Blogs from Pingyao, Shanxi, China, Asia - page 7


Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao July 12th 2007

Hallo allemaal, Vanochtend vroeg was er even sprake van commotie, toen bleek dat we niet vanmiddag om 5 uur pas in Pingyao aan zouden komen, maar al om 7 uur 's ochtends! Hadden wij het even mooi verkeerd begrepen! Gelukkig was de conductricemevrouw zo vriendelijk om aan mijn teen te trekken en heel hard "Pingyao, Pingyao, Pingyao!" te roepen, waardoor we nog vijf minuten hadden om wakker te worden, ons aan te kleden en onze tassen te pakken. Op het treinstation werden we weer opgewacht door iemand die ons snel naar het hotel bracht. Dit keer geen groot zestien-verdiepingen-tellend hotel, maar een leuk authentiek pension met een binnentuin en aangrenzende kamers. Nadat we eerst nog even wat hebben geslapen zijn we het dorpje ingegaan, en wel te fiets! Voor 1 euro huur je hier voor een ... read more
Sylvia en haar nieuwe jurk 2
Sylvia en haar nieuwe jurk 3
Sylvia en haar nieuwe jurk 4

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao July 11th 2007

We arrived early in Pingyao and were greeted by a hostel pick up rickshaw at the train station. The "Harmony" hostel was inside the city walls, and although it was surrounded by quite picturesque streets it also was full of souvenirs, bars, restaurants, guesthouses and therefore tourists. We were greeted by a blue sky so decided to take a stroll around the walls. Soon it became too hot - the only disadvantage of having a blue sky and we escaped to our air-conditioned gueshouse. Pingyao is a place that you can pretty much see in a day. To do so you can buy a 120 yuan ticket that will allow you entry into most of the "attractions" but to be honest that seemed a little steep to us. We were on a different itinery. The front ... read more
Traditional Chinese Courtyard
The Train Coach
The Train Gang

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao June 9th 2007

Waking up at 7am on a hard sleeper, after a fitful nights sleep only to jump in a rickshaw to the Hostel we were to pick up our onward Train tickets to Xi'an from was not that nice, especially as Pingyao appeared to be yet another uninspired Asian town, full of smog and road rage. But how wrong I was! How I should have learned by now not to judge too quickly! A huge great grey stone wall came into view, the outer edge of the ancient city of Pingyao, under a deep tunnel and it was breathtaking on the inside, like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia, or at least Diagon Ally with an Eastern touch. We had foolishly booked an onward night train to Xi'an, the idea being to save on accommodation. We hadn't ... read more
Pingyao guest house
Pingyao streets

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao May 21st 2007

Yes, I'm now very late writing this but we've had so little time to spend on the internet that it gets hard to keep up. I'm now in Shanghai and need to write about Xi'an too. We leave Shanghai for Hangzhou tomorrow... We arrived early in Pingyao after another very hot night's sleep. The train was really interesting though. Chinese drinking from large flasks of tea or drinking and smoking in small crowds. The lights went off at 10pm, just as Martyn and I planned to play some Scrabble so that scuppered that. The Chinese seemed to take it as a challenge and continued partying through the night. There were various stops so there was a constant rumble of activity. For security's sake I slept with my day bag by my head. Paranoia perhaps but It ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao April 22nd 2007

Day 26 Before leaving Beijing we wanted to fit in a brief trip to the Emperors holiday home in the form of the Summer Palace. After a long and interesting bus ride (where it is not clear where you are, what direction you are going in or where you should get off) we muddled our way to the right stop. Our initial reaction to the palace was "*?@% not more steps " but this was soon overshadowed with superb views and a great all round attraction. The building and temples were very ornate and it was all set on a hillside looking over a huge lake which gave it a stunning backdrop. We walked around the lake crossing a series of fab bridges - all different. It was very windy! Finally we saw the marble ... read more
Summer palace temple
Lake side holiday home!
17 arch bridge at the Summer Palace

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao April 20th 2007

This was our stopover between Xi'an and Beijing, a small town remarkable for its preservation, particularly an intact wall. We arrived on the sleeper well after dark and caught an auto rickshaw into town. Most of the lights had been shut down and it was eerie traveling down narrow alleyways and through the massive gates as they loomed out of the darkness. We spent the first night at the Lonely Planet's favourite - which was nice enough but quite expensive. The next day we found a better, cheaper place - I must post the name of here. I love the architecture; flagstone and grey brick, carved wooden beams and poles, the flamboyant tiled roofs, patterned windows - it was great just to stand in a courtyard and look about. The wall is quite impressive. From ... read more
Outside of wall
Corner tower 1
Corner tower 2

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao April 14th 2007

From Pingyao we took a night train to Pingyao - a very nice town - again surrounded with walls - this time really old, from the time of Ming dynesty (the ones with the agartalim from the movies) about 400 years ago. This is the area were the movie "red lanterns" was filmed. The town used to be in a rural area so it was not dammaged over the years. we stayed in a chinese style house, with intenral courtyard. We had a huge bed (2x3) made of bricks and mattress on top (typical to the town). A small woden table is standing on the bed for eating. In some old houses here there is a small tunnel under the bed, so you can make fire in it and warm the nights. For 120y (60 ... read more
Amir at our hotel's courtyard
Our street
Amir and Maya in our courtyard

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao March 4th 2007

Okay, here is a quick history lesson on the Chinese Dynasties from 2200BC until the present. Pay attention, as you will be tested when I get back home. First, there's the Xia, the first civilisation by the Yellow River. Then the Shang, who began developing the Chinese writing style. Following on were the Zhou, around the time when Confucius did his thing. Next were the Qin, about 2200 years ago, when the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall were built. A long period under the Han followed that, when bureaucracy began to flourish. The minor Wei, Jin and Sui dynasties leading in to the Tang, which is known now as China's golden era. Next were the Liao, then the Song, and then another Jin, who were toppled by the Mongol hordes under Genghis Khan. The Khans ... read more
The City Tower
Pingyao kids
The snow begins...

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao January 13th 2007

Not counting Honk Kong of course...Pingyao The train ride from Xi'an to Pingyao was only about 9 hours if I remember correctly and it was even overnight, but it was probably the second longest night of my life. First, since we didn't book our tickets properly and had to upgrade once we were on the train our beds weren't next to each other. We did get bottom bunks which was great, but mine was right at the end of the car next to the open doorway into the bathroom and coincidentally the smoking area as well. There were also extremely loud noises coming out from that area all night and the bright light coming from there was shining right into my bed. To be honest I cried myself to sleep wishing for my mom, not once ... read more
Aaron on the city wall.
Another view of the city wall

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao January 1st 2007

There was a problem at the train station in Luoyang and all they could afford me was a standing ticket. Standing, or at best, curling up on my backpack in the doorway between cars travelling an 11-hour night train sounded a little daunting but I didn't feel too worried. It was in fact easy to find a free soft seat and once aboard, the conductors weren't the least bothered to check tickets. I sat up the first few hours learning language and dialect differences with my neighbours, a computer programmer from Hong Kong and three young people from Guandong. I read through the young girl's girlie magazine and impressed her with my poor knowledge of Chinese script. The train pulled into Pingyao shortly after 7 am. No chance I was going to miss it. My ever ... read more
little traffic
Bell Tower, evening
evening street scene

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