Blogs from Shanxi, China, Asia - page 29

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Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao April 12th 2006

Well we survived the hard sleeper from Xián to Pingyao and met some lovely people in our compartment. They were all locals of course but the guy gave us little packet of the food that Pingyao is known for and it turned out to be corned beef so i was really surprised and tasted just like the way my mum makes it!!! the compartments in the hard sleeper are stacked 3 up on each side and i was lucky to have the bottom one and terry got the middle one. they do not have any doors and the passageway is open. lights are out at 10 pm and everyone goes to bed and starts snoring or so i am told as that does not worry me - its at times like this that deafness helps. our ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao April 7th 2006

For the weekend, I visited the ancient city of Ping Yao with five other people. Ping Yao is a city enclosed by a city wall. It is use to be the center of all financial transaction. The city wall that surrounds the city protected the city from intruders and enemies that wanted to rob the city of its wealth. All of the ancient architecture is still perserved so you are able to see how the Chinese in the ancient days lived. A lot of the Kung Fu movies are filmed here. Ping Yao is a 5 hours train ride from Beijing. From Ping Yao, went travelled to Taiyuan which is the city next to Ping Yao. Taiyuan is famous for its twin Pagodas. These Pagodas are identical and stand 55 meters. We were actually able to ... read more
Lookin Cool II
Tallest structure in the city
Laterns

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong March 31st 2006

We never really thought we would be able make it Datong as a day trip- it's 400 km from Beijing and the terrain is on the mountainous side. They said it was too far, too cold, not enough transport links, etc. We knew better and are living proof that where there is a will there is a way. We took an overnight train (8 hours) from Beijing to Datong, hooked up with another pair of tourists and shared a car around the sights and then shared a taxi back to Beijing (4 hours) with some Chinese girl arriving at 8:30 pm. You should have seen the look on the receptionist's mug when I walked back into our hostel after only being away 24 hours. So....what is the beef on Datong I hear you say. Cave Temples ... read more
Cave Pagoda
Cave Buddha
One in the open

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao March 9th 2006

Pingyao was our favourite place in china so far..we arrived and walked past street vendors and markets and inside the city walls which is the only complete city wall in china. the difference from everywhere else we had been was amazing...it has all its old traditional architecture, no pollution as cars are not even allowed in the city and is full of winding streets leading to nowhere in particular full of laterns, pedicars and markets..we got to our hotel which was a traditional courtyard house and then explored..we walked around most of the wall..looking into the hutong and able to see the entire city, and to the bell tower ect.. and also to some of the museums there which were brilliant; a national postcard museum, national newspaper museum..great comedy value. there were poeple playing chess and ... read more
view into one of the houses in pingyao from the wall
cunningly fashioned table tennis table
eehaw

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong March 6th 2006

When they say it’s a hard seat they don't lie. We took the night train to Datong choosing the cheapest tickets thinking 'hey it'll be fine'. it would be if it was during the day. Let us describe the situation: its cramped, the seat back is at right angles it’s not comfortable. The light never goes out and its packed when I say packed I mean there are people who are standing in the aisle all night. So we didn’t' sleep at all and this I am using as the excuse for the following events. Dave Half an hour after getting on the train (big mistake in the first place) on our first real adventure Dave suddenly declares that we need to flee the country because we only have a 30 day visa...and we have been ... read more
the train
hanging monastry
us in hanging monastry

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao February 14th 2006

With not long left in China we started our bounty hunt. Instead of seeing the sights of Pingyao; a small chinese town of old, we spent a couple of days perusing the 'antiques' stalls. With all of them selling the same wares and hawkers haggling for prices five times of real value, we had to search well to find decent goods, after some perserverence and hard bargaining we came away with a decorative screen and a set of dragon dishes for a decent price.... read more
Pingyao bell tower
Souvenir stand
80 Yuan (5 quid)

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao February 14th 2006

Pingyao - 13.02.06 Pingyao is a small tourist-orientated destination offering a couple of streets of souvenirs, western food and a pleasant atmosphere. We stayed overnight at at one of the nicest hotels we've been in yet. Good food (western and chinese!), lovely and very helpful staff, cool chinese style room and free internet! The competition for business is fierce and we had a battle to get through all the touts at the station - one of whom got into our taxi with us! We got rid of her but then had to deal with the smiley taxi driver who was determined he would be the one to get the commission. We managed to lose him down a sidestreet and ended up just making it to the Tian Yuan Kui guesthouse alone! We spent a day browsing ... read more
Happy cyclist
Not so happy cyclist
One man and his horse (and cart)

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao July 1st 2005

Jerry and I arrived in Pingyao 24 hours after leaving Guangshui! The overnight sleeper was fine and we spent 11 hours on the first train. We travelled hard sleeper. There are 10 compartments within one train carriage. Each compartment has 6 bunks and a small table with a thermos flask. Boiling water is available from a big urn at the end of each carriage. The compartments have no doors so there is no privacy and each bed has a thin sheet covered mattress, a doona and a pillow. The linen is not changed after each person uses it so you get a clean towel to spread over the pillow. We took our own pillow cases! We shared our compartment - we had a lower and middle bunk - with three young men and a mother ... read more
Pingyao
Streets lined with wonderful houses.
Street scene

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao June 12th 2005

Geo: 37.5158, 112.74Step back in time in Pingyao! It is exactly how you'd expect to find a Chinese imperial city. Extremely atmospheric and all closed in by the ancient city wall. It's like the more authentic and alive version of The Forbidden City. It is where 'Raise the Red Lantern' was filmed. Definitely worth the visit as it is so close to Beijing (well under 10hrs) and hasn't yet been discovered by The Beijing Hutong Development Programme. Hopefully the dust that hovers over it will hide it for a while yet! Only downfall is the food which is strangely horrid.... read more
Times bygone

Asia » China » Shanxi July 27th 2004

This entry records the later parts of our travel in Inner Mongolia and Shanxi. Our first stop in Shanxi Province was Datong (大同), once the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty which was founded by the Turkic-speaking Tuoba people. Indeed, Datong has long been the border town between the normadic cultures of the Steppe and the agricultural one in central China, and thus it was once a strategic location. The Great Wall just passes north of Datong. The main attraction in Datong is the Yungang Caves (雲崗石窟), a site of huge Buddhist statues which dates back to the Northern Wei Dynasty. This means that the caves have a history of over 1500 years. We were greatly excited about seeing things that old, and had enjoyed our visit there. However, one unfortunate thing was that, not ... read more
Yungang Caves
Yungang Caves
Huayan Temple 華嚴寺




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