My visit to Pingyao Ancient City

Written by Sep 17, 2011 02:56
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As I said in my previous review in Wang’s Compound, we took the bus at the square in front of the Temple of Confucius to Pingyao. Nearly two hours later, we finally arrived at the Pingyao Railway Station by bus.

Once I got off the bus, some drivers of the motorcycles surrounded me, asking “Are you going to the Pingyao Ancient City? We can take you there.” I said “No, please go away!” Well, there was still a driver who followed me and asked me to get on his motorcycle. Actually, I planned to walk to the Pingyao Ancient City. But he told me that I had to walk about 30 minutes. So I changed my mind and got on his motorcycle. 6 minutes later, we arrived at the west street of the Pingyao City.
Houses inside the Pingyao City

'Modern' houses outside the city

At that moment, I realized that the driver cheated me. I learnt that it wouldn’t take 30 minutes by foot from the railway station to the old city. 15 minutes was enough. I argued with the driver and finally I gave him 5 yuan (We made a deal that I gave him 10 yuan and he took me to the old city before I got on his motorcycle).

After the driver left, I walked directly to my hostel on the opposite side of Rishengchang, the earliest exchange shop in China. My hostel is called Xiyucheng Hostel (西裕成客栈), which has something to do with the Rishengchang.
Xiyucheng Hostel

Xi Yu Cheng was set up in1796. It was a pigment shop at first. The owner Li Wen once hired Lei Lvtai to serve as the general manager of the Hankou and Beijing branches. Later, the owner decided to change his pigment into an exchange shop. Then Rishengchang was born. Due to his excellent performances in his job, Lei Lvtai was assigned as the managing director of the Rishengchang. It was who made Rishengchang become the first and biggest exchange shop in China.

I checked in, put my knapsack on the kang and then had a look around my room. There were a TV, restroom and shower. Very nice! Then I headed to the small shop, around 200 meters west of my hostel to buy the ticket. It cost me 150 yuan. With this ticket, I could visit almost all the tourist spots inside the Pingyao ancient city in THREE days. By the way, don’t forget to buy a map. It is very useful. You can find almost tourist spots on the map.
my room

Since I just needed to get back tomorrow night, I just picked up some famous tourist spots like Rishengchang, Temple of Town God, Temple of Confucius, bodyguard agencies, county Government Office and City Wall. It was a pity that I didn’t visit Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple. These two places are really worth a visit.
City Wall


The center of the city

Anti-theft net(The bells ring when someone touches the net)

Underground vault, used to keep money

Night View

IMHO, you don’t need to visit all tourist spots in the old city. Some of them are very similar to each other. Just pick up some classic and typical ones for a visit. When you visit the county Government Office, you shouldn’t miss the show that the county magistrate settles the lawsuit. It is very funny. The show is held at 09:30, 11:00 and 15:00.
The county official is settling the lawsuit

Finally, tourists who are very fond of local snacks can enjoy themselves in the Pingyao City. I tasted some. Here are they:
Hand-made Moon cakes

Xiang Cao Rou, chicken, pork or donkey meat wrapped inside
Pingyao Beef
Kao Laolao, a typical snack
Wan Tuo(碗托)
The foods are not cheap. I spent around 90 RMB eating the above three dishes and drinking a soup.

 More Pingyao Travel Reviews
1. My Trip at Wang's Compound XIAOXIAO from Afghanistan Jan 31, 2010 19:33
2. Inside Pingyao: The City Outside Time LEMONCACTUS from CN Jan 3, 2010 02:22
3. China's Time Machine: Pingyao's Old City JSUMMERS83 from CN Nov 5, 2008 07:44
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