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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Home  »  Beijing Tours  »  Beijing Side Trips  »  Pingyao Tour   »  Pingyao Trip (2)
Visit Jinci Temple
On the way to Pingyao, I plan to visit Jinci Temple in Taiyuan, the Former Residence of the Family Chang in Jinzhong and the Qiao's Mansion in Qixian County. On the north of the square in front of Taiyuan Railway Station, you can find some public buses going to Jinci Temple. I take Bus No.804, which takes me about one hour before I get to Jinci Temple after going through 14 bus stops. Jinci Temple is located 25km southwest of Taiyuan downtown, at the foot of Hanging Jar Mountains. It boasts of valuble cultural structures like the terrace, the pavilion, the building and bridges. The natural spring flows through the middle of the temple. Nobody knows when the temple was first built, but it was first recorded in the book - Shuijinzhu by the famous Geographer - Liyuandao during Northen Wei Dynasty about 1500 years ago. The temple was contantly enlarged and renovated in the successive dynasties. As a result, it became a mixed temple for Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

The main entrance to Jinci Temple

The Saint Mother Hall stands at the end of the axis of the temple. It was first built in 984 AD and rebuilt in 1102 AD. It is the greatest, most representative work of structures built during the Song Dynasty and of great importance to learning Chinese architecture.

A flying bridge over a fish pond lies between the Saint Mother Hall and the Offering Hall. Supported by the stone columns and frames, the bridge looks like a big bird that is going to take off. It was built as the same time as the Saint Mother Hall, one of the most valuable structures in the temple.

The Offering Hall was built in 1168AD, used as a room to put the offering when the memorial ceremony was held. It was a simple, nailless hall. It simplicity allows for the more space than other buildings.
The colored clay sculptures are the masterpiece of the Song Dynasty. All the thirty-three maid statues are inside the Saint Mother Hall. The natural gestures, mouth and eyes and clothing vividly show us the realistic art rarely seen in ancient China.

On the right side the Saint Mother Hall grows an old cypress tree, planted in Zhou Dynasty, 3000 years ago, hence the name of Zhou Cyress tree. It is about 18 meters high, looks like a winding dragon, so the dragon cyress.

On the lest side of the Saint Mother Hall is the famous spring - the Never Aging Spring. It comes from the Hanging Jar Mountains. It has gushed for thousands of years.

After finishing the visit to Jinci Temple, I take the public bus back to Taiyuan Railway Station. Then I rent a taxi to tour the Former Residence of the Family Chang, Jiao Family Mansion, and finally arrive at Pingyao Ancient City.

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