Pingyao Tour
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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Pingyao Ancient City
The ancient city wall
After simple breakfast at my hotel, I rent a storage battery car to go around the city wall from it outside. The wall is 6000 meters of perimeter with 6-10 meters high. it was first built during Zhou Dynasty ( 827 —782 BC ). The successive renovation and repaire were made in Ming and Qing dynasties. It has six gates - two gates on the east, two gates on the west, one north gate and one south gate. The south gate is the main gate. So the wall resembles a turtle. The south gate is the head of the turtle, the two wells outside being the two eyes of tortoise. The north gate is the tail of turtle, hence nickname of"Turtle Ciy" for Pingyao. There are 72 watchtowers on the top of city wall as well 3,000 battlements. People say that the 72 watchtowers refer to the 72 great wise people, the 3,000 battlements the 3,000 disciples of Confucius.

West and South Streets ( Ming & Qing Street)
It is quite easy to recognize the directions in Pingyao since its layout is divided into four main streets - North, South, West and East. All the four streets are more or less the same in thire outlook. All the storefronts retain the historical outlook during the Ming and Qing dynasties. They are housed inside old Ming and Qing-era courtyard houses. Most of the buildings are low one-story brick inner courtyards, which are part of what make Pingyao famous. Especially the West and South Streets are home to many of the major tourist sights (temples and museums). It is worth walking down the lanes enjoying the local snacks from the street stalls and bargaining for treasures.

RiShengChang (The First Draft Bank of China)
The Rishengchang Exchange Shop is the earliest bank in China, first opened in the 18th century. Rishengchang was the first money exchange shop in the history of China. It was first set up in 1823 Qing Dynasty with head-office in the county of Pingyao and the first boss was Li Daquan. The first manager of Rishengchang was Lei Lvtai, a gifted and professional person in management. He was the most noted person at that time.

The armed escort agencies
These agencies devloped with the fanacial business in Pingyao and the whole China during Ming-Qing era. They were very popular in the middle of Qing Dynasty and finished with the dying of the local financial business taken place by the modern banks. The armed escort agencies escorted the cash and valuables, then collected the expenses. It was full of hazard during the transport. So they were usually managed by masters of Wushu players.

The County Government Office ( highest official organization in Pingyao )
Pingyao County Government Office Building is one of the few well-preserved ancient county government office in China.

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