Ciqikou, Shapingba District, Chongqing, China
The nearest ancient town to Chongqing; perfect place to taste local delicious snacks
Ciqikou is an old town preserved in sprawling modern Chongqing, about one hour drive from the city center. It is a timeless ancient town built in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Firstly it was named 'Longyin'. Since 1918 the porcelain trade began due to the convenient location, gradually the trade became prospered throughout the area. Local people used Ciqikou as its name instead of Longyin which means 'porcelain harbor' in Chinese.
With a history of more than 1,800 years, it has some typical traditional and cultural characteristics featured in mountainous areas. The ancient town has only two main streets and they've been taken up by all kinds of shops. Now it has 12 streets in all and among them the Tea House plays an important role of local culture.
Travelers to Chongqing and locals alike throng to Ciqikou's steep and narrow pedestrian streets. Shops sell porcelain, other handicrafts, and gifts, while restaurants and tea shops give visitors a look at what many areas of Chongqing were like before the metropolis became the vast urban agglomeration it is today. A 1,500-year-old Buddhist temple straddles the mountain in the middle of the old town.
Ancient Town of Ciqikou is famous as producing porcelain. In 1918 gentry merchants raised fund and created a new craft porcelain workshop in Qingcao slope named "Shu porcelain factory". The quality of chinaware there was very good with various types, gradually it became famous and products were exported at home and abroad. Gradually "Ciqikou" take the place of "Longyin town". And now more than 20 ancient kiln sites have been found there.
There are 12 streets in Ancient Town of Ciqikou, and buildings on the both sides of streets are mostly in the form of Ming and Qing style, the ground is paved stone. Commerce and trade activities are concentrated in the big port and Jinrongzhen Street near wharf. Nowadays the Ciqikou ancient town preserved relatively intact ancient buildings, developed oil manufacture, reel off raw silk from cocoons, sugar refining, knead dough figurine, and Sichuan opera and many traditional performances and a variety of traditional snacks, tea houses, etc. Temple fair held in every Spring Festival is the most distinctive traditional activities in Ciqikou ancient town, attracting tens of thousands of citizens to participate in. And Ciqikou is the nearest ancient town away from Chongqing urban area. In the ancient town of Ciqikou within sight of the most distinctive scenery is teahouse. In the past time of Ciqikou, teahouses can be seen everywhere. Until now, the teahouse is still featured scenery in Ciqikou, hundreds of meters of old street has 13 tea houses, every teahouse are full of customers.