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If you’re looking for some R&R, you’ll find it easy to mold into life in Jiangxi province, more exactly in Jingdezhen, porcelain capital of the world. Just a 1-hour flight or 4-hour train ride from Shanghai, hike to ancient villages where locals still dry colorful crops on their terraces and meet the artists breathing new life into the art of porcelain creation. You may have heard of “fine china” and this is where it got its name.
This small group journey has been designed especially for those of us who call the Middle Kingdom home. We’ve brought together some of our favorite local guides, hosts, boutique hotels, and experts to bring you journeys that will help you delve deeper into the real China. Our mission has always been to connect people through travel and to help curious travelers get off-the-beaten-path in China in a socially responsible way. This year, we feel this mission is more important than ever as we work to support our local communities that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arrive in Jingdezhen and be greeted by your local WildChina guide • Known as the “Porcelain City”, Jingdezhen was the designated source for all porcelain goods in the Imperial household for over 900 years. It has a history of porcelain making dating back near two millennia. Take a leisurely stroll through ceramic galleries and stores converted from a factory in the Tao Xi Chuan Art District. Situated in an old ceramics factory, the revived Tao Xi Chuan Art District is now brimming with shops, cafes, and boutique hotels that make this area a bustling art mecca. With restored brick facades, you’ll find people doing photoshoots and students at the most prestigious ceramics university in China selling their recent creations. Spend the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
Begin your day by learning the centuries-old craft of porcelain at the Ancient Kiln. Nowadays, you can find classically trained pottery masters making porcelain in the traditional manner and pass by the huge kilns that were once used to make the emperor’s prized possession• Step back in time and see tradition in action at the Ceramic Folklore Museum • Enjoy a spicy lunch at a local Jiangxi restaurant • Get your hands dirty at a contemporary ceramics studio with a hands-on pottery workshop • Witness archaeological ceramic excavation at the Imperial Kiln • Go on a gentle hike to the Dragon Pavilion overlooking the city. Originally built during the Tang Dynasty, the structure features red bricks with upturned roofs in the classical Chinese style. Back in the day, officials supervised the production of porcelain wares for the imperial court from the top of this pavilion. • Visit a local porcelain market, if interested. (B,L)
Join the bustling Saturday morning porcelain market where locals and students will show their masterpieces • Hike Gaoling Mountain where well-known kaolin clay was originally found • Enjoy lunch in a village restaurant • Visit Dongbu Village, an ancient river town that once prospered from the porcelain trade. (B,L)
Departure or optional extension to Wuyuan Village. Secluded in the mountains and only accessible by cable car, Wuyuan Village features well-preserved Hui architecture and colorful tapestries of drying chili peppers and chrysanthemum flowers hanging atop roofs. (B)
Tao Xichuan Art Hotel is a 4-star boutique with a ceramics theme.