Pingyao: China’s best preserved wall-city

When my friend was in Pingyao, a small ancient city in central shanxi province, he met three professional photographers from the West who came purposely to the city for taking photos. Two of them, father and son, are from Germany. They planned to publish a photo album about Pingyao upon return to Germany.

Pingyao is a beautiful town preserving the architectural aesthetics of Chinese traditional buildings. It is distinguished from other places in China in that it has well preserved its architecture and urban landscape of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties, earning it a place on the UNESCO world heritage list. Because it is relatively unknown, the city is not swamped with tourists yet and the local government has done a good job in preserving the 2,700-year old city – it is the best preserved wall-city in China.

My friend likes the city very much. For one thing, the people there are very friendly and “they smile a lot”, my friend said. In the morning, the locals will pour out on the street to dance a local dance. It was very funny and interesting, he said.

And, there is one more reason to keep him in such a small town for two weeks – most tourists make a day trip to Pingyao from Beijing, or stop by it on the way to Xi’an, a much more famous wall-city known for its heritage of terracotta soldiers. I will write in the following post why.

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