Attraction

Ciqikou Ancient Town

Situated on the bank of the Jia Ling River, not far from its confluence with the mighty Yangtze is the ancient village of Ci Qi Kou, formerly known as Long Yin. Covering an area of some 1.2 square kilometres (291.6 acres) it is 14 kilometres 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 village 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 Village. However, the village 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 majority of the houses date from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, periods during which many masterpieces of Chinese architecture were created. Much of the two and three storey construction is of bamboo and timber. Blue bricks and pillars set off the snow-white walls that contrast in turn with vermilion doors and lattice windows. Black tablets and lanterns adorn the gates to complete the authentic and traditional appearance of the properties. The quietly flowing waters of the Jia Ling River pass by the front of the village and have been its lifeblood for as long as anyone can remember. For it was the river that brought goods and people here as well as carrying local products off to customers at home and abroad.

The three notable attractions of the village 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.

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Editor:Zhang Yi