Pingyao Ancient City is a famous tourist destination, located in Shanxi, China. Last month, we had a trip to Pingyao, the city behind the walls. We arrived in it in the early morning after a overnight sleeper-train journey. The ancient city is not far away from the railway station, only a 10-minute drive.
When we come to the old city, we can first see the ancient city wall of Pingyao, which looks like the city wall of Xi’an city.
The streets here are narrow and bricked, and all the houses are constructed in the well-preserved authentic architectural style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The admission fee of the Pingyao Ancient City is 150 RMB per ticket, and with one ticket, a traveler can see all of the 18 ancient tourist sights in the old city area.
During the two days of our trip, my friend and I visited all the major tourist sights in the ancient city, such as Confucius Temple, Rishengchang Draft Bank, Ming and Qing Street, the County Government Office, and more.
Our first station is the Confucian Temple, which was once the school for the local people. Now it houses many precious Confucian scrolls and other old items. It is said that there are special performances at the County Government Office (called Xian Ya in Chinese) every day. Unfortunately, we were not able to see it.
Here we saw the old prison and an exhibit which displayed the trial protocol and torture or killing procedures. It seems the method of implementing the death penalty was quite cruel in ancient times in China.
At last, we walked through the Ming and Qing Street and entered into the Rishengchang Draft Bank, which is said to be the first bank in China. Rishengchang is the Chinese Exchange Shop Museum nowadays. During its heyday time, it had more than 35 branches in China, and had a great influence on Chinese economy during the Qing Dynasty.
As for local food and snacks, the Pingyao beef and Wantuo are worthing to try.