Saturday, March 11th
A short train ride outside of Taipei is the city of Yingge, known for its ceramics.
The main attraction in Yingge is the Yingge Ceramics Museum. This is a fun museum; it starts out describing how ceramics are made (the demonstrations on decorating were great) and then as you go up the floors it talks about Yingge’s history in particular and then features a few galleries hosting recent artwork.
Yingge is one of the intentional tourist areas in Taiwan, which are interesting to see. The walking paths and giant crazy sculptures have been added, and it does make the place more interesting and easy to get around. There weren’t many other tourists; we weren’t there on any holiday and recent pushes for Taiwanese independence have caused China to claim its citizens are unhappy with Taiwan and less interested in visiting. Of course, the government also controls the issuing of passes needed to visit Taiwan, so hard to say what’s causing the drop in tourist supply. Regardless, tourism has taken a hit both in Yingge and at our next day’s destination: Taroko Gorge.