If you want to see what life was like in China hundreds of years ago, one of your best options is Pingyao (平遥), in Shanxi province. The village is surrounded by an ancient wall, now located in the center of the modern city of Pingyao. Cars are not allowed in large portions of the ancient village, so you can roam freely, without worrying about getting run over. And while the main street is quite touristy, you only have to walk a few blocks to see life as it was before modern times.
Pingyao is an especially great place to visit if you need to relax for a day or two, as part of a larger journey around China. The village is conveniently located near the high-speed rail line that connects Beijing with Xi'An. What do you think of Pingyao? Would you recommend a visit to any other ancient towns in China? Let me know in the comment section below.
Here are some of my photos from this lovely ancient village:
The old city wall is still intact.
Much of the wall is comprised of dirt.
Some of the streets are not touristy at all.
Electric scooters are super popular nowadays in China.
Every morning, the coal truck delivers to the local people.
They still use coal for heating and cooking.
Here's one of the wall's towers.
The main street has a lot of Chinese character.
More of the main street.
Many walls have fancy decorations.
There is one old church in Pingyao. It was closed.
Here is one of the ancient courtyard houses.
Whatcha lookin' at, sonny?
The main street of Pingyao can get quite crowded. Luckily, cars aren't allowed.
Here's the main gate in town.
One of many traditional clothing shops in town.
A rainy night in Pingyao.
A few people still made it out in the cold rain.
Thousand-year egg is a specialty in China.
Click for more photos from Pingyao