I keep looking for places to visit in Taiwan and it never fails to surprise me with a plethora of museums, temples, markets, old streets, art center, amusement parks, gardens, malls, cafes, historical monuments, and famous landmarks.
One such place that I recently discovered online is Yingge, which is famous for its ceramic art. I love learning about various art forms.
You come across so many things that challenge your perceptions and beliefs. Moreover, for long I have harbored this desire to create a pottery item with my own hands on the potter’s wheel.
So, that is how Yingge became our next destination.
Where is Yingge located?
Yingge is a small town located in the southwestern part of New Taipei City (the area surrounding the main Taipei city) in Taiwan.
What is Yingge famous for?
Yingge is the hub of ceramics production in Taiwan. It has hundreds of ceramic related businesses in and around the area. Yingge Old Street or Yingge Ceramics Street is famous for a huge variety of ceramic items that are sold in the shops of this street.
How to reach Yingge from Taipei?
You can take a train from Taipei Main Station to Yingge Station that would less than an hour. Taxi can also be hired for traveling from Taipei to Yingge.
We took the normal train (TRA) for Yingge from Hsinchu station.
Ticket costs NTD 84 per person for a local unreserved train.
The train was crowded but we managed to get seats. After half an hour we arrived at the Yingge station which was quite peaceful as compared to other stations we had been to.
There were signs and city maps in the station that lead us towards our destination with ease.
As soon as we began walking, it started drizzling. We decided to walk to the Yingge Ceramics Street (also called Yingge Old Street) as the weather was pleasant and it was less than a kilometer away.
On our way, a simple wall adorned with small planters caught my attention. Some of the plants were fake and some were real but they had completely transformed an otherwise ordinary wall.
Initially, the town seemed like a small sleepy place during the walk. As we walked on, we were able to see the traffic and shops that showcased beautiful ceramic pieces.
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Yingge Ceramics Street
We arrived at a cobbled street that was lined with shops on both sides.
This was Yingge Ceramics Street and it looked quite touristy with lots of people around. Palm trees on the sides made the place look more beautiful and inviting.
The shops had an amazing, huge collection of various pottery items like cups, mugs, teapots, plates, vases, toys, all sorts of kitchenware, decorative items, and whatnot.
We decided to stroll around and have a look at as many shops as we could. It was a treat to my eyes.
Colorful, delicate, beautiful pieces of art in hundreds of numbers displayed all around.
I felt like a child in a toy shop. Many items were common in those shops but the bigger ones boasted of exquisite and opulent collections.
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Creating our Masterpieces
We came across a small entrance that looked like an ancient Kiln. There was a board outside that informed about the pottery session.
We decided to go ahead and explore. The kiln was actually another entryway to the neighbouring store.
Inside, we noticed some kids trying to create their own pottery with the help of the staff. Soon, we both joined in and enjoyed creating our own masterpieces.
It is not as easy as it looks when they do it. With a lot of help from the staff, we both succeeded in creating our own modest art pieces.
They instructed us to draw or write something on our pieces. I wrote the words I love- Love, Travel, Explore. You can also choose the color it is glazed with. I chose a pale blue.
It was really an experience worth having. They charged NTD 250 per person. You can have your creation shipped to your address if you pay the charges for it. We decided to have these only as souvenirs rather than buying anything else this time.
(As I am writing about this experience, the bowl I created in Yingge has arrived 🙂
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The price range at the Yingge Ceramics Street
Yingge Ceramics Street is a place where you are spoilt for choices. We moved ahead and had a look at a few other shops. The prices for ceramics start from as low as NTD 50 and go up to a few thousand and more in the high-end stores.
Many stalls for food and snacks were lined around the street.
A few small shops selling items like clothes, toys etc could also be seen. A building that looked like a mall seemed a bit out of place to me. We went inside and realized that it was actually a mall with many shops inside.
It looked quite good but it was not something we came to Yingge for. Hence, we exited the mall.
There was a small drinks shop outside where we relaxed and had some coffee. I wanted to explore the other side of the street but we didn’t have much time and we were yet to visit the Ceramics Museum.
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Yingge Ceramics Museum
Taking a taxi, we moved towards the Yingge Ceramics Museum. We just had an hour to spend here as it closes at 6 p.m. on weekends. The ticket counter is located outside the main building. Hence, it was very easy to locate.
Entry ticket– NTD 80.
No fee for local registered residents, children under 12 years of age, students with domestic student ID and senior citizens.
- Opening hours– Monday to Friday 9:30 to 17:00
- Saturday and Sunday 9:30 to 18:00
- The Museum is closed on the first Monday of every month, Chinese New Year Day, Eve and election days
Further detailed information about the museum may be accessed HERE.
We rushed inside and it did look impressive.
A big statue of colorful mermaid welcomed us when we entered. There were various sections and floors dedicated to different kinds of pottery.
A cafe is also there to satisfy your hunger pangs.
We experienced a beautiful moment when we saw the sunset out of the huge glass walls of the museum. The interior was bathed in the soft orange glow for some time.
Small joys of life!
This museum was opened in 2000 and since then it has been working towards curating, preserving, exhibiting and promoting local ceramics art and artists.
Special exhibitions are held in the museum regularly for promotion of this art. A huge collection of art pieces show the history and development of ceramics in Taiwan.
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The Yingge ceramics industry is more than 200 years old.
The importance and role of ceramics in the lives of local people are tastefully displayed in the museum. From tableware, cookware, washroom accessories, decorative pieces, tiles, almost everything that you can think about pottery, is there.
For a person interested in art history, this place is a must-visit and would require more than an hour that we spent here.
It was almost closing time of the museum and time for us to head back towards home. With the hope of coming back to Yingge again some time, we boarded our train to Hsinchu.
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