Archive for the ‘Pingyao Travel’ Category

Where to Stay in Pingyao

Sunday, July 6th, 2014
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Plan your Pingyao Tour? With the completion of the Taiyuan Xian highspeed train railway, now  people  can easily reach Pingyao by highspeed trains from Beijing ( 4 hours ) and Xian ( 3 hours ).

With easy access to Pingyao,  people mainly focus where to stay in Pingyao in the process of arranging their individual trips to Pingyao. Unlike other big cities bestowed with big lavish hotels, Pingyao features small guesthouses, hostels and hotels,  most of them offering over 20 some rooms. Almost all hotels are built based on the traditional courtyards, old houses in the northern China.

These old courtyards turned guesthouses and hotels hold a great interest for western travelers, sipping tea or coffee in an elaborated courtyard,  sleeping on stone beds ( Stone Kang Beds),  and immersing themselves in traditional Chinese atmosphere. There are over 20 courtyard turned guesthouses and hotels available for your choose.

If you have no fancy for stone kang beds and prefer to stay in a splurge hotel with modern facilities, Pingyao will not let you down. The Kylin Grand Hotel is a 5 star hotel with spacious rooms equipped with luxury facilities.

So where should I stay in Pingyao? While choosing a hotel in Pingyao, basically people would consider three factors – Location, Service and price. Let’s go one by one and finally I’d like to recommend some of the ideal hotels I know for your reference.

Pingyao Tourist Sketch Map

Pingyao Map

Pingyao Map

Pingyao Ancient City Layout
The ancient city wall of Pingyao is 6km in circumference, like a smaller Xian city wall which has a perimeter of 14 km. The similarity of the two ancient cities also lies in their street grid pattern layout featuring four main streets in the two walled cities, e.g. North Street, East Street, South Street and West Street. Each street is linked to a gate.  One of Pingyao Ancient City’s unique features is that it is not square in shape. Actually the whole city leans to the northwest and  its “North”  is replaced by “Northwest”. So all the lanes and streets slant.

South Street 
The south and west streets in Pingyao ancient city are most important, rife with souvenir stalls, restaurants, hostels, hotels as well as major attractions. The tallest City Building in Ming & Qing Style is situated on the middle of the south street.

On the south street, you find Tong Xing Gong Armed Escort Agency, Chinese Armed Escort Agency Museum, Xie Tong Qing Draft Bank. Some popular hotels are also located on the south street, like Tian Yuan Kui Hotel and Harmony Guesthouse.

West Street
The must see Ri Sheng Chang (the First Draft Bank of China) is on the west street. Yun Jin Cheng Hotel, a five star folk-custom hotel is on the west street too.

Chenghuang Temple Street
This interesting street is not missed. On the street you are able  to visit City God Temple ( Chenghuang Temple ) and Confucius Tempe. The 5 star Kylin Grand Hotel is also on the street.

Yamen Street  West of Chenghuang Temple Street is Yamen Street. Yamen literally means ” the bureaucrat” that refers to the local government. On the street is located the former Pingyao County Government’s office compound, a well-preserved county-level government offices in China. Zhengjia Guesthouse is on Yamen Street.

North Street
Actually the North Street is not directly linked to the South Street.  North Street starts somewhat west from West Street, also a busy and commercial street lined up with some hotels and restaurants.

East Street
A bit less commercial other streets. But still you could find nice cafes and restaurant on the East Street. Of course,  Pingyao Ancient City boasts more these above mentioned streets with numerous lanes radiating  from the main streets, worth your exploring a few hours.

Generally it is preferable to choose a hotel in South Street, West Street, Yaman Street or Chenghuang Temple Street. Now I’d like to recommend one guesthouse ( stone kang beds) , one hotel ( stone kang beds) and one luxury hotel ( modern standard room ).

1. Harmony Hotel 和义昌客栈
A lively 300 year old Qing Dynasty building  with two cozy courtyards inside.  It is located at 165 South Street inside the ancient city of Pingyao. Over a dozen of rooms circle the two courtyards.

All the rooms offer stone kang beds with wooden bed top tea tables. The owners of the guesthouse,  husband and wife speak good English. Tel: 0354 – 5684952

Harmony Hotel Exterior

Harmony Hotel Exterior

 

The cozy lobby of Harmony Guesthouse

The cozy lobby of Harmony Guesthouse

One of the two courtyards in Harmony Guesthouse

One of the two courtyards in Harmony Guesthouse

Kang stone beds with bed-top tea table

Kang stone beds with bed-top tea table

2. Tian Yuan Kui Guesthouse 天元奎客栈
This guesthouse is located on Ming and Qing Street, the core of Pingyao Ancient City, northern part of South Street, next to the attractions in Pingyao such as Tong Xing Gong Armed Escort Agency, Chinese Armed Escort Agency Museum, Xie Tong Qing Draft Bank.   Hotel Tel: 0354 – 5680069

Tian Yuan Kui Guesthouse Exterior

Tian Yuan Kui Guesthouse Exterior

 

The Lobby bar at Tian Yuan Kui Guesthouse1

The Lobby bar at Tian Yuan Kui Guesthouse1

Kang Bed at Tian Yuan Kui Guesthouse1

Kang Bed at Tian Yuan Kui Guesthouse1

3. Kylin Grand Hotel 平遥麒麟阁大饭店
This luxury modern hotel is located at No.76, Chenghuang Temple Street in Pingyao Ancient City, adjacent to the City God Temple and Confucious Temple.  Hotel Tel: (0354)5689988.

It is a boutique Hotel with its theme focused on the local Jin commercial culture in Ming and Qing  dynasties. Its Ming and Qing style building well matches the theme.

Kylin Grand Hotel Exterior

Kylin Grand Hotel Exterior

King-size bed room at Kylin Grand Hotel

King-size bed room at Kylin Grand Hotel

 

ashing room at Kylin Grand Hotel

ashing room at Kylin Grand Hotel

 

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

Pingyao 3 Day Tour   from US$190 p/p
Pingyao Qikou 2 day Side Trip  from US$ 130 p/p
Pingyao Car Rental with Driver

Beijing Pingyao 2 Day Highspeed Train Tour   from US$ 195  p/p
Beijing Pingyao 3 Day Highspeed Train Tour  from US$ 280  p/p
Beijing Pingyao 4 Day Overnight Train Tour     from US$ 270 p/p

 

Further Readings


Top  10 Attractions in Pingyao
Best Time to Visit Pingyao
Where to Stay in Pingyao
Beijing Pingyao High Speed Train
Pingyao Bus Station
Pingyao Railway Station

Zhangbi Village
Wang Family Courtyard
Zhenguo Temple
Shuanglin Temple
Lijiashan Travel Tips
Qikou Town Travel Guide
Pingyao Taxi

Any questions, just drop a line.

Beijing Pingyao High Speed Train

Thursday, March 13th, 2014
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Plan your Pingyao tour? Starting from July 01, 2014,  you are able to get to Pingyao Ancient City by high speed train directly from Beijing!

Taiyuan Xian High Speed Railway ( Part of Datong Xian High Speed Railway ) are opened to the public, significantly shortening the present Beijing and Pingyao train travel time from 10 – 14 hours  to 4 hours.

 

Beijing Pingyao High Speed Train

Beijing Pingyao High Speed Train

Now if you are going to visit Pingyao from Beijing by trains, basically you have three choices – By bullet trains, by normal overnight trains and transiting at Taiyuan.

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. Beijing Pingyao Overnight Train Timetable
Some traveler still prefer to take an overnight train from Beijing to Pingyao and vice versa.

K603 Beijing – Pingyao ( 17:17 – 05 18)
2603 Beijing – Pingyao (23:42 – 14:05)
K609 Beijing – Pingyao (23:51 – 09:35)

K604 Pingyao – Beijing ( 17:03 – 05 37)
2604 Pingyao  – Beijing  (13:11 – 03:36)
K610 Pingyao – Beijing  (20:32 – 06:09)

3.  Transit at Taiyuan
Take the 3 hours high speed trains  from Beijing to Taiyuan where you connect for buses or hiring a private car to van for 1 hour driving from Taiyuan to Pingyao.  Pingyao is located about 80km southeast of Taiyuan’s city center.

Beijing Taiyuan High Speed Train Timetable
Nine Beijing West – Taiyuan high speed trains.
G601     (7:35 – 12:02)
G91       (08:30 – 11:00)
G603    (9:15 – 12:18 )
G605 (10:05 – 13:07)
G607  (11:32 – 14:17 )
G609  (15:08 – 18:03 )
G611  (17:08 – 18:06)
G613  (17:56 – 20:43)
G615 (20:21 – 23:13 )

Note:
You may take the train back to Beijing or extend your trip further to Xian, well known for its Terracotta Warriors.

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

Pingyao 3 Day Tour   from US$190 p/p
Pingyao Qikou 2 day Side Trip  from US$ 130 p/p
Pingyao Car Rental with Driver

Beijing Pingyao 2 Day Highspeed Train Tour   from US$ 195  p/p
Beijing Pingyao 3 Day Highspeed Train Tour  from US$ 280  p/p
Beijing Pingyao 4 Day Overnight Train Tour     from US$ 270 p/p

 

Further Readings


Top  10 Attractions in Pingyao
Best Time to Visit Pingyao
Where to Stay in Pingyao
Beijing Pingyao High Speed Train
Pingyao Bus Station
Pingyao Railway Station

Zhangbi Village
Wang Family Courtyard
Zhenguo Temple
Shuanglin Temple
Lijiashan Travel Tips
Qikou Town Travel Guide
Pingyao Taxi

Any questions, just drop a line.

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.