"An ancient,exotic city" Top 5 Page for this destination Pingyao by albaaust
Pingyao Travel Guide: 189 reviews and 824 photos
Pingyao is an enchanting ancient town renowned for its city wall and the streets, shops and buildings which are largely preserved untouched from the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Originally the city was named Pingtao, meaning peace and pottery. During the Han Dynasty (206B.C-220 A.D.), the city changed its name to Pingyao (meaning a far away, peaceful city). In 1370, the old city wall was rebuilt in brick for military purposes and still exists as constructed.
It was also known as the Turtle City because of its layout. The square shaped city wall of three li (1.5 km) in each of the four sides conformed to the ranking standards of cities and towns laid out in the Rites. The four main streets, eight side streets and 72 alleys are said to be laid out like on a turtle’s back. Thus, for some the city symbolized impregnable defence, good luck and longevity.
As Pingyao was once a base for the wealthy (it was one of the birth places of Shanxi’s banking and commercial businesses) the banks, temples, shop fronts, imposing residences and courtyards of the main street are legacies of this past wealth and are outstanding tourist exhibits. They are remarkable historical relics of what life was like for rich business people and the associated businesses linked to banking.
It is for this reason that more than one day is needed to fully appreciate the richness of the city and the numerous sites you can visit.
Pingyao is 9 hours by train from Xian, 100 kilometres from Taiyuan (2 hours taxi drive) and over 12 hours by train from Beijing.
See also our general page China
- Pros:Ancient, authentic
- In a nutshell:This was a highlight!!
One of the practices I had not seen before (coming from a warm country) is material being put in front of doorways to... more travel advice
As we walked along the city wall we saw things not quite so obvious from ground level. one such thing was the number of... more travel advice
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