Blogs from Pingyao, Shanxi, China, Asia


Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao November 21st 2015

Two bullet trains from Luoyang longmen via Xian bei, a short taxi ride and we walk through the gates of Pingyao city wall and back in time 500 years. It was like being on the film set of crouching tiger hidden hippo. we did attempt to try to find our hotel our selves but after no-one knew where it was we gave up and jumped on one of the electric buggys that flit around the old city. He took us on a tour of Pingyao as he couldn't find it either. Eventually we got there.It was a courtyard hotel and like stepping into the past although a 21th century mattress would have been nice along with some heating. We spent a couple of days here just chilling in some of the bars and cafe's and wandering ... read more
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Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao October 26th 2015

Monday 26th October 2015 We checked out of our Beijing Hostel and headed to the train station where we were taking the super fast train again, this time heading west to an ancient town called Pingyao. This is a walled town that has stood for hundreds of years and is popular for tourists who want to see traditional Chinese market streets and houses. We arrived 4 hours after leaving Beijing. As the train pulled into the station, the only people to get off where foreigners like ourselves. As we exited the train at about 3pm we felt the cold hit us. It felt much colder than Beijing and this was probably partly down to the fact that there was nothing around us at all. For miles it was like we were in the desert, only not ... read more
Traditional bed
Eerie night time building
City wall from above

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao July 3rd 2015

One of the most preserved ancient cities and walled areas in all of China. When you try to imagine traditional China you may conjure up images of small cobblestone alleyways, quaint brick buildings with curved tiled roofs and dangling red lanterns bringing colour and vibrancy to these streets. This is exactly what you can expect to find in Pingyao. Well known as the place to go if you want to see the real China. Howevera throw in a load of tourism to what China may have been like and you have Pingyao. From Langmusi we caught an overnight hard sleeper train to Pingyao taking around 19hrs. We always appear to be the only western people on these trains and it's like we are some sort of star attraction with people coming from different carriages to look ... read more
Typical archways
Red lanterns

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao July 31st 2014

We checked into our double courtyard Hotel Yide in the heart of what's known as the Ancient City of Pingyao. Pingyao has existed for over 1500 yrs, and was an important town in the Qin dynasty. Surrounded by intact city walls 10m high that were originally built in mud in 800 BC but subsequently rebuilt in brick and stone in 1370. John and I walked most of the circumference of the walls - about 3.5kms in the blazing heat and humidity - why I'm not sure other than we got a good panorama of the Ancient city. But walking thru the town was fantastic - Pingyao is one of the best most preserved of the ancient cities. We visited the old Court and Government buildings, the Confucius Temple built in 1163 , the Taoist temple, the ... read more
Pingyao - original 1000 year old buildings
Pingyao - main street
Pingyao - calligraphy

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao June 1st 2014

1.6.14 YANGZHOU: Distance: 102 Kms SubT. 1,691 Kms Bal 10,302 Kms Road Condition: Good Weather: fine Time in Saddle: 4.5 hrs Av Speed: av. 22.5 kph. Av Cadence. Rpm Elevation: e 1000 m up; Calories burned : Endeavour to upload photos with most blogs, but often internet is to weak to sustain upload. PLEASE NOTE NAME OF PLACE IN FORMAL BLOG TITLE MAY NOT RESEMBLE ANYTHING CLOSE TO THIS TOWN NAMED ABOVE. I DO NOT KNOW THE NAME OF THE PROVINCE, BUT THE SITE WONT OPEN UNLESS I PUT SOMETHING IN THE BOX. THIS WILL LIKELY BE THE FUTURE!!! NB. Apple auto correction changes words after I have written something else. Hopefully this explains why sometimes it seems senseless. Last night in XIAN a few of us went in the evening to the Muslim street market, ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao May 31st 2013

Another day, another province in China… This time we were driving to Shanxi, a province somehow forgotten or lost in time it would seem as an estimated three million people still live in caves around here! And you don’t really need to be driving around for a long time trying to find the caves as they are spread everywhere around the province, you can easily spot them once you drive through the region – cave dwellings all around. Our group leaders were saying the day before that it was going to be a long drive that day – it could be a 5-hour up to 8-hour drive depending on the road conditions, whether we would fit through one place or whether we would have to drive around it... hmmm… It didn’t make sense at the time ... read more
the streets of Pingyao
sun setting over Lijiashan
side streets of Pingyao

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao January 23rd 2013

CHINA: Ten New Songs...Party in Pingyao. Escaping the winter pollution of Datong by taxi...hoping the coal smoke would not chase us South...hope our hotel will take us a day earlier...the longest taxi ride of our lives...383 kms...4 hours one way...8 hours return for the driver...price to us well worth it. Ren Cheng has a co-driver...race down the expressway...only stopping to photograph Yamen Pass Great Wall. As we approached Taiyuen, the capital of Shanxi Provence, we saw a pall of smoke ahead, chimney stacks, power stations, the twin pagodas of with soot, a farmer hoeing his veggie patch against the wall of a power station chimney, 100 kms of smoke stacks...the power house of China. All I could think of was this is where "The Apocalypse" should be filmed. 108 kms south..walled city approaching...welcome to Pingyao. ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao November 16th 2012

We arrived in Pingyao at 00:35 after an 8 hour ride on a hard seat from Datong.if anyone has travelled in China they will know that 8 hours sitting down is a stretch, but 8 hours literally being crammed into your seat, surrounded by Chinese gawping at you, basically sitting on you and constantly waving their bare arsed babies in your face (whilst we waited to get weed on as they generally just hold them in the aisle to do their business) is no easy ride but is definitely an experience. Although after meeting a fellow traveller later in the hostel we found out that it could have been worse - he had a standing only ticket for 9 hours and unknowingly sat in the smoking area for the whole time!!! Anyway the journey was pretty ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao October 31st 2012

Coming out of Tiayuan airport I have to say my first impression on Shanxi was ’brown’. Autumn is in full swing here with all the fields filled with various crops ready for harvest. The principle of the school I will be working at come to meet me at the airport along with a driver…I still don’t know his name as the principle only referred to him as ‘driver’. The journey to the school (and my dormitory) was about 2 and a half hours as well as a brief stop for food despite me saying I wasn’t hungry as I had eaten on the plane. Once we arrived the first difference I noticed from Yangshuo was that it was cold…as in put a winter jacket on it’s cold. This didn’t really bother me as it was what ... read more
Dining Room

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao October 29th 2012

After an 8 hour restless train journey from Datong, we arrived into Pingyao at 1am. Our hostel pick up which was promised wasn’t there to meet us at the station, so we jumped in a taxi and rattled down the quiet dark streets into the old walled city. Once at our hostel we were shown to our room, which was set around a quaint courtyard and very original with high ceilings, stain-glassed windows, large wooden furniture and an oversized ‘bed’ built onto a big concrete platform – this was our first glance into this traditional town. We were shattered and even though it was cold and the electric blanket we excitedly found wasn’t working, we fell asleep quickly. The next morning we had a well-earned lay in until 10am, discovered we had both caught a cold ... read more
On the way home . . .
Lovely lanterns
Local Art store

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