about the quality of the items here. They come just expecting to find cheap bargains,” says Wang. He advises quality-minded shoppers to bypass stores stuffed with a mishmash of knickknacks and dishware and instead look for places that specialize in a particular type or style of ceramics. One such store that we saw as we strolled under the palms shading Yingge Old Street is Tai-Hwa Pottery (臺華窯) at 27 Jianshanbu Rd (尖山埔路27號), tel: (02) 8678-1600. The elegant, modern gallery exclusively carries ceramic pieces by Taiwanese artists.
So, here we go… starting off with the old street.
Just next to the train rails…
Overlooking the old street pedestrian area.
Once on the street, there’s a lot of ceramics shops all around.
Some with special owners…
Some quite upmarket…
Some not as much…
But if you’re into the whole thing, you can actually make your own…
Or just explore the ways of ceramics by wondering into kilns.
But it’s not all about ceramics…
And there’s always much more going on…
Or new things to eat…
Or interesting people to observe…
One of my all-times favorite in Taiwanese night-markets and old streets is this next thing… the local ice-cream wrap.
See this video on how it’s done…
Not too far away there’s also the New Taipei City Tingge Ceramics Museum you should definitely check out if you’re there. The official website introduces with these oddly translated paragraphs:
Over a hundred years ago, the Yingge ceramic industry was born out of this fertile land. It enhanced the local Taiwanese culture with boundless vitality.
The pioneers, with their bursting creativity and strenuous determination, Worked hard to make this town a prosperous center of ceramics.The first modern ceramics museum in the nation combines the essence of the wisdom of the industries, government, and scholars.
It raises the signal that the fire in Yingge’s kilns will never be extinguished. It displays the masterpieces created with wind stoves, clay, and glazes, with the hope that the beauty of Taiwanese ceramics will be renowned worldwide.
The constructed of the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum was first proposed in 1988 and opened to the public on November 26, 2000. In twelve years, it has become the leading county museum in Taiwan and the first professional museum wholly dedicated to ceramics. In addition to exhibiting the Taiwanese ceramic culture, it also stimulates the public’s interest and attention in ceramics. While promoting the Yingge ceramic enterprises and local image, the museum also encourages international culture exchange. Furthermore, we survey, gather, preserve, and maintain Taiwanese ceramic culture for the purposes of research, collection, exhibitions, and education.
If you’re in need of a map of the whole area, then:
More on Yingge from the blogosphere :
- Yingge, the Ceramic Town
- Yingge 鶯歌 on Taiwanderful
- A Visit to Yingge – Pottery Heaven
- Yingge – The ceramics centre of Taiwan
- Yingge: Taiwan’s Pottery Town District
- hanging out in yingge
- Shi-Da class outing to Yingge
- Yingge Ceramics Museum
- Hot tin robots in Yingge
- Yingge pottery making