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Saturday, February 8, 2014

PINGYAO - A MEDIEVAL TOWN IN THE HEART OF CHINA #1

The medieval tower of one of the most beautiful and well preserved town in China.



The town of Pingyao is wonderful because it fulfills the dreams of the western traveller in search of a typical Chinese city.

Pingyao has huge medieval walls the colour of the mud.

They are built with bricks and they are long more than 8 kilometers.

The number of watch towers along the walls is impressive too.

Each fifty meters there is one tower protecting the town and the walls.

Pingyao, as many other Chinese towns, is situated in the middle of no where.

Around the town flat countryside and ugly modern houses are the only sight, but inside the walls the town of Pingyao is literally a jewel.

It is also reasonably easy to get there. Pingyao is on the railway line connecting Beijing to Xian, although not all the trains stop in Pingyao and the ones who do stop are usually fully booked.


The wonderful medieval walls of Pingyao at sunset.

Back in the Old China in the heart of Pingyao.

What is to see in Pingyao?

Apart from the beautiful medieval walls and towers, with its wonderfully decorated pagoda gates, the town of Pingyao is certainly worth a trip if you are travelling in China.

Two dozens medieval courtyards and temples represent the most important buildings the town has to offer apart for the medieval walls.

Not much more explanation is given about this old building in the English leaflet provide by the city tourist board.

I think the main enjoyment and attraction of the town is for the visitor to walk along the cobbled streets.

Old shops sell antiquities and elegant restaurants still retain the old shop window, they are built with wood and decorated with beautiful paintings of natural subjects.


Panorama of Pingyao with its beautiful roofs.

Ubiquitous lanterns add charm to the medieval streets of the town, particularly at night, when away from the two main streets crossing the town perpendicularly there is little light in the old town inside the huge walls.

Where the two main roads inside the walls meet in the middle of the town a tall pagoda tower acts as a look out point to patrol the life in the town. Even today, after so many centuries, a view from the tower offers a wonderful sight over the daily life of Pingyao, including the shop keepers waiting for their daily tourist preys and the incessant  go by of the electric tuk tuks.

The Story continues...