Monday, December 13, 2010

Taiwan Travelogue: Old Ceramics Street

There is a little city (probably 350,000 people) near Taoyuan City called Yingge (pronounced Ing Ge [Hard G sound]). The city is famous for ceramics. There are a lot of places where they teach you to throw pots and other things. Not throw…throw…on the wheel, not at someone.

But there is a particular part of the city that’s really very nice. It is somewhat of a touristy area. In fact, they have a parking area for tour buses just below this little section of the city. It’s called, "Ceramics Old Street."  It is filled with many little shops where you can purchase fine art quality ceramics at a reasonable price.  To get there from Taoyuan City, take Shiren 3rd Street to Tao Ming Road (110) and turn right...follow that to Ceramics Old Street.  Along the way the name changes from Tao Ming Road to Ying Tao road. 

It rains in Taiwan

The street is a type of cobblestone, with raised sidewalks. These are sidewalks you can actually walk on. Rick Creamers, who was the founding pastor of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship Church in Zhongli, when speaking about the sidewalks said, “Look down and live.” I know exactly what he means, the sidewalks are all different heights, it is very easy to trip and fall. But not on Old Ceramics Street, the sidewalks are level and broad. 

Inside the stores are many beautiful items. There is one store that sells ceramic and wood sculptures. There is another store that specializes in fountains; the kind where the water spins a huge stone ball that is held up by water pressure. But the main item sold is ceramics: They have tea sets, tea tables, mugs, plates and just about anything else you might want in ceramic.

The atmosphere in Old ceramics Street is very nice. There are benches all along the sidewalk where one can sit and enjoy the parade of people walking by. If you know me you know that for obvious reasons I’m not much of a walker, but I like to find a bench and watch the tourists and locals walk by.

It’s funny when you see the tour groups following carefully after their guide you can tell the ones from Mainland China…All the men are wearing white socks. I don’t know what that’s all about but white socks are all the rage in Mainland China, I guess.

Finally, there is an excellent restaurant on Old Ceramics Street the name of it is: Something in Chinese that I can’t read. But they have an excellent Niu Rho Mian (Beef Noodles). The owner is a very friendly guy who takes time with each customer, helps you to order the perfect meal and serves you himself. The tea that he serves is Wheat tea. It is made from wheat, it has a nice flavor and beautiful honey color, but no Caffeine. His restaurant is on the main street just up a few blocks from tour parking area. If you need less vague instructions email me, the address is on the “Contact Us” page.

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