Home > Trip Reports

Pingyao Walled City trip, 2013/04

In Brief: Photos of the walls, streets, lanes, and colourful characters of Pingyao, plus some shots from a hike in the hills nearby.

On the morning of April 5, we took the fast train to Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province, some 500km away from Beijing. Another 100km on our private bus, and we were in Pingyao!

Our tour of the city, accompanied by a local expert, first took us to one of the most famous locations in Pingyao – the Rishengchang Exchange House, founded in 1823.

We then took a shortcut through the streets to reach the old city government offices and jail, and headed on to Pingyao’s main street – the Ming and Qing Street – and on again to one of the Taoist temples in the city.

After a big lunch, we made further visits to the Confucius Temple and the Temple of the City God before climbing on to and circumnavigating the city walls.

Later that evening we had a class on papercutting, and then it was time for bed. A long day!

On the last day we had some extra time to explore the city by bike or on foot, and then after lunch we drove to Shuanglin Temple, 6km outside of Pingyao.

After that, we headed off on a little hike, walking through the hills to reach White Cloud Temple.

And that was it! A very nice trip, with very nice people. Photos below!

Sandwiched by bricks, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Many copper coins and slips of iron are sandwiched between these bricks. Our local expert explained why.

干杯, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

We were welcomed with small cups of a local specialty: Yellow Wine. Cheers!

A quaint Taoist Temple, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

A photogenic Taoist temple that is still active. We found Taoist monks inside.

The backyard, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Inside the walls of the Taoist temple.

The city wall, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Pingyao's thick city walls are more than 600 years old.

The lions, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

The towers, crowds (and the lion statues hidden behind the crowds) indicate that this is a place of interest. On the left, between the lions, is the old county government office.

a cat, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

The cat had taken over.

A piece of wood, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Pieces of wood, painted with a wishes are locked to the cable behind the statue. On one of the pieces of wood we can see the character “champion”. Not wishing for too much, we hope!

In the Temple of City God, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

If you can toss your coin into one of the two bowls you're sure to have extra good luck.

the

More good luck can be obtained by jumping over the Dragon Gate.

It’s not so hard!, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Easy!

A wish tree, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

A wishing tree: tie on a ribbon, and make a wish! Hiker Cindy tried it out.

The cherry trees, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Cherry trees in bloom in the garden of the local magistrate.

a Catholic church, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Wandering through the narrow lanes in Pingyao, we chanced on a Catholic church.

the City Wall, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

On our stroll along the city walls, we spotted a group of musicians who were playing vigorously.

The Watch Tower, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

One of the Watch Towers on the City Wall.

Qing dynasty, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Pingyao is the only walled city in China that has been completely preserved from Ming and Qing Dynasty

Walking on the city wall, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

We walked the whole city wall, about 6km.

paper-cut a flower, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

How to cut a flower shape out of paper. Not bad!

Oh, Crap, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Next: Double Happiness characters, often seen on wedding days.

which one is better, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Let’s see whose is better!

Chinese Santa, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Extra points for the freestyled mustache.

our outcomes, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

We learned how to cut quite a few shapes during our lesson: butterflies, birds, and more!

White Cloud Temple, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Here we're on our hike to the White Cloud Temple.

A pagoda, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

A pagoda stands atop the hill.

A perfect place, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

A perfect place for a photo.

a vanished nunnery, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

This pagoda is all that's left of an old nunnery.

Hiking through the valley, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Hiking through the valley.

black goats, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

Quite a few black sheep in this family.

The shepherd and his working dog, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

The shepherd and his working dog.

The group photo, Beijing Hikers Two days in Pingyao Ancient City , 2013/04/06

A group photo in front of the south gate of Pingyao city.

Were you on this hike or trip? How did you like it? Please send us your comments about what was good and/or what we could do a better job of. We'd love to hear from you!

Were you not on this trip, but like the look of it? Tell us, and we'll let you know when we'll be repeating it.

Trip reports, photos, and news

Trip Reports: Photos and writeups of our trips around Beijing and other parts of China. View all the trip reports »

News: Updates and information. View all the news »

Trip reports

Read one of the many reports in the archives. (This report has been chosen by random selection; we hope it's a good one for you!)

Coffin Village performance

Hiking photos - Walk Like a Pilgrim and Coffin Village

View trip report »