Pingyao – Old Walled City

Pingyao WallsWe went to a small city in China named Pingyao. The main reason we went to Pingyao was because it has an intact city wall and has kept its ancient buildings and streets. The city inside the walls is called the ‘old’ city. Everything outside the walls is called the ‘new’ city, and is not very old. It might not seem exciting but it was.

Pingyao NavigatingWhen we got there we had trouble finding our hotel, because the old streets were hard to navigate and did not have street signs. We found it in the end, thankfully. On the third day, we got a two day pass to all the ‘old’ city museums and the wall. The first thing we did was go to the wall.

Pingyao Wall TowersWhen we got to the top of the wall (it did not take long for the wall is not very tall) we looked out and saw all of the ‘old’ city and part of the ‘new’ city outside the walls. On every side of the city wall there was a entrance, or gate. All of the gates had a way of trapping people entering the city so that they could be easily captured or defeated. The reason for this was simply because they wanted no bad people coming inside the city.

Pingyao DefencesOn the wall there were archer slots, holes for pouring hot oil and other defences. There were square gaps in the wall so guards could look out. There were no comforts for anyone on the walls aside from a little building every now and then for them to take a break or catch some sleep. When we went there the walls were full of tourists and in very good condition. We tried to walk around the whole wall but there was a little section that was under repair, so we walked around most of it but not all of it.

On the wall where guards used to sleep, there were little show cases. The showcases showed scenes of people in the olden days when they were working, playing around or sadly getting killed. Jacob and I would rush to every little showcase to see if there was a scene in it. Because of the heat on the top of the wall, they were one of the few things keeping us from complaining too much.

Pingyao Centre TowerOff the wall inside the ‘old’ city there were tons and tons of little shops selling colourful trinkets, traditional snacks, or souvenirs. These shops were some of my favourite shops because each one (if you looked closely enough) had it’s own little section of history. Each trinket shops was super colourful and different from all the rest. The little snack vendors were selling wonderful little snacks that tasted very good and I have yet to find these type of snacks again. Last but not least the shop owners were really friendly. Pingyao Glass ArtistOne of my favourite things were the glass figure makers. These people amazed me. They had a torch, pliable glass and a outline shape of what they were making. Some made things so detailed, I could not even draw something close to it if I tried.

We also visited a lot of museums. After the wall we went to two museums. A newspaper one and a bank one. At the newspaper museum there were a lot of old newspapers. Most in Chinese, but some in other languages. We could only understand the ones in english. In all the museums there were court yards. The courtyards were very pretty and fully of cool plants.

Pingyao Courtyard

After we finished at the newspaper place we went to the bank museum. There they showed the different rooms of a working bank, how the system worked, and almost everything else that bank had, including courtyards. That was the end of that day.

The next day we went to a few more museums. The one that stood out the most for me was the temple. In the temple it was mostly courtyards, beautiful courtyards. The thing that made the temple stand out the most for me were these two big figures at the entrance to the temple they were colourful, creative and unique. The other things in the temple complex were things to represent their religion and their culture. The other museums that we went to were the postal, ancient house and marshal arts museums.

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