After an hour and a half’s drive from Xian city area, we finally made it to Chenlu Ancient Town, Tongchuan City. Because in this October, I went to Zhaojin, also a town in Tongchuan City, and had a lot of fun there, I was really excited about this trip to Chenlu. I’m glad I went there. It’s an amazing experience, and I wanna do this trip again.
I’ll never forget the first sight of the town. Every time the picture of densely distributed houses in the morning sun like a honeycomb crosses my mind, I feel inner peace. It gives you the sense of being far away from the maddening world. Sometimes, I imagine myself walking in the porcelain paved roads with the pleasing sound of porcelain ringing in my ears. The porcelain paved roads are everywhere in the town. As we walked along the roads, our guide, told us the story of the town.
The town, nestled in the hills of Yintai District of Tongchuan City, is known as “Porcelain Capital in North of Wei River”. It enjoys a history of more than 1400 years. It witnesses the development of ceramic industry in northern part of China and is hailed as “the living fossil of the ancient porcelain town”.
The most notable feature of the town is the utmost use of porcelain. The locals build pot walls with defective porcelain and pave roads with broken porcelain pieces in different patterns like flowers. Walking in the roads along the pot walls makes you feel like wandering in a huge labyrinth. The roads lead you into a palace of art. When you are tired, you can sit on porcelain stools to have a rest. The stools are also decorated with small porcelain pieces. You will definitely be amazed at the artistic creation of the locals. Beside aesthetic consideration, the locals are also very practical about using porcelain. Because the town basically stands on hills and the roads are in poor conditions especially in rainy and snowy days, the porcelain pieces actually make the roads less slippery. How clever they are!
As noon approached, we stopped at a dinner and had local delicacies. Our guide highly recommended vermicelli made of buckwheat in sour soup. The noodle is very delicious indeed, added with vinegar brewed by locals themselves. After a bowl of the noodle, its fragrance lingered in your mouth for long.
After lunch, we visited a porcelain workshop. We watched craftsmen skillfully making porcelain and drawing patterns. Staring at the burning furnace, I forgot the passage of time and I felt I were brought back to the glorious days of “Sleepless Lushan”. Although the porcelain industry at present is far less prosperous than in ancient times, these craftsmen still try hard to pass the porcelain firing technology down from generation to generation. I sincerely hope more and more people can join them and help them.
We were so fascinated by the porcelain making process. Some of us decided to make a piece of porcelain with the help of the craftsmen. We were so delighted as the porcelain gradually took shape. A hand-made porcelain can be a really meaningful souvenir for this trip.
We ended our Chenlu trip with another walk along the porcelain paved roads. Then we had to say goodbye to the town. If your schedule is not so tight, I definitely recommend this Xi’an side trip to Chenlu Ancient Town, which will be a big plus for your Xi’an tour. If you have other interesting Xi’an side trip, please share your story with us. Hope you have a good time there.