Wandering in the Wang's Compound---‘Forbidden CIty' of Shanxi Province

Written by Sep 8, 2011 04:01
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Once I had a dream that I could visit ancient buildings in Shanxi. Last month, my dream came true. I went to Wang’s Compound and Pingyao Ancient City for a visit during my annual leave.

Many people have heard about Qiao’s Compound because of a film called ‘Raise the Red Lantern’ which is directed by Zhang Yimou. But they may not know much about Wang’s Compound.

Wang’s Compound is four times bigger than Qiao’s Compound, famed as the Forbidden City of Shanxi Province. It was built by the descendents of the Wang Family. Unlike the Qiao’s Family, the ancestor of the Wang Family was an official during the Qing Dynasty, not a successful business tycoon. The building style of the Wang’s Compound is a bit different from the Qiao’s Compound. It looks much grander and more magnificent.
The entrance of the Wang's Compound
The building inside the compound

Girls' House
Architectural group in Hongmen Bao

Suggested Travel Time: A DAY.
The current Wang’s Compound is mainly composed of four areas for open viewing: Gaojia Ya, Hongmen Bao, Chongning Bao and Wang’s Ancestral Hall. I spent nearly 3.5 hours visiting Gaojia Ya and Hongmen Bao. Since I had planned to visit the Ping Yao City, I omitted Chongning ao and Wang’s Ancestral Hall. If you want to have a thorough tour in Wang’s Compound, I suggest you spend a whole day there.

My route: I started my visit from Gaoiia Ya at first and then pass the bridge to Hongmen Bao and then backtracked to the entrance of the Wang’s Compound.

Things you should never miss: The sculptures of stone, wood and brick are three treasures in the Wang’s Compound. Spend some time watching these sculptures and I am sure that you will be amazed. You can buy some replicas there if you like.
Delicate stone sculptures
Transportation: Take train to Jiexiu Railway Station and then walk around 500 meters to a small playground on your left side after you get out of the railway station. There you can take No. 11 bus to the Wang’s Compound. It costs CNY 4.

1. Better invite a tour guide when you tour the Wang’s Compound. They can tell you the history about the compound. The cost is CNY 50.

The ticket price for the Wang’s Compound is CNY 66 per person.
2. If you have time, you may have a free tour in the Temple of Confucius. It is located below the Wang’s Compound.
3. If you want to visit Pingyao City from the Wang’s Compound, you can take the direct bus at the square in front of the Temple of Confucius. It departs at 12:40 and costs CNY 17.

 More Shanxi Travel Reviews
1. <A>Discovering TaiYuan NOVA Dec 31, 2006 05:12
2. <A>JinCi(晋祠) NOVA Nov 6, 2006 09:11
3. <A>A trip to MT.Mian NOVA Oct 3, 2006 05:10
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