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Pingyao Ancient Town

 Pingyao Attractions

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Introduction to Pingyao Ancient Town (平遥古城)

For nearly a century, the city thrived as a prominent banking centre, with financial influence in China and across Asia, extending from Russia to Japan. This new-found wealth enjoyed by the citizens of Pingyao was reflected in the construction of magnificent buildings. High-quality structures by master craftsmen included courtyards and compounds, which now serve as a testament to the city’s Golden Age. 30,000 people still live in Pingyao Ancient City today and has been continuously occupied for more than 2,700 years, and today provides an astonishing picture of life in Imperial China. 

The whole ancient architecture was designed scientifically. South Street was taken as the middle axes, and on both sides of street, visitors can see City God Temple, Confucius Temple and Qingxu Taoist Temple on the left section of ancient town, as well as county-level government office headquarters, Martial Arts Temple and Jifu Temple on the right section. About the inside of the ancient town, there is a saying going like this: Four Large Streets, Eight Small Streets and Seventy Two Sinuous Lanes. The inside roads go across one another and the different size streets are easily distinguishable. 

Along the streets, both sides are two-story shop buildings or pavilions with the well-refined names or brands, and the rear sections of these buildings are the quadrilateral houses or named Siheyuan, often seen in Beijing Hutong, used for living. Currently, these buildings are gradually opened again to meet the needs of building Business Street of Ming and Qing Dynasties. Travelling to Pingyao, you can tour the ancient city and experience the ancient culture. 

The feature of Pingyao Ancient City is shown by the ancient architecture and ancient folk residences. Most of the local's residences belong to quadrilateral-style residences. Along the middle axes, these residential buildings are comprised of several yards or gardens. Middle part is most the low wall or some inside doors. Generally, the local residences form the basic structure of Chinese Characters like"Ao" and "Tu"(concave and convex). The main buildings are generally made of the bricks with the style of arch. The front side is made of wood with a lot of the traditional wood-carvings or brick carvings. There are more than 400 old quadrilateral residential buildings in Pingyao Ancient City. 

Pingyao has a mass of ancient relics and old buildings. Three of them belongs to the important sites under national protection, which are City Wall, Shuanglin Temple and Zhenguo Temple; Six of them under the provincial-level protection, which are Grand Achievement Hall of Confucius Temple, Cixiang Temple, City Tower, Qingxu Taoist Temple, Old Site of Rishengchang Piaohao Private Bank and Jinzhuang Confucius Temple.  

Shanhaiguan Great Wall


Pingyao County, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province.
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Travel Information

Admission Fee: RMB 130 for Pingyao Ancient Town pass
Opening Hours: Apr-Oct: 08:00-18:30; Nov-Mar in the next year: 08:30-18:00
Best Time to Visit: Autumn

Shanhaiguan Great Wall


  • By Bus: Take bus from Taiyuan Jiannan Bus Station to Pingyao. Time cost: 2 hours. Fare: RMB 26.
  • By Train: Take train from Taiyuan Train Station to Pingyao Train Station. Time: one and half an hour. Fare: RMB 7.5-16.5.

(Pingyao Train Station is only 500 meters or so to the west gate of the ancient town. It is    recommended to go there by foot when out of the train station.)

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Travel Tips 

  • Better not visiting during Chinese holidays, for it will be extremly crowded then.
  • Ticket for the whole ancient town pass is effective for 3 days, and every scenic spots can only be visited once.
  • Without entrance ticket, there are still some scenic spots for free, like Erlang Temple, Wu Temple, Jixiang Temple.
  • You can visit the town by foot or by bike. Bike rental fare: RMB10 for hald day.

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