Pingyao, Bring you 2700 Years Back

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While you are planning either Beijing tour or Xian tour, the two highlights sought after by most of the oversea first-time visitors coming to China, one gem you should not miss, which lies between Beijing (610km to the southwest of Beijing) and Xian (543km to the northeast of Xian) – that’s the ancient city of Pingyao (平遥古城), the most well-preserved ancient city in China. It was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1997, including the outlying Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple.

The original city construction of Pingyao goes back to Xuanwang in Xizhou Dynasty (827 BC – 782 BC). The present ancient city wall was built during the 3rd year of Hongwu in Ming Dynasty (1370). The ancient city of Pingyao retains the basic layout of a county-level city in the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), the most well-preserved ancient city built by Han people.

In the late Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911), Pingyao became the financial center of China. There were as many as over 20 financial institutions (Exchange Shops) within the city, making up more than half of total in the whole China. Rishengchang was founded in Qing Dynasty(1824) and well known as the first bank in China, the birthplace of China’s “Wall Street”.

You may be disappointed at the fast pace of urban and rural developments in China. Much of the rural areas have been urbanized with the rapid decrease of arable land; urban areas have been overdeveloped with high-rises booming and influx of rural migrants. Today’s China is probably a world of difference from what you expect. Pingyao is one of the few places where you are able to see, feel and touch the real and authentic China in the past, thus allowing you to understand the present and modern China.

Pingyao is now accessible by high speed trains coming either from Beijing and Xian, making it a hot destination lying between Beijing and Xian. The regional capital city of Taiyuan, 80km north of Pingyao, is a good springboard for those who have a Pingyao tour since Taiyuan is a transportation hub in Shanxi Province.

There are still over 4,000 Ming- and Qing-style residences remaining in the old city. The main streets are rife with storefronts which still largely retain their historical appearance. Strolling along the old streets and looking for a souvenir is feeling like going along the time passage, like paper cuts, shoe soles, combs, and the list could be much longer. If you are a curio expert, maybe you can encounter a “real antique”.

A Paper Cut Vendor

A Paper Cut Vendor

A Paper Cut Vendor

Slab and stone paved streets lined with wooden houses selling numerous souvenirs.

Slab and stone paved streets lined with traditional houses

Slab and stone paved streets lined with traditional houses

Walking along the old streets, you may meet some stuff you like.

Walking along the old streets, you may meet some stuff you like.

Walking along the old streets, you may meet some stuff you like.

Pingyao has a myriad snacks with over 300 kinds of flour-made food. The beef in Pingyao is a big draw, a must-buy local product in Pingyao.

A roadside vegetable vendor

A roadside vegetable vendor

A roadside vegetable vendor

The Ancient City of Ping Yao went through 25 renovations and reconstructions in Ming and Qing dynasties. Now the city wall is square in shape with a perimeter of 6162.7 meters, a height of 10 meters, battlements 2 meters high, 3-5 meters wide on the wall top.

Pingyao Ancient City is favored by foreign tourists who come here to see the real China.

Pingyao Ancient City is favored by foreign tourists who come here to see the real China.

Pingyao Ancient City is favored by foreign tourists who come here to see the real China.

There are 3000 battlements built on the city wall top with 72 watch towers.

There are 3000 battlements built on the city wall top with 72 watch towers.

There are 3000 battlements built on the city wall top with 72 watch towers.

In 1824, Rishengchang, the first China bank was established here in Pingyao. In the late Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911), Pingyao became the financial center of China. There were as many as over 20 financial institutions (Exchange Shops) within the city, making up more than half of total in the whole China.

The through ticket allows you to visit over 20 paid sights inside the ancient Pingyao city including temples, pawns, old bodyguard offices, County Government Office and more.

 

After dark, Pingyao is transformed into a quiet and pretty wonderland

After dark, Pingyao is transformed into a quiet and pretty wonderland

After dark, Pingyao is transformed into a quiet and pretty wonderland

The ancient city at night is a perfect hangout, teemed with bars and pubs.

The ancient city at night is a perfect hangout, teemed with bars and pubs.

The ancient city at night is a perfect hangout, teemed with bars and pubs.

Any questions, just drop a line.

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