During my tour through China, I spent two days in Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province. It took us two days from Guangzhou to get there, mainly because we split the 10 – 11-hour bus ride to make the journey a bit more bearable, given that the highway through the Chinese landscape was bleak and largely uninteresting since there are no major attractions along the way. Except for Jingdezhen which is definitely worth the trip!
Jingdezhen is the porcelain capital of China and largely undiscovered by Westerners. Everything in the city is about porcelain – even the lamp posts are made of it. There is a rich and long history in porcelain making which dates back 1700 years (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingdezhen). We stayed at the Tao Xi Chuan Traders Hotel, which is in an area that also houses several restaurants, the remnants of an old kiln, and has an exhibition facility for up and coming artists to display their porcelain art, which sometimes differs from the more traditional porcelain designs that can be found on the porcelain market.
We, of course, were there for one reason only – porcelain shopping. I had decided before my trip to China that I wanted to buy a large Chinese vase in the typical blue and white design. And the porcelain market, which is several streets that span several miles with nothing but shops selling porcelain goods in all shapes, forms and designs – from plates to tea sets to vases to pots to complete dining sets and everything in between that can be made of porcelain – seemed the perfect place just for that.
The group went completely overboard. We shopped and spent money for most of the day, and it was so easy to do since everything was so beautiful and the selection was huge. I had agreed on organizing the transport, shipping, and import of the goods back to Europe, and after everybody was done, we had collected half a ton of porcelain to be brought back to Europe! Thanks to the excellent organization and service from the Chinese shipping company, the goods arrived safely in Germany last week and my beautiful vases found their permanent home last weekend. Now I only need to go back for the things I didn’t buy.