People in Jingdezhen are obsessed with porcelain. Students from around China study it at the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute; visiting artists are hooked on opportunities to experiment with it; and city planners have decorated lampposts and traffic lights with the stuff.
The city is a uniquely Chinese travel destination, featuring regular markets as well as numerous open factories and studios. The Sculpture Factory is where you’ll find the studios of artists who work with the local craftsmen. Production slows in the winter but you’ll still find The Pottery Workshop and a solid hostel.
The Pottery Workshop was established in 2005 and features its own small gallery, café and a well-attended Saturday market, with around 60 individual stalls run by entrepreneurial young potters. At the market you can buy mugs from 30RMB, modern, beautifully painted vases for around 650RMB and much more. The Pottery Workshop offers group tours and classes. It also has kilns for hire.
Another spot worth a visit is San Bao (798 8483 665; www.chinaclayart.com
), a collection of traditional buildings that now house an international ceramics institute. It’s easily the most picturesque place in Jingdezhen. The institute, which was inaugurated in 2000, boasts a bar, the best restaurant in town and a museum.
Air China flies from Beijing to Jingdezhen just once a day (return tickets from 1,600RMB). Comfortable and well situated, the Jingdezhen Youth Hostel offers private rooms from 108RMB.