Archive for the ‘Jiexiu Travel’ Category

Datong Xian High Speed Train

Sunday, March 9th, 2014
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Datong Pingyao Xian Trip
Datong, Pingyao and Xian are three important tourist destinations in China. Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple in Datong, Pingyao Ancient City and Terracotta Warriors in Xian are big draws attracting numerous oversea tourists every year.

If you want to plan your Datong, Pingyao and Xian trip, you are often daunted by the travel  time wasted on this itinerary due to the inconvenient 859km transportation – over 16 hours by train and 8 hours by road. Many time-strapped travelers have to skip Datong or Pingyao.

Your transportation headache has partially alleviated due to the fact that from July, 2014,  Datong and Xian high speed trains has been partially opened to the public, exactly speaking, the finished section is from Taiyuan  (passing by Pingyao) to Xian. The north part – Datong Taiyuan highspeed railway line will be completed in 2015.

So from July, 2014, you are able to visit Pingyao by high speed train directly from Beijing, Taiyuan and extended to Xian, putting Beijing, Pingyao and Xian on a high speed passenger dedicated railway line, fast and comfortable.

1.  Beijing – Pingyao by bullet trains
At the time of my writing, there are two daily bullet trains available going between Beijing and Pingyao.

Beijing West Railway Station – Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station:  D2001 ( 7:58 – 12:09)
Beijing West Railway Station – Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station:  D2005 ( 15: 29 – 19:39)

Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station – Beijing West Railway Station  :  D2002 ( 8: 41 – 12:55)
Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station  – Beijing West Railway Station :  D2006 ( 16: 11 – 20:40

2. Pingyao – Xian by Bullet Trains
At the time of my writing, there are four daily bullet trains available going between Xian and Pingyao (less than 3 hours).

Xian North Railway Station – Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station:  D2504 ( 10:13 – 13:06)
Xian North Railway Station – Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station:  D2508 ( 12: 05 – 14:55)
Xian North Railway Station – Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station:  D2532 ( 16:510 – 19:08)
Xian North Railway Station – Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station:  D2516 ( 19: 08 – 22:07)

Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station – Xian North Railway Station  :  D2531( 8: 41 – 12:55)
Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station  – Xian North Railway Station :  D2507 ( 14: 10 – 16::57)
Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station – Xian North Railway Station  :  D2509 ( 15:33 – 18:21 )
Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station  – Xian North Railway Station :  D2515 ( 19:19 – 22:16)

High Speed Trains

High Speed Trains

Datong Xian Dedicated Highspeed Railway Line
This dedicated railway line is a dual-track, electrified, high-speed rail line. It runs 859 km through Shanxi and Shaanxi Province. The high speed trains will travel at speeds up to 250 km/hr (design speed is 350km/hr).  The Travel time between Datong and Xian will be reduced from 16 hours to about 3 hours.

Its construction started in late 2009 with  RMB96.3 billion investment. The highspeed  line is planned to be finished by 2015. The the south part of the railway line ( from Taiyuan passing by Pingyao to Xian) will be opne June, 2014.

The Train Stations along Datong Xian High Speed Train Line
Datong Xian Highspeed Trains will run along the length of Shanxi Province starting from Datong in the north through Shuozhou, Xinzhou, Taiyuan, Jinzhong (Pingyao),  Linfen and Yuncheng. The it will  enter Shaanxi by crossing the Yellow River at Yongji and get to Xian, totalling the 859km length.

There are totally 29 train stations – 18 new stations and 11 renovated stations. Below is the list of the 29 railway stations along Datong Xian Highspeed trains from north to south.

■ Datong Railway Station (大同站)
A first class train station in China, an essential transportation hub linking Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia.

■Huairen East Train Station (怀仁东站)
Two platforms, 6 tracks

■Yingxian Railway Station(应县站)
Two platforms with 4 tracks

■Shanyin East Train Station (山阴东站)
Two platforms,  6 tracks

Daixian West Railwat Station (代县西站)
Two platforms with 4 tracks

Yuanping West Railway Station (原平西站)
A new station with 2 platforms and 6 tracks

Xinzhou West Station (忻州西站)
A new station, 2 platforms, 5 tracks

Yangqu West Railway Station (阳曲西站)
A new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Taiyuan East Station (太原东站)
Also a Shitai railway line, a connected line

Taiyuan Railway Station (太原站)
A starting and arriving station for Shitai Railway, 4 platforms with 10 tracks.

Taiyuan South Railway Station (太原南站)
Still under construction, 10 platforms, 22 tracks,  the convergency of Datong Xian High speed line.

■Jinzhou Railway Station (晋中站)
A new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Taigu West Train Station (太谷西站)
A new station, 2 platforms with 4 tracks

Qixian East Railway Station (祁县东站)
A new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Pingyao East Railway Station(平遥古城站)
Located Houji Village in Pingyao County, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

■Jiexu East Railway Station (介休东站)
Located in Sanjia Township of Jiexu City, a new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Lingshi East Railway Station (灵石东站)
Located in Zhanghao Village of Mahe Township at Lingshi County, a new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Huozhou East Railway Station (霍州东站)
Located at Lizaozhen Village, Huozhou, a new station, 2 platforms,  4tracks

Hongtong West Railway Station (洪洞西站)
A new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Linfen West Train Station (临汾西站)
Located  in Zhoujiazhuang, Liucun Township, Raodu District of Linfen, a new station, 2 platforms, 5 tracks

Xiangfen West Railway Station (襄汾西站)
Located at Liu Village, Nanjia Township,Xuangfen County, a new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Houma West Railway Station 侯马西站
A  new station, 2 platforms,4 tracks

Wenxi West Railway Station (闻喜西站)
A new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Yuncheng North Railway Station (运城北站)
A new departing and arriving station, 4 platforms, 8 tracks

Yongji North Railway Station (永济北站)
A new station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks including 2 formal tracks

Dali Railway Station (大荔站)
A new railway station, 2 platforms, 4 tracks

Weinan North Railway Station(渭南北站)
Also a train station for Xian – Zhengzhou Highspeed trains, 2 platforms, 4 tracks郑西客专车站,中间站,既有规模为2站台4股道,其

New Lintong Railway Station (新临潼站)
Also a station for Xian – Zhengzhou trains

Xian North Railway Station (西安北站)
Also a railway station for Xian Zhengzhou Highspeed Railway, 18 platforms, 34 tracks

Datong Xian High Speed Train Timetable
Datong Xian High Speed Trains will be partially open to the public from June ,2014. The opening section will start from Taiyuan to Xian. A for the northern part of Datong Xian High Speed Railway will be completed in the year 2015.

The timetable for the high speed trains from Taiyuan to Xian is still unkown.  We will closely follow up the latest development regarding the new high speed railway line.

Attractions along Datong Xian High Speed Railway Line
Datong Xian High Speed Dedicated Passenger Railway Links Shanxi  and Shaanxi provinces which are teemed with historical sites and scenic areas.

■ Datong:
Yungang Grottoes, Hanging Temple

■ Yingxian:
Yingxiang Wooden Pagoda

■ Taiyuan:
Jinci Temple, Shuangta Temple

■ Jinzhong:
Chang Family Mansion

■ Qixian:
Qiao Family Courtyard

■ Pingyao:
Pingyao Ancient City

■ Jiexu:
Zhangbi Underground Castle

■ Lingshi:
Wang Family Courtyard

■ Yuncheng: 
Guangdi Temple

■ Xian:
Terracotta Warriors

Tip:  Hassle-free Datong Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Datong guided tours:

Datong Great Wall Hike Day Tour  from US$105 p/p
Datong Great Wall Hike 2 Day Tour  from US$195 p/p
Datong Great Wall Hike 3 Day Tour  from US$290 p/p

Datong City Highlight Day Tour  from US$ 90 p/p
Datong One Day Excursion Tour  from US$ 90 p/p
Datong 2 Day Private Tour Packages  from US$ 205 p/p

Beijing Datong 2 Day Round Trip by private car or van  from US$ 260 p/p
Beijing Datong 4 Day Round Trip by Daytime Train  from US$ 370 p/p

Beijing Datong Day Trip by Flight  from US$ 290 p/p
Beijing Datong 2 Day Tour by flight   from US$ 400 p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visiit Datong
Top 10 Attractions in Datong
How to Get to Datong from Beijing
Datong Xian High Speed Train

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Zhangbi Village

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
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Plan your Pingyao tour? A side trip to Zhangbi Village is highly recommended. Zhangbi Village is located about 16km to the east of Jiexiu and 56km to the south of the ancient city of Pingyao. People visiting Pingyao often take a side trip to Zhangbi ancient village and Wang Family Courtyard.

Many guesthouses in Pingyao arrange  join-in or a private day tours bringing you to this castle-like ancient village. You may also use public transport from Pingyao Bus Station to Jiexiu Bus Station, then from Jiexiu, try to find a local bus running for Zhangbi Village. The entrance is RMB 60. Basically people need approx. 2 hours to visit the ancient castle of Zhangbi.

With high walls and castles above the ground and the three layers of tunnels underneath, Zhangbi Village (Zhangbicun) is often nicknamed as “Zhangbi Ancient Castle” or “Zhangbi Underground Castle.

Zhangbi Village is situated on the north foot of Mt.Mianshan with its other three sides being surrounded by deep gullies,  difficult for attrack and easy for defense. It is actually a tiny castle with a 1300m long and 10m wide city wall.  The 300m long main cobblestoned street  connects the south gate and the north.  All the courtyard houses along the main street have high walls. If all the doors were closed,  intruders would be easily kept off.

Unlike the touristy Pingyao ancient city, Zhangbi Ancient Village still remains untouched, residential and unimproved.  You will see a series of military defense network  above the ground and the fascinating series of the tunnels underneath.  The three layers tunnels with a length of 1500 meters are restored and open to the public.  An English speaking tour guide is compulsory in case you are lost.

The military part of the village was said to be originally built  in the year of 617AD by General Liu Wuzhou ( in late Sui Dynasty), a local king who led his army fighting against Li Shimin (Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty,  the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China).

Zhangbi Underground Castle is also well known for its religious sites and splendid architectures above the ground, which were said to be over 20 temples and among them still well preserved are Khan Temple, Guandi Temple, Xuanwu Temple,and Kongwang Ancestral Temple.

Zhangbi Village is a live showcase  for the vernacular dwellings and architectures in Shanxi represented by Kunxing Pavilion and local residential houses.

The most mysterious part of Zhangbi Village is its association with Chinese traditional astrology and geomancy. The whole ancient fortress follows the traditional principle five Yin and Yang elements.  Over 35 above ground buildings have been found corresponding  to the constellations.  The name of Zhangbi  derived from the 28th constellation – Zhang Xiu and Bi Xiu.

In a word, Zhangbi Village is a treasure trove of Chinese culture worth your two hours’s exploration.

Now please follow me to have a glimpse of this ancient and mysterious village of Zhangbi.

A side trip to Zhangbi often  follows your visit to Wang Family Courtyard, and the two sites are only 20km apart.  People would dine at the restaurant named Ancient Castle Restaurant by Zhangbi Village for lunch before start their two-hour exploration inside the village.

Ancient Castle Restaurant by Zhangbi Village

Ancient Castle Restaurant by Zhangbi Village

This restaurant makes a very delicious noodles known as “Baopi Noodle” ,  mixed flour with wheat and sorghum.

This restaurant makes a very delicious noodles known as Baopi Noodle ,  mixed flour with wheat and sorghum.

This restaurant makes a very delicious noodles known as Baopi Noodle , mixed flour with wheat and sorghum.

This is the south gate to the ancient village. The south gate is higher than the north gate due to its high terrain.  The gate is a solid stones paved tower with a stone archway and glazed tile eaves.

Just in front of the south gate is the Guandi  Temple dedicated to the Taoist God of War, Guan Di.

Just in front of the south gate is the Guandi  Temple dedicated to the Taoist God of War, Guan Di.

Just in front of the south gate is the Guandi Temple dedicated to the Taoist God of War, Guan Di.

Walking through the arch gate brings you back in time!

Walking through the arch gate brings you back in time!

Walking through the arch gate brings you back in time!

Ascending the stone steps inside the south gate takes you to the Khan Temple.

Ascending the stone steps inside the south gate takes you to the Khan Temple.

Ascending the stone steps inside the south gate takes you to the Khan Temple.

When Khan Temple was originally was still unknown.  Khan Temple was dedicated to Liu Wuzhou, a general in late Sui Dynasty.

Khan Temple was dedicated to Liu Wuzhou, a general in late Sui Dynasty

Khan Temple was dedicated to Liu Wuzhou, a general in late Sui Dynasty

One high platform in the compound of Khan Temple is the highest viewing point where you can have a bird’s-eye of the village.

 

One high platform in the compound of Khan Temple is the highest viewing point where you can have a bird's-eye of the village.

One high platform in the compound of Khan Temple is the highest viewing point where you can have a bird’s-eye of the village.

The entrance to the 1500-meter restored tunnels is inside the temple.

The entrance to the 1500-meter restored tunnels is inside the temple.

The entrance to the 1500-meter restored tunnels is inside the temple.

The three layers of tunnels look like a labyrinth.

 

The three layers of tunnels look like a labyrinth.

The three layers of tunnels look like a labyrinth.

The 300 meters long cobble stoned street is the main street in the village linking the south gate with the north gate.

The 300 meters long cobble stoned street is the main street in the village

The 300 meters long cobble stoned street is the main street in the village

All the courtyard houses along the main street have high and thick walls. If all the doors were closed,  intruders would be easily kept off.

All the courtyard houses along the main street have high and thick walls

All the courtyard houses along the main street have high and thick walls

Zhangbi Village is still  inhabited by over 400 villagers. They go on with their lives unaffected by visitors.

Zhangbi Village is still inhabited by over 400 villagers

Zhangbi Village is still inhabited by over 400 villagers

Behind the hugged trees on  the high platform is the Buddhist Temple known as Xinglong Temple.

Behind the hugged trees on  the high platform is the Buddhist Temple known as Xinglong Temple.

Behind the hugged trees on the high platform is the Buddhist Temple known as Xinglong Temple.

At the northern end of the north-south street is the Zhenwu Temple built in 1808 dedicated to Xuanwu and Wudang Mountain is his seat.

At the northern end of the north-south street is the Zhenwu Temple

At the northern end of the north-south street is the Zhenwu Temple

The  north gate is a barbican  (the double gate system).

Beside the main street,  on the east side the main street there are 3 lanes  and west side 4 lanes,where you may wander for more interesting finds – vernacular dwellings, temples and more.

An old section of the wall of the castle like village.

An old section of the wall of the castle like village.

An old section of the wall of the castle like village.

The courtyard with cave house style buildings.

Cave house style buildings

Cave house style buildings

Any questions, just drop a line.