Ciqikou Ancient Town – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

ciqikou ancient town

Ciqikou Ancient Town (磁器口古镇), nestled in Chongqing, China, is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture. Dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, this charming town boasts cobblestone streets, traditional architecture, and a lively atmosphere that harks back to ancient times. The town’s name, which means “porcelain harbor,” reflects its historical significance as a major porcelain trading hub along the Jialing River.

Visitors are treated to a vivid blend of old-world charm and modern attractions, with tea houses, handicraft shops, and street vendors lining the alleys. The iconic red lanterns that adorn the streets create a magical ambiance, particularly at night. The town’s narrow alleys and well-preserved buildings offer a fascinating glimpse into the past, while its vibrant energy resonates with the present. Ciqikou Ancient Town stands as a testament to the enduring heritage of China, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in its captivating history and explore the unique blend of tradition and contemporary life.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Ticket PriceFree, but you need to pay an extra price for the museums and courtyards
Opening Hours24 hours throughout the year
Area325,000 square meters
Original NameLongyin Town (龙隐镇)
Telephone Number0086-023-65010003

Location and Transportation

Ciqikou Ancient Town is situated in the Shapingba District of Chongqing, a sprawling municipality in southwestern China. Positioned along the banks of the Jialing River, this historic town is approximately 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) to the west of Chongqing’s city center, near the Geleshan National Forest Park. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 202, 209, 215, 237, 261, 501, 503, 504, 553, or 843, get off at Jinbi Street (金碧街), and you wil be standing at the western edge of the town.

Metro: The closest metro station to Ciqikou Ancient Town is Ciqikou (磁器口) on line 1. After getting out of the station from Exit 1, you will be standing at the southwest corner of the town.

Highlights of Ciqikou Ancient Town

Baolun Temple

Baolun temple in ciqikou ancient town

Nestled within the historical embrace of Ciqikou ancient town, Baolun Temple, a jewel from the late 15th century, graces the landscape. Encompassing 9046 square meters, this venerable sanctuary stands as a testament to time’s gentle touch upon its intricate architecture. Echoing through its hallowed halls is a legend that Emperor Zhu Yunwen, ousted by his uncle Zhu Di, once sought solace within these sacred walls. Within the temple’s serene confines, the past lingers, whispering tales of refuge and resilience, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in both its architectural splendor and the echoes of an intriguing historical narrative.

Local Academy (Hanlinyuan)

local academy in ciqikou ancient town

Nestled within the enchanting tapestry of Ciqikou ancient town, the local academy stands as a cherished relic of knowledge. As the sole surviving ancient private school in Chongqing, it bears the name “Lishi Xueshe.” Once a cradle of intellectual growth, it has witnessed the aspirations of countless scholars. A proud legacy emerges from its halls, as five diligent students ascended through the rigors of imperial examinations to assume roles as esteemed government officials. Through the academy’s timeworn corridors, the echoes of scholarly pursuits resound, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of learning, ambition, and the pursuit of scholarly excellence.

Porcelain Culture

porcelain culture in ciqikou ancient town

Ciqikou Ancient Town’s heart beats with a rich porcelain culture. Renowned as a historic porcelain trading hub, its cobbled streets are lined with shops displaying delicate ceramic treasures. Intricate teapots, ornate vases, and exquisite figurines celebrate the town’s past as a vibrant center for porcelain craftsmanship. Visitors are immersed in the artistry and history of this tradition, engaging with skilled artisans and exploring the town’s deep-rooted connection to porcelain. As a living testament to this cultural legacy, Ciqikou offers an authentic experience that unveils the significance of porcelain in China’s past and its enduring influence on the town’s identity.

Teahouses and Eateries

teahouses and eateries in ciqikou ancient town

Ciqikou Ancient Town’s teahouses and eateries create a sensory journey into its vibrant culture. Traditional teahouses exude old-world charm, offering fragrant brews amidst carved wooden interiors. Local eateries tempt with authentic Sichuan flavors, from fiery hotpots to savory street snacks. As visitors stroll the cobblestone alleys, they encounter a kaleidoscope of tastes and aromas. These establishments not only satiate the palate but also provide glimpses into the town’s communal spirit, where tea rituals and communal dining foster connections. Amidst the town’s historic architecture, teahouses and eateries stand as integral threads in the tapestry of Ciqikou’s identity, inviting all to savor its culinary and cultural delights.

Zhong’s Residence

zhong's residence in ciqikou ancient town

Zhong’s Residence, an architectural gem within Ciqikou Ancient Town, was crafted in 1890 by the erudite local, Zhong Yunting. Blending Northern and Southern influences, the edifice harmoniously combines siheyuan’s layout with intricate embellishments. A living testament to its era, the residence now showcases antique wooden beds, tables, and furnishings, providing a tangible link to history. As visitors traverse its halls, they’re transported back to a time of cultural confluence and scholarly refinement, where Zhong’s legacy intertwines with the essence of Ciqikou’s heritage.

Red Lanterns and Festivals

red lanterns and festivals in ciqikou ancient town

Ciqikou Ancient Town comes alive with the enchantment of red lanterns and festive celebrations. These vibrant lanterns illuminate the streets, infusing evenings with a magical glow. During festivals, the town bursts into a tapestry of color, music, and dance, showcasing its cultural heritage. From the excitement of traditional performances to the allure of local crafts, these festivities epitomize Ciqikou’s lively spirit. Red lanterns symbolize luck and joy, serving as a bridge between the town’s past and present. Amidst the echoing footsteps of history, Ciqikou’s festivals and radiant lanterns forge a timeless connection between tradition and celebration.

Baoshan Taoist Temple

baoshan taoist temple in ciqikou ancient town

Nestled within Ciqikou Ancient Town’s vibrant tapestry, Baoshan Taoist Temple, situated at No. 128 Ciqikou Main Street, spans 1176 sq. meters. Once a revered sanctuary, it attracted multitudes seeking blessings of health, wealth, and good fortune. Today, this hallowed space has metamorphosed into a captivating museum, meticulously unveiling the narrative of tea and pottery culture’s evolution within the heart of Ciqikou’s historic milieu. A bridge between reverence and heritage, the temple-turned-museum invites visitors to traverse the corridors of time, immersing in the symbiotic relationship between tradition and artistry.

Local Life and Atmosphere

local life and atmosphere in ciqikou ancient town

Ciqikou Ancient Town pulses with the authentic rhythm of local life, offering a captivating atmosphere that transcends time. Cobblestone alleys wind through well-preserved architecture, where residents engage in daily rituals. Chatter mingles with the aroma of traditional cuisine, and laughter spills from bustling teahouses. Locals and visitors intertwine, sharing stories amidst artisan workshops and street stalls. This harmonious blend of old and new creates a vibrant tapestry that mirrors China’s rich cultural heritage. As the sun sets over the Jialing River, the town’s lively essence continues to thrive, enveloping all who wander its historic lanes in its warm and enduring embrace.

Jialing River View

jialing river view in ciqikou ancient town

Ciqikou Ancient Town’s allure is heightened by its picturesque view of the Jialing River. This tranquil waterway meanders along the town’s edge, offering a serene backdrop to its historic charm. Strolling along the riverbank, visitors are treated to a soothing panorama that contrasts with the town’s vibrant streets. The river’s gentle flow reflects the town’s enduring spirit, connecting past and present. Whether enjoyed during a leisurely walk or from one of the quaint bridges, the Jialing River view enhances Ciqikou’s enchanting ambiance, inviting contemplation and providing a serene escape from the urban pace.

Vlog about Ciqikou Ancient Town

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Boat Ride to Hongya Cave: Taking the boat from Ciqikou to Hongya Cave for 30 yuan is highly recommended. It’s a 50-minute ride with excellent views of the river.

Visit the 1949 Grand Theater: Across from Ciqikou, the 1949 Grand Theater is worth a visit as it is quite impressive.

Timing: Mornings before 10 a.m. tend to have fewer visitors, allowing for better photo opportunities.

Footwear: Wear comfortable shoes as there are many slopes, stairs, and uneven pathways. It’s not suitable for baby strollers.

Shopping: Souvenirs in Ciqikou may be pricey, so avoid purchasing items without price tags to avoid being overcharged. Consider buying souvenirs from supermarkets in the city center instead.

Food: Avoid trying sour and spicy noodle shops with performances outside, as the food they offer are expensive and not tasty.

Explore the Back Streets: The streets in the back of Ciqikou have fewer people and are more suitable for leisurely exploration.

Other Ancient Towns in Chongqing

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