Ciqikou Ancient Town

Situated on the bank of the Jia Ling River, not far from its confluence with the mighty Yangtze is the Ancient Town of Ci Qi Kou, formerly known as Long Yin. Covering an area of some 1.2 square kilometres (291.6 acres) it is 14 kilometers to the west of Chongqing Municipality.

Chongqing itself has undergone many changes over the centuries, changes that have not been reflected in Ci Qi Kou with the consequence that the town conveys an impression of what Chongqing would have been like in the distant past. This fact has been recognized by the State Council and in 1998 Ci Qi Kou became a protected cultural site.

The history of Ci Qi Kou can be traced back for more than 1700 years. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911) it was famous for its production of porcelain. To date, over twenty old kiln sites have been discovered there. It is because of the importance of the porcelain industry that the name has been changed from Long Yin to Ci Qi Kou which being translated means Porcelain Town. However, the town was also an important supply post for shipping on the river, a fact that explains why there are so many shops lining the twelve lanes paved with their large flag stones that form the main routes. Here you will find many outlets for craftwork, groceries and the like as well as a horologist, photography supplies, drugstore and a tempting supply of roasted nuts and seeds. As one would expect there are also many teashops and restaurants to cater for the many visitors who come to see something of a way of life that has existed here for so many centuries.

The three notable attractions of the town are the tea bars, the artists' studios and the Shu Embroidery workshops. Surprisingly, there are more than a hundred tea bars each with their own particular characteristics. Here friends enjoy a chat or meet to discuss business. So the tea bars offer the opportunity for you to meet the locals and also become acquainted with the unique folk opera.

The ateliers, where you may see the work of the local artists will be of great interest. It has been said that the more beautiful a place may be, the more artists it will attract. You are sure to be amazed by the quality of the work on show and in progress as the many artists record the local scenes with skill and dedication. With so many artists working in Ci Qi Kou, you will be spoiled for choice when seeking a souvenir of your visit.

Artistic ability of another kind will sure to please your eye when you visit a Shu Embroidery workshop. The craft is famous throughout China and the skill of the women you will observe working in the village is unsurpassed. It will be difficult to decide whether to opt for a painting or a piece of embroidery as a reminder of your visit as the choice on offer is truly stunning.


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