The Ancient City of Pingyao

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October 31st 2010
Published: October 31st 2010
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Well, we survived our first overnight train in China. We managed to squeeze ourselves and our gear into a shaky 2-seater rickshaw that took us from our hotel to the train station in Xian. The train station was packed with people, but it was relatively easy to find the waiting area for our train since the numbers are all in english. We had two middle bunks in a 6-bed "hard-sleeper" berth. It was actually pretty comfortable and we managed to get a few hours of sleep along the way.

Pingyao is a Unesco World Heritage Site and its well preserved city walls date back to 1370. That's about all we can offer for a history lesson. We stayed at a nice hostel in the centre of the old city and spent our days walking the streets, sampling street food and taking photos. The city is much more touristy than we expected and while the old buildings are still in the classic style, the main streets contain nothing but hostels, hotels, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. Still, its not nearly as busy as the main tourist attractions near Xian and we had a relaxing 3 days.

On our second day, we hired bicycles and rode to the Shuanglin Temple which was 7km out of town. What a great way to see the countryside, though biking through the city was a bit scary at times with all the traffic. The temple was nearly deserted and the sculptures/statues are incredibly detailed. Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the temples as seems to be the usual in China, but we can say that it is well worth the effort to go here.

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 23


Pancake vendorPancake vendor
Pancake vendor

This guy is quite a character and he makes good pancakes too.
Shuanglin Temple statueShuanglin Temple statue
Shuanglin Temple statue

One of the few we could take photos of.
Sheep in the streetSheep in the street
Sheep in the street

Near Shuanglin Temple.
Fun chinglish menuFun chinglish menu
Fun chinglish menu

We highly recommend the "The palace explodes the diced chicken". "The potato burns the beef" is also quite nice.
City wallsCity walls
City walls

Three out of the four walls are original.
Poor monkeyPoor monkey
Poor monkey

Made to dress up and pose for tourists. Sad really.

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