Picturesque Pingyao - 19th June 2008 @ 11:30 am «   »

Location: China, Shanxi Province : Picturesque Pingyao

After spending the night in Ji’nan, we took the 11:00 train and arrived in Shijiazhuang late afternoon. We checked into a little hotel and had an early night in anticipation of our daytrip to Zhending.

When we woke up the next morning, it was raining heavily and continued to do so until the afternoon. This curbed our plans of visiting Zhending (an ancient city) and we just spent the day in Shijiazhuang.

Early the next morning we took a train to Taiyuan. We were very lucky to get soft sleepers (in our own compartment) for this 5 hour journey, but only got hard seats on the next leg to Pingyao. Hard seats generally mean cattle class with literally dozens of people standing in the corridor. This was quite a challenge as we got on the train when it was already full and with our big suitcases it was very hard making our way through the masses to our seats (with hundreds of eyes staring at us again).

On arrival in Pingyao we forgot all our sorrows as we went through the main city gate. Pingyao is a beautiful little village with only red lanterns to light the streets. We checked into the Yamen Hostel and we absolutely loved it. It is built in an old residence with 3 beautiful courtyards. They even had a nice restaurant where we had a lovely meal.

The next morning we walked around town to discover many hidden alleys where women were washing clothes or cooking food. It was a real experience and definately a must-see town. We ended the day with a typical Pingyao meal – braised local beef, fried dumplings, some potato dish made with sugar and home made noodles with lots of chillies.

We tried to update the website last night, but the internet at the hostel was not working and it is very hard to find internet cafes in small villages.

We were very sad to leave the picturesque town when we got on a local bus back to Taiyuan this morning. A 1.5 hour journey turned out to be closer to 3 hours and we had to make our way to another bus station for our next destination. In Taiyuan we got on a bus to Wutai Shan – one of the 4 sacred Buddhist mountains in China. Again, what was supposed to be 4 hours on the bus, turned out to be more than 6 hours – the toughest bus journey of our trip so far. About 100km of the way was under construction, so the surfaces of the roads were just mud and huge holes everywhere. To add insult to injury, everyone was chain-smoking on the bus!

Well, we finally made it to the holy mountain and have just checked in to a hotel (cannot pronounce or spell the name). We’re planning on doing a hike up the mountian tomorrow, but at this stage we haven’t been able to find any information. Hopefully we’ll have better luck in the morning.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

One Response to “Picturesque Pingyao”  
Mamma van PE Says:

Ek het h/d skyfies baie geniet,veral om van die mense te sien,enook waar hulle bly. Die plekkie lyk regtig so pragtig as wat julle se! Ek sal glad nie eers probeer om die name te onthou nie.
Ek dink ek het genoem van Estelle en Ian se klein Annabel. Nikki verwag ook in die vlg mnde.
Klein Nikolai het waterpokkies,en alhoewel hy hopelik gesond gaan wees as hulle DV oor 2 weke Kanada toe gaan, val Luca dalk ook in. Kom ons hoop maar nie so nie. Anree bly ook maar siek,eintlik te aanmekaar na my sin. Brad het ook gehoes toe ek daar was.
Bly gesond ,gelukkig en afhanklik. Mamma