Across Poyang Hu from Nanchang and not far from the border with Anhui province, JINGDEZHEN has been producing ceramics for at least two thousand years. Lying in a river valley not only rich in clay but also the vital feldspar needed to make porcelain, the city’s defining moment came in the fourteenth century: China’s capital was at Nanjing, and Jingdezhen was considered conveniently close to produce porcelain for the Ming court. An imperial kiln was built in 1369 and its wares became so highly regarded – “as white as jade, as thin as paper, as bright as a mirror, as tuneful as a bell” – that Jingdezhen retained official favour even after the Ming court moved to Beijing fifty years later.

Today, in spite of attempts to smarten up the place with ceramic lampposts and public bins, Jingdezhen remains a scruffy, heavily polluted city, mostly as a result of the scores of smoky kilns that still employ some fifty thousand people. Nonetheless, Jingdezhen is worth a day-trip to visit the expansive Museum of Ceramic History, and maybe even pick up some pottery.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

China travel tips: 8 things you need to know before you go

China travel tips: 8 things you need to know before you go

Even 20 years ago China was not a conventional tourist destination. Despite the allure of its beautiful landscapes and history-filled cities, politics, poverty,…

13 Jan 2017 • Simon Frank insert_drive_file Article
The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The ‘roof of the world’ has exerted a magnetic pull over travellers and adventurers for centuries. This vast, high altitude desert has spawned myths and leg…

10 Nov 2016 • Stuart Butler insert_drive_file Article
Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Street food in Taiwan has a charm that restaurants just can't match. There's a distinct pleasure to be found in wandering through the labyrinthine stalls glo…

24 Oct 2016 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month