I was born here and I'm living here for over 30 years now. (Oops! Now you know my age.) Yingge town is famous for its ceramics and porcelain industry. How did Yingge's ceramics become famous?
"Pottery-making came to Yingge in 1804, when a man named Wu An emigrated here from mainland China and set up the first pottery business. Owing to its strategic position close to a plentiful supply of good-quality clay and the Dahan River (which in years past was deeper than it is today and offered convenient transport downriver to Taipei and the sea beyond), the pottery industry, and later the production of finer-quality ceramics, flourished. Today, exquisite objects d'art produced by the town's artisans is highly regarded by collectors. Indeed, one of the town's producers, Taihwa Pottery , regularly makes artistic pieces for the Presidential Office, which find their way in the form of gifts for visiting dignitaries to the world's four corners." [ Source here.]
We did not have any ceramicists in my family, but some of my classmates' did have them. When I was a little girl, the industry flourished at that time and a lot of pottery from Taiwan actually came from Yingge town. I remember I liked to pick up some faulty cups and plates near the pottery factories, because the factories would discard the imperfect ones, but the quality of some of those were still good, just the decoration was messed up or the color was not perfect, but apart from that, the ceramic was still good. Finding those faulty cups and plates was like a treasure hunting game for me, it was a lot fun.
Once a classmate brought ceramic scissors to class, they were white and delicate. We were all curious about them, so my classmate demonstrated how well they cut a paper. Wow, the scissors were really sharp, the cutting edge of the paper was flawless! And they were very safe to use. If you put your finger on the blade, you'd not cut yourself! However, there was a serious defect: If you were careless and accidentally dropped them, they would break and shatter into pieces immediately. I still don't understand why my classmate's family manufactured those scissors.
Because of the ceramics industry, our town was not so clean before. But our government helped to change Yingge into a tourist destination and my home town became beautiful and clean. On November 26, 2000, the Yingge Ceramics Museum was opened. I like it very much, because it looks so nice and it shows the whole ceramics history of Yingge town in form of a collection of all the products throughout from the beginnings some 200 years ago to the present time. Every time my friends ask me to show them around my home town, no doubt I would bring them to this museum, it's my most recommended spot here.
[ Source here.]
Besides the famous museum, I recommend the Old Street. It's a great spot for visitors to walk around. Many ceramic stores located there and they sell all kinds of products, such as tea pots, cups, bowls and plates, even ceramic art. The prices are very reasonable, some are very cheap. Many good restaurants are located there as well and they have a special tradition: If your eat there, you can take away the cups and plates, in which your meal was served, you don't need to pay extra for that. That's great, right?
[ Source here.]
There's another thing for you in Yingge: If you want to experience the famous scene from the movie "Ghost" (with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore), you can join a clay art course, there's many of them here. A professional craftsman will assist you in making a perfect plate, cup or bottle by yourself. And if you think your product is good, you can ask them to make it a ceramic for you, it will cost you very little.
Do you want to go on a short day trip away from Taipei city? Come to Yingge and have a nice day! Welcome to Yingge!
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