Best Souvenir from Taiwan, Yingge Ceramic Art

Not sure if I had clarified this in the last post, I am Taiwanese. I was born and raised in Taiwan, moved to San Francisco when I was 13, then moved to San Diego for UCSD. And now I call San Diego home. My parents moved back to Taipei after Soph (my sister) and I left San Francisco for college. So every year, we go back to Taiwan to visit my parents. This is not Phil's first trip to Taiwan, but since he will only be in Taiwan for five days, we really had to pick and choose where to go while he is here. And for this trip, we had something big planned, we are going to the National Park in the middle of Taiwan. and because of this plan, I decided to go to Yingge without him. Ynigge is a town in Taipei County, known for its exquisite ceramic art. The Chinese word "Yingge" means eagle. The town got its name from the prominant rock on the outskirt of town, that resembles the head of an eangle. Its ceramic origin dates back to the Qing Dynasty. The first recorded ceramic site was established in 1805 by the Wu family, who found that the local mud fires especially well, creating strong ceramics, suitable for many applications, from plate settings to wash basins. The Wu family had to move its shop location a few times around Yingge due to feuds over land ownership, but finally settled in 1853. And the shop's final location is the root of the current "Ceramic Old Street". Yingge can be a quick and easy shopping trip. Or it can be a whole day's trip, including a visit to the Yingge Ceramic Museum and a hike to the Yingge Rock. We started out in the morning around 9 am. It only took us about 20 minutes to get there. Started out on one end of Old Street, we shopped and bargained our way down. Great deals are to be had everywhere on the street. Most hand made plate settings are about $o.50 to $5 per piece. I also bought a beautiful traditional blue and white art vase piece for only $80. About midway through the street, we wanted to take a break. So we sat down on the benches of a tea hut, to rest our feet. The neat thing about these tea huts is that they serve their cold and hot beverages and desserts in hand made Yingge ceramics. And after you enjoy your beverage or dessert, you can bring your mug or bowl home with you. So to order, you first pick your ceramic style, then you order what goes in there. For $1.50, I had a hot azuki bean dessert, served in earth toned, hand made bowl. I made my parents get the same bowl, so now, sitting in by cabinet, I have three beutiful bowls, free... We spent another hour or so picking up souvenirs for friends and family back home. Then we left Yingge around noon. Too bad We didn't get the chance to have lunch in Yingge because we have lunch plan back in the city. Restaurants in Yingge typically serve home style Taiwanese cooking, again on beautifully crafted ceramics that you can take home... Next time, I will be sure to bring 7 friends to lunch or dinner there so I can have a set of 8 dinner plates...
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