Pingyao, China

Situated in central Shanxi Province, The UNESCO World Heritage site at Pingyao is the best preserved of all China’s ancient townships, and is the best location to view the traditional architecture and lifestyle of ancient China in a living, breathing reality and retains its ancient layout untouched by both cultural destruction and modernism.

Carved Detail, Pingyao, China

A fascinating world of quaint streets, temples, hanging lanterns and courtyards, encompassed by a beautifully preserved defensive wall, it is possible for the visitor to easily enter an authentic vision of the Han Chinese world of five centuries ago.

Colourful rooftops, Pingyao, China

The city's intact walls, like the town itself, have escaped the communist reshaping of China’s past, and date from 1370 AD, standing 10 metres (33 feet) high, defensively embellished with 72 watchtowers and 6 gates.


The town’s main places of interest are the City Tower, the Taoist Quingxu Guan Temple, the Confucius Temple, containing the town’s oldest structure, Dacheng Hall, dating back to 1163 AD, and the Rishengchang Financial House Museum, reflecting Pingyao’s emergence as the centre of Chinese banking during the nineteenth century.

Temple architecture, Pingyao, China

However Pingyao’s main attraction and unique appeal lies not in any particular individual buildings but rather from the ambience and nostalgic features of the town itself. Simply wandering its lovely narrow streets, including its main shopping thoroughfare, Ming-Qing Street is simply a delight.

Ming-Qing Street, Pingyao, China

 

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