Introducing Chongqing Ciqikou
Situated on the bank of the Jialing River, not far from its confluence with the mighty Yangtze River, is the ancient town of Ciqikou, with authentic as well as restored buildings, where local residents still live in the traditional way of life. Today, a thousand years after its foundation, Ciqikou remains a symbol and microcosm of old Chongqing and it has preserved its ancient streets, with many tea houses, restaurants, shops for craftworks and souvenirs.
Chongqing Ciqikou Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Chongqing Ciqikou Guzhen 重庆磁器口古镇
• Best Time to Visit: All year around
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 1 to 2 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, Snacks, Chinese Culture, Architecture
• Opening Hours: All day
• Entrance Fee: Free
• Address: On the west bank of the Jialing River, Chongqing
What to expect at Chongqing Ciqikou
Chongqing itself has undergone many changes over the centuries, changes that have not been reflected in Chongqing Ciqikou 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 Chongqing Ciqikou became a protected cultural site.
The history of Chongqing Ciqikou 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 Ciqikou 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.
How to get to Chongqing Ciqikou
• Take bus No. 209, 215, 237, 501, 503, 504 or 805 and get off at Jinbijie Station.
• Take bus No. 202, 220, 224, 237, 261, 467, 503, 808, or 843 and get off at Ciqikou Station.
• Take Metro Line 1 and get off at Ciqikou Station.
Additional travel advice on Chongqing Ciqikou
• Please take care of your belongings on the street as there are always many tourists.
• It is not recommended to visit Ciqikou on weekends or public holidays.