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Special trip photos – Ancient City of Pingyao, 2012/08

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In August we travelled by train to the old city of Pingyao, in Shanxi Province, on a 2.5 day trip to see the sights. We strolled the streets and lanes and looked at temples and old courtyard residences, and saw a whole lot of colourful characters on the city streets.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Pingyao was an important center of trade, and its old city walls, cobbled streets and lanes, temples, government offices, and the old residential compounds of wealthy merchants have been well-preserved.

To see what we got up to on the trip, take a look through all the photos below!

the big towers, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

One of the big towers in Pingyao.

bodyguards, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Ancient Pingyao had a special office for administration of bodyguards. Here, one of our hikers begins his training.

costume, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Hire a costume; dress up like the old days!

antique swords, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

We took a look at a store selling antique swords.

A Pingyao resident, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

A Pingyao resident, out for a ride.

A clay sculpture of a Buddha, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

A clay sculpture of a Buddha, at Shuanglin Temple.

, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

We spotted these little figurines in a corner of the Shuanglin Temple.

Porcelain Buddhas, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Porcelain Buddhas for sale.

the White Cloud Temple, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Outside the White Cloud Temple.

wooden carvings, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The eaves of the White Cloud Temple are decorated with wooden carvings.

Market, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Pingyao’s Night Market.

an antiques shop, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The wares of an antiques shop.

, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

During Pingyao’s heyday some families became rich through trade, and built large compounds. Here’s a courtyard inside one of those family houses.

, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Interesting sculptures at an antiques market.

The courtyard, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The courtyard inside the boutique hotel where we stayed.

The Risenchang Exchange, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The Risenchang Exchange was one of the first banks in China.

an old-style cheque, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

For the small sum of 10 RMB the scribe will write and send an old-style cheque to your home.

local guide, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Our great local guide explains the intricacies of one of the family courtyards.

A guest room, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

A guest room inside the courtyard.

Antique furniture, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Antique furniture inside the guest room.

old-style music, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

This fellow was carting about a portable sound system loaded with old-style music, and would stop every now and again for an impromptu dance session.

A local dancing team, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

A local dancing team, ready to go.

, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

We made a circuit of Pingyao’s city walls, and got good views of the roofs and courtyards below.

Bodyguard, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Another shot from inside the Bodyguard Administration courtyard.

training, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

More bodyguard training.

an old ceremony, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

We saw a reenactment of an old ceremony.

, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

A restaurant done up in traditional style.

The Temple, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The Temple of the City God.

, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The knocker and lock on the door in the Temple of the City God.

Shadow Puppet show, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Shadow Puppet show.

the art of paper-cutting, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

On one of the evenings we arranged for a lesson in the art of paper-cutting.

Paper-cutting, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Paper-cutting is a tricky business.

opera, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Shanxi Province “Jin” opera performance.

The White Cloud, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The White Cloud temple has been located here for more that 1,200 years.

The caretaker, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

The caretaker of the White Cloud Temple makes the rounds accompanied by dog and cat.

the temple, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

Interlocking pieces of carved wood support the roof of the temple.

A dragon decoration, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

A dragon decoration on the tiled roof of the temple.

An ancient locust tree, Beijing Hikers Pingyao trip, August10, 2012

An ancient locust tree on the temple grounds.