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Hiking photos - Pingyao Trip, 2011/05/20

The old city of Pingyao in Shanxi Province boasts intact city walls and several examples of surviving architecture from the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). Residences, shops, and even the government offices are preserved in the architectural styles of those periods.

Pingyao was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1997 for its historic and cultural value. It’s easy to imagine what life was like in previous centuries while walking through the narrow lanes past well preserved ancient buildings in this former imperial trading center. We were able to appreciate this unique part of China as we explored the city and its cultural offerings. Later, we also had the chance to take a relaxed stroll in the countryside outside of the city in order to admire the local landscape.

The ancient architectural style of Pingyao’s streets, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

The ancient architectural style of Pingyao’s streets has been preserved since the Ming dynasty. Here’s a view looking toward one of the city’s main gates.

The traditionally styled courtyards, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Hikers taking a look around one of the traditionally styled courtyards.

A display of some of the weaponry , Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A display of some of the weaponry that was used during the Ming and Qing dynasties; the character behind them says “weapons” or “arms”.

Traditional wooden door frame, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Intricate, traditional wooden door frame designs beautify the front of a house.

Old fashioned means of transport, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Locals use old fashioned means of transport on one of Pingyao’s many tidy, narrow lanes.

The traditional houses, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A view onto a city lane from inside one of the traditional houses; the traditional character on the wall says “prison” or “jail”.

Local snacks to sample, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A variety of local snacks to sample; the sign in front says “Ping Yao farmers snacks”.

Bicycles, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Bicycles are still a popular form of transportation there for old and young alike.

A local entertainer and his donkey, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A local entertainer and his donkey. Donkeys are still widely used throughout the Chinese countryside and many restaurants serve roast donkey meat.

Local decorations, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Colorful local decorations.

In front of the museum, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A group photo in front of the museum.

An elderly local woman, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

An elderly local woman relaxes on a step in the street.

Ping Yao’s city walls, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Ping Yao’s city walls are very well preserved. This gives visitors a good idea of what the city may have looked like 500 years ago.

A display of clothing styles, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A display of clothing styles from China’s last 2 dynasties; the 2 men in the forefront of the photo are wearing clothes from the Ming dynasty and the others are wearing clothes from China’s very last dynasty, the Qing.

A local woman, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A local woman practices the ancient art of paper cutting, shaping the paper into beautiful, intricate patterns.

The centuries old pavement, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

In Pingyao, efforts are made to preserve the centuries old pavement as well as the architecture.

Preserved tower, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

This well preserved tower was an important structure in its day.

The city walls, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A leisurely stroll atop the city walls provides great views of the city below.

A local street, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

A local street scene as viewed from high up on the city walls.

Playing traditional games, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

The locals enjoy passing the time by playing traditional games.

The group tries, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Now the group tries its hand at paper cutting – definitely not as easy as it looks!

A break in a café, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

Some members of the group enjoy a break in a café.

At the airport, Beijing Hikers Pingyao, May 20- 22 , 2011

At the airport after an enjoyable and culturally enriching trip.

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