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Pingyao

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At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.

Visit pingyao

A truly ancient city that dates back almost 2,700 years, Pingyao is arguably one of the best-preserved ancient walled towns in the world - for which it won a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao served as the finance capital of China, home to a series of banking conglomerates who controlled the silver trade, on which the national currency was based.

While other ‘ancient’ cities in China will rustle together an unconvincing display of old city walls, sporadic temples or the occasional ragged alley thrust beneath an unsightly melange of white-tile architecture and greying apartment blocks, Píngyáo has managed to keep its beguiling narrative largely intact: red-lantern–hung lanes set against night-time silhouettes of imposing town walls, elegant courtyard architecture, ancient towers poking into the north China sky, and an entire brood of creaking temples and old buildings.

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Things to See and Do in Pingyao

Pingyao-Ancient-City-Walls

Pingyao Ancient City Walls

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.

Rishengchang-Exchange-House

Rishengchang Exchange House

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.

Zhengou-and-Shuanglin-Temple

Zhenguo and Shuanglin Temple

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

Wang Family Courtyard

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.


Best Time to Visit Pingyao

The best time to visit Pingyao is in autumn and winter months, especially September, October, and November. And another recommended time is during the Chinese New Year which may fall in January or February.

Max Temperature(ºC)
Jan
-6
Feb
-2
Mar
3
Apr
11
May
17
Jun
21
Jul
23
Aug
21
Sep
16
Oct
10
Nov
2
Dec
-4
Rainfall (mm)
Jan
2
Feb
6
Mar
10
Apr
23
May
35
Jun
54
Jul
120
Aug
94
Sep
64
Oct
29
Nov
12
Dec
3
Month
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

JAN
-6ºC
2mm

FEB
-2ºC
6mm

MAR
3ºC
10mm

APR
11ºC
23mm

MAY
17ºC
35mm

JUN
21ºC
54mm

JUL
23ºC
120mm

AUG
21ºC
94mm

SEP
16ºC
64mm

OCT
10ºC
29mm

NOV
2ºC
12mm

DEC
-4ºC
3mm

Festivals, Events and Seasonal Reasons to Visit

  • 01

    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.

  • 02

    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.


Suggested Itineraries

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel to Pingyao and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Pingyao on a bespoke touring itinerary to China, do not hesitate to contact us.
Highlights of China

Beijing - Datong - Pingyao - Xian - Guilin - Yangshuo - Hangzhou - Huangshan - Suzhou - Shanghai