Pingyao County

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33 travelers at this place

  • Day26

    27 Tag Datong Pingyao

    May 7, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    Heute war ein wunderbarer Tag (für mich). Wir waren wieder in so einem Schmudelzug und da trafen wir eine Holländisch Familie mit zwei Jungen und einem Mädchen. Wir verstanden uns wunderbar. Das Mädchen ist nicht auf dem Foto, weil die Jungen davor etwas gesagt haben und das Mädchen weggegangen ist (sie sagten es auf Holländisch) Sie vertrugen sich nachher wieder und alle waren froh, dass wir sogar im gleichen Hotel sind. Und am Abend spazierten wir noch durch das Städtchen.

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  • Day28

    Tag 27 Datong / Pingyao

    May 7, 2018 in China ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Der heutige Tag ist ganz dem Zugfahren gewidmet. Wir waren uns ja bereits von der Ersten Zugfahrt einiges gewohnt, aber diese Fahrt hat unsere Erwartungen nochmals übertroffen🙈. Auch wenn wir es nicht für möglich gehalten haben, war es nochmals hässlicher. Die Betten waren alle schon von unseren Vorgänger gebraucht und unsere Plätze waren im ganzen Zug verteilt. Uns blieb nichts anderes übrig als eine Pritsche zu Dritt zu nutzen. Patrik hat sich dann für einen komfortablen Fenstersitz entschieden. Als dann noch unsere Bettnachbarin angefangen hat, irgendwelche Riesencrevetten zu sezieren war unsere Stimmung auf dem Nullpunkt. Der Toilettengang ist eine Mutprobe und man muss ziemlich geübt sein im Luftanhalten. Man gewöhnt sich irgendwie trotzdem an alles und wir hatten mit viel Humor, lustige sechs Stunden Zugfahrt hinter uns gebracht und sind nun happy, dass es durch ist😀.
    Für Levin war es ein Traum. Er hat Holländerjungs kennengelernt und die sechs Stunden mit gleichaltrigen Jungs ganz fest genossen. Kind glücklich - Eltern glücklich.
    Als wir die schöne Altstadt in Pingyao sahen, haben wir uns wieder mit China versöhnt🤗.
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  • Day5

    A morning tour of Pingyao

    November 8, 2017 in China ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    A beautiful sunny day and we met our guide Marina in the hotel at 9:30. Our first stop was the ancient government building. Although largely rebuilt (some was lost/destroyed during the cultural revolution) the core was 1300 and included tax offices, a prison and the magistrates courts. It also included the government tower which gave great views over the city. Overall very interesting if a bit grim, prisoner human rights not being high on their agenda. I must read some more of the Judge Dee stories when I get home.

    Whilst wandering we talked to our guide about Pingyao, this area is known as two black, two white based on the chief products: black vinegar, black coal, white noodles, white wine. Coal is still the key fuel source, when we were wandering in alleys last night we could smell the coal.

    After this we headed onto the city walls which form a 6km circuit round the old town. Again a good opportunity to peer into courtyards. The views managed to encapsulate old and new Pingyao, old towers in the foreground and new construction in the background. After this short walk we descended to the Confucius Temple, which was our guide's High School until 2003! The central hall was there then but students were charged 3¥ to go in it! Now they have reinstated the temples and the surrounding buildings and the fences and some walls are Apparently in prayer ribbons bearing the name of students taking exams or thanking Confucius for their achievements... So it rather confirms the idea that however hard people try to suppress belief systems they just go underground until that passes (Putin's Russia?).

    Our guide also wanted to discuss schools and exams - this arose out of the government house visit and her temple high school. Apparently she had to get up at 6 to be ready to go to school at 6:30, a half hr bike ride. On arrival at 7am they read for half an hour, then ran for 30 mins. Then an hour for breakfast, lessons till 12:30, two hours for lunch then back for lessons till 5:30-6pm, tea and then a final session 7- 9pm. She said it was hell, I wouldn't argue! She also mentioned that really the cultural revolution wasn't much taught about in school which concentrated on history from 3000 bce to 1900 or so. On reflection it makes sense... I doubt our curriculum includes much from 1950 onwards....

    Our final stop was the first Chinese bank founded in 1823. They were dyers with 6 branches across the region until they decided that financial services were more lucrative. So instant bank with 6 branches! They were clever, inventing watermarks that could only be seen in light from a specific lamp and a coding system that used ordinary characters from a poster on the walll to hide details of transactions and dates so that if info was lost it was useless.

    After this Dad and I went for a drink (freshly squeezed apple juice) and arranged to meet Marina tomorrow for our ride back to the station. The rest of the day was ours to wander.
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  • Day5

    Evening in Pingyao

    November 8, 2017 in China ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    So after the abortive magnet hunt we sought the consolation of street food: A waffle type thing filled with green tea ice-cream and jam. Then an amble back to the hotel resisting taking yet more photographs, it is a breathtaking place and every corner offers another view or something of interest. Back to the hotel for Dad's power nap (which is when I do some of this - I have barely opened a book this holiday!). Refreshed we went in search of dinner, straight there no getting lost, a place recommended by Marina. Packed out, well organised we were handed an iPad which was both menu and ordering system. Dinner was accompanied by a large beer, the dust and smoke had caught in my throat. It is pretty horrendous when the breeze drops and once they light their coal stoves in the early evening it is quite chewy. Food was good and plentiful. Crispy noodle wrapped shrimps for Dad, pork balls in Sweet and sour sauce for me (but nothing like we get at home these were lovely unbattered spheres, scattered with sesame, we skipped rice in favour of fried eggplant. After dinner we walked the long way back to our hotel. On to Xi'an tomorrow.Read more

  • Day4

    View from a window .

    November 7, 2017 in China ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We've by on the train for about 2 hrs now. After the first 150 or so km the air quality improved dramatically and we could see across the plains of fields to tower blocks and distant towns. We had a long pause at one station and after that mountains appeared. For a few minutes we passed extensive quarrying works; entire mountains being chewed up. For the last 15 minutes we have been in a tunnel, at 200km/hr (the speed has dropped in here) that is a long tunnel. I suspect that the scenery we can see from the windows is the scrubby mountains we saw from the air. Some dramatic valleys and rivers appear occasionally but mostly it seems to be just hills/mountains and the odd sign of human lives.
    Meanwhile the overhead screen shows a variety of information.... All about how the trains and tracks are built. Some tourist type info. Some adverts. How to exercise in your seat. How jade ornaments are produced and of course some behavioural and political messages.
    Travelling more slowly now less than 200km /hr and arriving in a huge industrial city, factories, cooling towers, cement works (for all the stone from those quarried hills) and lots of identical new tower blocks and lower level apartment buildings.
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  • Day5

    Pingyao Wandering

    November 8, 2017 in China ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    So we wandered on to South Street aiming to look at tourist tat and debate lunch. All of a sudden we were mobbed a party of 30-something (rather than easily amused teen) Chinese people grabbed us and used us as their photo prop. Swapping people in and out as they clicked away. No idea what it was about, it made them laugh a lot though! Weird but funny.

    After that we needed lunch, the rejected but recommended restaurant from last night. Very good, shrimp and cashew nuts for dad, I had chicken in a sharp sauce with peanuts. We got a bonus dessert... Something fried... A sweet bean filled dumpling and one that might have been sweet potato....
    We had to share our table - with the cat. After some fuss he curled up on my jacket whilst we ate. As soon as our chopsticks went down though it was a game to keep him from being all over the remains of our dinner.
    Next we aimed to wander to the Temple of the Household Gods via tat. I had lots of fun haggling over a brass bust of Chairman Mao. The place is fascinating; the very centre is tourist oriented but outside that you get a sense of a normal life being lived. When doors are open you can peer into courtyards and glimpse real life; cabbages, electric scooters, and drying washing.
    The sun disappeared by early afternoon today it has been very still and so the air quality has dropped considerably. Visibility is significantly reduced and back here in the hotel now I can taste dust and smoke. Pingyao may be pretty but the surrounding area is full of industry and it is notoriously dry so the air quality is poor. All the cars have a film of dust on them and the Temple Gods are filthy.
    Post Mao we went to the Temple of Household Gods. This includes the land God, three gods of wealth, a kitchen God and a door God amongst others. All the gods looked like they hadn't been cleaned ever but it was a working temple incense in the burners, candles were lit and offerings of fruit were stacked in front of the gods. One of the gods seemed a little neglected - the God of project managers.... (See the photo), I need to hunt now for the God of Application Engineers....
    A brief sit in the grounds watching leaves being diligently swept off the grass (in China grass is not for walking on or picnicking on apparently - it is there to be looked at!) and then we were back on the wander... I want a tasteful fridge magnet. I found one but the vendor and I could not agree a price.... But I was confident that I would soon find more. Unfortunately though the evidence suggests he has a monopoly on the fridge magnet market... I may have to go back and renegotiate.
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  • Day5

    Morning in Pingyao

    November 8, 2017 in China ⋅ 🌬 20 °C

    As the hotel is quiet we locked our outer door and left the inner door ajar... So a bit coolerlast night - hurrah. It is another clear sunny day and the Chinese music sound track is playing around the hotel courtyards. Breakfast was very interesting - undiluted orange cordial (with extra sugar if you needed it) no water anywhere, otherwise black tea and hot milk or coffee. A mix of European and Chinese dishes, the European included a sweetish spam like substance. Even the white bread was sweetened. Salted roasted peanuts were good though. Looking forward to seeing inside more of these courtyards and buildings today along with a walk around the walls.Read more

  • Day6

    Last Morning in Pingyao

    November 9, 2017 in China ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    We are going off for last walk around the city walls before returning to the station. A less good night's sleep; too warm again and the bed is a bit firm, according to Marina one lot of guests each demanded 8 pillows - so they could line them up and sleep on them. Breakfast was slightly better today - we found the omelet man. A walk around the walls and reduced sleep - I will need to set an alarm so we don't sleep past Xi'an. A last look at the hotel too - the music is off again, I wonder if it drives the staff nuts - the equivalent of constant Chopin or something. I confess that the appeal is wearing thin for me.Read more

  • Day6

    Last Observations in Pingyao

    November 9, 2017 in China ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    "The police will do neat police, at neat pace, three in a row, in twos". Sign outside Pingyao police station... Part of a whole series of information about how the police will behave. There is a similar set for the fire station and also because the whole town is largely wood on brick bases there are reminders that "fire watch is on everyone's head" on lots of buildings and at junctions.

    We have walked stretches of the wall inside and out. Out by the south gate there is a large park where people do Tai Chi, fan dances (must be something different in China!) and other exercises. Today is looked like teenagers from school doing some sort of PE.

    Inside the walls large sections are still clay rather than brick, and cheerfully, at various points where there is nowhere to run but into people's houses, there are sections which tell you that it is dangerous & do not stop. And on the opposite side of the road there is often a large heap of clay, so the warnings are not scaremongering.
    The road just inside the wall is full of winding alleys, ambling dogs and of course people appearing out of nowhere on those sneaky electric scooters. So it is interesting in its own right. I popped into a small shop and bought unidentifiable snacks for the train. One might be fried chicken flavour pringles.. But who knows...

    Eventually we came to South Street, one of the four main roads (guess what the others are called) that cross the town. We turned down to head back towards our hotel and ran straight into a procession of some kind - wedding we think, although there was no obvious bride. Though after the dancing people and decorated carts there were a number of dark cars with red ribbons on them she could have been in one of those.

    FYI according to Marina the shops that front onto the main streets in the central pedestrian core cost around 100,000¥ per year. There must be a fortune to be made from souvenir hawking otherwise they couldn't command that price. South Street and the others sell principally lacquer boxes (often subject to import restrictions), carved chunks of glass (or nuts or something that appeared to be a dried potato... (When carved it produced a white bead too)), and what look like old ornaments: Buddhas, Maos, mahjong, old coins, and other random brass objects. Probably all brand new and carefully aged somewhere... I will think of these stalls every time I look at my little brass Mao.

    Finally a fridge magnet was purchased along with a "burnt cheese" tart for me and a baked apple for dad and we set off back to the hotel... And ran into the wedding party, where I glimpsed an elaborately decorated young woman in one of the cars.

    Back to the hotel to await our lift to the station. Whilst waiting we heard what sounded like fireworks?? . When Marina arrived we asked her about the procession - yes it was a wedding, there were a number in Pingyao today because it is a lucky day in the Chinese lunar calendar. This also accounted for the noise firecrackers to celebrate the wedding. Apparently the are no longer allowed in big cities but out here in Pingyao it is fine.
    Last car ride here; this was another hair-raising ride through new Pingyao. The new city is being expanded at the rate of knots and a big new attraction is being built - Water Town, not an aquatic theme park but a vinegar production tour. At the station we were guided to the security barrier - there is x-ray baggage scanning at all stations and carefully initial ticket/passport checks just to get in. You get checked again before boarding the train.
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  • Day5

    Pingyao bank

    June 4, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

    Pingyao was the financial/banking center of China. The first Chinese bank was founded here, and at it's peak, there were dozens of banks here. The first pic is the entrance to the very first bank, followed by models of bank clerks at work. The red fence surrounds a hole in the floor that provided access to the "vault" in the basement. 4th is the vest worn by armed guards were kung fu masters. 5th shows some of their weapons and some chain mail. Last is a picture of the carts and chests used to transfer bullion between banks. The use of these reduced with the Advent of bank draftsRead more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Gutao, Pingyao, Pingyao County, Xian de Pingyao, 平遥県, Пинъяо, 古陶

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