Built between 827-782 BC, the ancient City Walls of Pingyao are over 2,700 years old. Shaped like a tortoise, the Chinese symbol of longevity, the wall comprises 72 watchtowers, a moat, and 3,000 firing-holes. The wall measures 2.5 miles (4 kilometers), and makes for a pleasant stroll.
The Rishengchang Exchange House is an excellent destination where one can learn about the fascinating banking history of Pingyao. Pingyao was the financial center of all of Mainland China during the latter part of the Qing Dynasty and featured the first bank in the entire nation – Rishenchang – which controlled half of the silver trade in the nation. At its height, the bank had over 400 branches, and it only went out of business in 1914.
The Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple are located on the outlying parts of the city. Both are Buddhist temples, and the Zhenguo is noted for its flying eaves and early 10th century sculptures, while the Shuanglin houses more than 2,000 decorated clay statues that date from the 12th to the 19th centuries.
Wang Family Courtyard is only 35 km in the southwest of Ancient City of Pingyao, 4 km away from Mianshan Mountain, and 150 km from Taiyuan. It is a large ancient building complex which occupies a total area of 250,000 square meters. Wang Family Courtyard was the private residence of Wang Lan and is four times larger than Qiao Family Courtyard, with 123 courtyards and 1118 houses in an antique flavor. It has been said that it is the first folk house in China, the Forbidden City in Shanxi Province and the imperial palace in folk residence.
China Pingyao International Photography Festival (September): It's not only an event for photographers of all skill levels, from the novice to the seasoned photographer, but is also a rare event for those simply interested in photography. This includes both curiosity-driven local residents and tourists from far and wide, both within and outside of China.
Shehuo Festival (December to January): This is a traditional performance art existent widely among the folks of the Central Jin has become a folk entertainment activity full of good wishes such as happy events, luck and blessing. Its main activity items include appreciating festive lanterns of ancient Pingyao city, hanging auspicious bells on marvelous Mianshan Mountain and holding Shehuo in the Wangs’ grand courtyard house.