Pingyao

On July 26, 2012, in Chinese Towns & Villages, Must-sees, Shanxi, by Jack Li

Everybody knows that China is a land with thousands of years of history, perhaps now it’s famous for its big cities and the modernity, but if you travel to China make sure that you visit also the other part, the part of the ancient China, if you include it in your China Tour you will […]

Everybody knows that China is a land with thousands of years of history, perhaps now it’s famous for its big cities and the modernity, but if you travel to China make sure that you visit also the other part, the part of the ancient China, if you include it in your China Tour you will not regret it.

One of the most ancient and famous places of China is the city of Pingyao, in the Shanxi province, and is one of the best preserved city in China, with more than 1700 years of history.

The city of Pingyao has not changed in centuries and that’s what make this City a fantastic place to visit, you can see what was the life thousands of years ago and also try its delicious local cuisine (don’t miss the Moonpies!).

Pingyao has a lot of ancient buildings that can be visited through the entire city, buildings that are what made the city the economic and financial center of china centuries ago.

The City is divided in two parts, the Wall and the City itself.

The Wall was built, some said, in the 700 B.C, but it was rebuilt and augmented in the 12th century to protect the city from the enemies; now is more than six meters tall and 4 meters wide and it has a well that is 4 meters deep.

Inside the city there are buildings that are worth visiting and you can get a pass to see them all in three days so you have no excuse!

The city has a kind of bizarre symmetry, there are two main streets that cross each other and, for example, if there is a Buddhist temple on the right there is Confucianism in the left, the same happens with the Taoist temple and the Governmental Office, which makes Pingyao a unique city.

There are lots of places to visit apart from the temples, there are the first bank buildings in China and you can see how the accountancy, the transportation of money, the keeping and the management were hundreds of years ago.

Pingyao has also lots of shops and other entertainment and as the entire city is ancient you won’t find a “western” hotel in the city, they all are traditional, and that makes a difference between Pingyao and other cities.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no bars or places to go at night, Pingyao is very touristic and it’s always full of people you’ll find that the city changes from daytime to nighttime and that it is a very active city, full of bars and activities to do during the nights that you will spend in the city.

Pingyao is the best destination in your China Tour if you want to see ancient lifestyle but you don’t want to go very far from Beijing (it’s just at 400 km) it’s worth spending a couple of days in the city and discover another image of China that you’ll never forget.

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