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Old Charm Pingyao with Jing's Residence Courtyard
   
Tour Code: STS-CN-011 Price per person from: From RMB 3,380
Departure Date: Daily Departure Click for Price Details
   
 
Summary:

Surrounded by one of the best examples of a traditional city wall anywhere in China, Pingyao is home to a treasure trove of late Imperial Northern Chinese architecture, a monument to the great and powerful financial families that once reign supreme here. This perfect weekend getaway from Beijing offers a unique train travel experience with Chinese flavor and the pleasures of a luxury picturesque stay in Jing's Residence, an elegant courtyard dwelling all of your own that provides visitors with the opportunity to truly experience the charm of Pingyao.

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Tour Dates Destinations Today's Activities Meals Include

Old Charm Pingyao with Jing's Residence Courtyard
3 days/2 nights
Daily Departure

 

Train schedule
Date Train/Flight Number Departure/Arrival Cities Departure/ Arrival Time

Day 01 Train 1163    Beijing West--Pingyao    1903 / 0731 (Day02)

Day 03 Train T70              Taiyuan--Beijing West     1238 / 1600

 

 Tour Itinerary

Day01: Beijing – Taiyuan – Pingyao

Train 1163 Beijing West-Pingyao 19:03-07:33

Pick up at Pingyao train station. And then transfer to Pingyao.

Pingyao's old city wall built in 1370 and considered one of the best examples of its kind) and the Rishengchang piaohao is the oldest bank in China. These fascinating and beautifully preserved courtyard establishments were home to China's first money merchants that flourished during late Imperial times. For a chance to learn more about the history of Chinese bureaucracy and the roots of the Chinese legal system in the Qing dynasty see a reenactment of an ancient court trial.

You can explore the cobblestone streets, courtyards and residences, and museums on your own. Courtyard restaurants and western cafes provide plenty of options for dinner or afternoon tea.

Free at leisure.

-Overnight in Pingyao. Jing's Residence Courtyard

 

Nestled amongst dusty curio shops and traditional noodle restaurants in the old world walled city of Pingyao is the Jing's Residence, The design of this small boutique hotel echoes harmoniously with its surroundings, which has been established in the former siheyuan (courtyard home) of a wealthy Qing Dynasty silk merchant.

 

Day 2 : Pingyao ( B )

-Breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast, start the day excursion, we will visit the Wang's Great Courtyard, the Zhangbi Old Castle.

 

Wang's Great Courtyard - Nicknamed Forbidden City in Shanxi. It is fortress like courtyard complex, which is worth more than half day walking within. The Wang Family Residence is located in the northernmost part of Jingsheng Village in Lingshi County, Shanxi Province. It is 150 kilometers south of Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi, and 12 kilometers from the county seat. Facing south and occupying a higher ground, the compound overlooks a vast horizon.

 

Zhangbi Old Castle: Another highlight today! It's an ancient multi-functional castle serving social, military and religious purposes; Zhangbi is like a miniature town. It is most famous for its five great god's temples, underground tunnels, Buddhist style buildings and mural paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties (around 300- 500 years ago).

The girth of the castle is 1300 meters; it is 300 meters that from the south to the north; it is 400 meters from the east to the west. There are barracks, training ground, storage room, folk house, tunnel, 9 temples and 9 deep wells in the old castle. And all buildings are very orderly. This old castle is still intact so far!

-Overnight in Pingyao. Jing's Residence Courtyard

 

Day03: Pingyao- Taiyuan-Beijing (B) 

Train T70 Taiyuan-Beijing 12:38-16:00 

-Breakfast at the hotel.

-Then transfer to Jin Ci Museum (Jin Memorial temple). Jin Memorial Temple was built in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) in memory of Shuyu, the second son of Zhouwu kingdom. The Temple is in a compound with halls, pavilions, and towers. They along with mountains and streams double back, historical relics, the trees reaching high up to sky set each other off beautifully and form a scenic picture of ancient buildings and gardens.

-First you will visit a local village with a western Catholic church inside where you could experience the local’s daily life. Catholicism was first introduced to China around 1620 BC by Italian missionary. The first Catholic Church was built in 1624 by a Belgium Missionary in Taiyuan.

-Next we will have sightseeing at Qiao Family Courtyard. Courtyard of Family Qiao, formerly named "Zaizhongtang", located in Qiao Jiabao Village of Qi County, is the mansion of Qiaozhiyong, the famous business and financial capitalist in the Qing dynasty. Building was begun in the Qianlong years of the Qing Dynasty (mid 18th century), however, the magnificent architectural complex was only finally finished in the early 20th century by two restorations and one expansion

-Transfer to Taiyuan train station and back to Beijing

-End of service

 

 

 

 

Package Cost:

Hotel name: Pingyao Jing's Residence Courtyard

Room type: Deluxe Room

Adult: RMB 3,380 per person

 

Children's discount:
Yes, child's discount is available. All trips have different payment deadlines depending on the destination and dates of travel. We will contact you by email in the weeks before the trip to let you know the deadline.
Late booking will probably result in higher fees.

  Price Inclusions and Exclusions

Including feature:
* One way train ticket for hard sleeper, one way for hard seat
* Train station transfer in Pingyao
* 1 night hotel accommodation in Pingyao, based on twin sharing
* Transportation for sightseeing
* Meals mentioned for sightseeing
* Admission fee(Pingyao Ancient Town,Wang's Great Courtyard, Zhangbi Old Castle, Jin Ci Museum, and Qiao Family Courtyard)
* English speaking tour guide on Day02&03
* All government tax and service charge

 

Exclusions:

*Alcoholic drinks & drinks at mealtime + Optional visits + Personal expenses (e.g.Telephone, laundry)

* Personal travel insurance

* Personal expenses

* Tips for guide, driver, boat crew & hotels' porters

* Meals other than those mentioned above

 

Pingyao

Get around

The Old City is small enough that you can do most locations by foot. But if you need to cross town between attractions, or are simply lazy, you can hire golf carts that wander the streets. Pay around ¥5 for a ride if a single person, around ¥15 for four people. It is also possible to rent bikes for ¥10 per day. pingyao tour

See

The main attraction in Pingyao is the Pingyao Ancient City, the best preserved Ming Dynasty walled city in China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The majestic six-kilometer long wall, which includes six major gates and 72 watchtowers, encircles an old city which has little changed architecturally over the past 300 years. Some 40,000 people still reside within the city's 600-year-old walls, many living life much the way it has been lived here for centuries. Pingyao Ancient City consists almost entirely of shops, residences, temples and other structures which date primarily from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. This traditional ambiance is further maintained due to fact that nearly no new buildings have been built within the historic city walls and because cars are generally not permitted in the old city. Entry to the walled city is free, but admission to any of the 30 attractions inside the city requires a common ticket which costs ¥120. This ticket is good for two days, but the second day needs to be validated in the first afternoon. This can be done at the booth near Yamen Gate. A new city of Pingyao has been built just beyond the walls of the Ancient City of Pingyao, and many of the residents and government offices have been moved there.

*  City Walls. Pingyao was originally established some 2700 years ago, during the reign of King Xuan (827-782 BC) of the Western Zhou Dynasty. The original walls were made of tamped dirt and were located to the northeast of the present location. The current wall--faced with bricks and stone--was started in 1370, making it over 600 years old. It is often said that the city wall is shaped like a tortoise--a traditional Chiense symbol of longevity--with the south gate and north gate representing the head and tail respectively. The east and west walls each have two additional gates, representing the tortoise's feet. A series of 72 watchtowers is distributed around the wall, and a now-dry moat encircles the entire city. At 10-12 meters high and 3-6 meters wide, this is a very major wall indeed, much larger than those normally seen around walled cities in China or Europe. One can still walk the 6 km long road atop the ramparts, with the outward-facing parapets punctuated by 3000 crenulations, or opeings for shooting.  

*  Rishengchang Exchange House. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Shanxi merchants developed extensive trade routes throughout China and overseas, with Pingyao at the centre of this trade. In those days, traders paid for their goods with silver coins, and in those dangerous times it was unsafe for a merchant to carry large sums in silver from one city to another. In 1823 the first piaohao (alteratively translated as "exchange house", "draft bank," or "remittance shop") was opened, and these piaohao provided remittance services, accepted deposits, and made loans. Named Rishengchang, or "Sunrise Prosperity," this first exchange house established branches in different cities in China and abroad and used bank drafts to move money from one city to another. Subsequently, Pingyao became the center of the nation's banking industry, with over 50% of the country's piaohao headquartered within Pingyao's ancient walls. This original head office of the Rishengchang Exchange Shop--consisting of a series of rooms built around several courtyards--was restored and converted to a museum in 1995. Rishengchang Exchange House had a total of 43 branches located in key Chinese cities as well as in Japan, Singapore, and Russia. Altogether some 22 piaohao were headquartered in Pingyao, and they oversaw a network of 404 branches. Rishengchang survied for 108 years before collapsing in 1932. A number of other piaohao based in Pingyao have been restored and opened to tourists.  

*  County Government Office ''(Yamen)''. Pingyao has been a county seat ever since the establishemnt of the prefecture-county system in the Qin dynasty, and the city has a well preserved yamen, or county government office, a complex which houses the home and office of the magistrate sent to act as mayor, judge, and senior official. This yamen consists of an archway, ceremonial gate, various offices, a prison, a court, meeting rooms, a residential area, and a garden. This yamen compound was built in 1346, during the Yuan Dynasty, but only one building remains from the Yuan period, the rest having been built during the Ming Dynasty. There are altogether over 300 rooms in the complex.  

*  Temple of the City God. While the yamen ruled the "yang" of the human world, the Temple of the City God ("Chenghuang Miao") ruled the "yin" of the spiritual world. These two sites were situated so as to balance each other, with both on the same street and placed equidistant from Qing-Ming Street (South Street), with the yamen to the west and the Temple of the City God to the East. Visitors enter the temple, which consists of seveal courtyards and halls, through a magnificent three-gate wood archway. The main hall of the Temple is still very much in its original state and is clearly still in regular use. Elsewhere in the Temple visitors will also see a re-creation of heaven and hell, with every manner of torture shown in hell, from being cut to bits and being boiled to death, with happy families painted on the walls of heaven above. Unlike most City God temples, this one honors not just the City God but also the God of Wealth and the Kitchen God. The Temple of the City God was originally built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1227) and has undergone two major renovations due to fire in 1544 and 1859.  

*  Ming-Qing Street. This street, named for the Ming and Qing Dynasties, has been the main comercial avenue in Pingao for centuries. Hundreds of shops line this busy street, most of them built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Also called Nanda Jie, or South Street, Ming-Qing Sreet houses many courtyard houses--one-story compounds with rooms built around a series of courtyards--and a number of the main tourist sites. Today, many traditional-style shops line the street and sell food, snacks, specialities, paintings, furniture, calligraphy, and souvenirs. Also on this street is the City Tower; at 18.5 meters it is the tallest structure in the city.  

*  Former Residence of Lei Lutai.  

Do

*  Lantern Festival. See the town decked out in red lanterns.  

Buy

Most of the Ancient City, at least the areas near the major attractions and the West Gate, are lined with shops that cater toward tourists. Standard Chinese bric-a-brac is for sale, at relatively high prices. This includes antiques although an alert shopper should beware of the preponderance of forgeries. Bargain hard and keep an eye out for stalls that sell handmade crafts right in the places where they make them. The city makes excellent cloth shoes, which you will see the locals wear as they march up and down the dusty streets.

Pingyao also has a large lacquerware manufacturing industry.

Money

ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)has a branch just outside the West Gate--they have an ATM that accepts foreign cards. When you go through the gate, it's to the right and across the street. (checked Dec 2009)

There's an ATM of the Agricultural Bank of China a few meters out of the south-western gate of the Ancient City. Foreign Maestro cards accepted (checked on August 2006).

Eat

Pingyao's speciality is Pingyao Beef. It has an acquired, strong taste. Be careful in some of the more touristy restaurants: outrageous bills of ¥100 or more are not uncommon for a meal that appeared to be quite cheap. Be sure to ask about the price of any chef's specialties, and take a look at the bill as you are ordering your food.

Food within the city walls mostly cater to tourists and are overpriced and underwhelming. Going outside of the city walls usually results in better value, better quality food. Outside the West Gate are many hot pot and noodle restaurants.

Drink

Chinese beer, what else? There aren't too many clubs or bars, but you can sip a brew until midnight at many guesthouse restaurants. A place of particular interest to Westerners is Sakura, situated in the centre of the East/West street. Western food, music and drinks are available at a reasonable price.