Laos to China

I left Indonesia in 2009 on a quest to visit all of the ceramic production locations in China. I dreamed of visiting the ancient ceramic capital of Jingdezhen that Bapak had spoken of. I took a bus to the Malaysian side of Borneo, then a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Still determined not to fly as much as possible I took the train to Thailand, then crossed the Mekong river on a canoe. When I reached the border town of Jinghong I bought a bicycle.

A temple in Laos
My bike and all of my possessions.
Picturesque village in Southern China.

I marked the ceramic villages of a paper map. No smart phone, no computer. I started to cycle north to the Naxi village north of Shangri-la.

Love the smiling roofs of ancient Chinese architecture.

Traditional Naxi pottery is handbuilt and carved. I had the pleasure of staying with a Naxi family who here craftsmen for generations. The Naxi people are of Tibetan heritage. The Naxi ethnic group is one of 56 ethnic groups in China. They were very kind people. It was summer time. Every summer the villagers helped each other repair their roofs. The combined effort was impressive and they had no need to hire outside help. Their collaboration made the village sustainable. They also helped each other build houses. We ate tsampa together and drank butter tea. The traditional drink in Tibet.

I never arrived to Jingdezhen at that time.

Many years I would spend over several continents before I ever saw the celadon porcelain of Jingdezhen.


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