Next stop on this already brilliant Tour was Pingyao. This stop was definitely one of my favorites. This was the more traditional side of China i was looking forward too. It also wasn’t as hectic as Beijing.
We had an early bullet train to catch. I was really impressed with the trains. The seats had great leg room and were quite comfortable. The seats could recline and there were plug sockets if you needed to charge anything. Also very clean. The journey took about 5 hours. We carried just hand luggage for this overnight stay as our main suitcases were taken to Xian which was our next stop after Pingyao.
Our first stop on the way to the hotel was Shuanglin Temple. This temple housed a fair collection of priceless treasures including painted sculptures and the Chinese Scholar Tree.
Our guesthouse was located in old Pingyao. Once our coach reached the city wall we transferred onto some electric buggys as no cars were allowed inside. After a few minutes on the buggy our guest house was a minute or two walk into the market streets of Pingyao. Our Guest house Xing Long Yi was lovely, it was family run and very clean. The rooms were very unique and felt boutique style. Very difficult to explain without giving to much away but it was very good fun and an enjoyable stay. We had lots of free time so myself and Jon explored the local shops and market stalls nearby. It was great for bartering for a bargain and we felt very safe walking around and browsing, even at night. Nobody really touting us to come in and buy something.
We were advised previously not to try any of the local delicacies from the stalls as our tummies probably couldn’t handle it. We stretched to an ice cream.
The meal served in the hotel was brilliant. An improvement on Beijing. Lot’s of taste’s and varieties.
The next morning we had a half day tour of old Pingyao. We explored the city wall including it’s history, The Rishengchang Exchange Shop and the Ancient Government Office. The exchange shop was one of the earliest exchange shops in China. The Ancient Government office was rather interesting learning about the bureaucratic culture of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Another great meal was served in a guesthouse across the road from our guesthouse.
Later in the afternoon we were taken back to Pingyao Train Station to catch our Bullet Train to Xian.
Tune in next time for Xian, home to the Terracotta Warriors.