A weekend trip from Beijing or a destination within your holidays in China, Pingyao will not leave you indifferent.
Situated between Beijing and Xi’an, close to the capital of the province Taiyuan, Pingyao is a unique village conserving the ancient Chinese style in all its buildings (from the Ming and Qing dynasties). Pingyao’s treasure is its old town, protected by an immense 12m high and 6 km long wall. Once you enter the old town your soul will be transported to the past, where warriors and kung fu lovers were defending the town every day. Red paper lamps with Chinese words on them decorate the whole town, and the Chinese people cycling relaxed around the town give you a feeling of how it was to live in China several dynasties ago.
I felt like in the Kung Fu Panda movies.
All the roofs have the traditional Chinese shape. In some places of the old town, you can find military towers, as ancient as the city, that you can climb to have a panoramic view of the town.
There are several guest houses inside the old town and the one we’ve been (sorry, I forgot the name) was perfect: a traditional Chinese wooden house, with traditional rooms, local and nice staff, at the heart of the old town. Better impossible! You go out and feel the ambience immediately: the dumplings cooking, the rice, the amount of relaxed bikes, the amount of places where you can get a Chinese massage, etc.
No matter where you go to eat something, the food is amazing, nothing to do with the typical Chinese restaurants from Europe where everything is oily, fat, and where rice with eggs and vegetables and “spring rolls” seem to be the only dishes. In China the food is tasty, diverse and delicious! I don’t know why the meals served in the Chinese restaurants from Europe are so different than in China itself: no comparison!
You can visit the old town of Pingyao in a day, but in my opinion, it’s worth it to stay a minium of one night and let your soul soak up this relaxed and traditional Chinese atmosphere. You can also rent a bike and do it by bike or, from Pingyao, book several trips of the Pingyao’ surroundings.
Enjoy this magical place!
How to get to Pingyao:
-By plane: you can book a plane to Taiyuan, and from Taiyuan take a bus to Pingyao (aprox 3 hours bus from Taiyuan to Pingyao)
-By train: Pingyao has its own train station so depending from where are you coming you can arrive to Pingyao directly. From Datong is a 7-8h train. From Beijing is a 14 hours train. See Chinese train experience (sorry, the post is in Spanish) for more information about how to book a train ticket in China (good luck!).
If you have any doubt you can contact us and we’ll do our best to help you
Enjoy your trip!