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Pingyao Ancient City

Pingyao Ancient City

Tour Code : C1754
Type : Historic sites
City / Province : Shanxi (Datong、Pingyao)
Built in : 782.A.D


Pingyao Ancient City is one of the best preserved ancient cities in the known world. It is still inhabited by 50,000 residents and is renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pingyao Ancient City

  Pingyao is a county in central Shanxi province, People's Republic of China. It lies about 715(444 mi) from Beijing and 80(50 mi) from the provincial capital, Taiyuan. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was a financial center of China. Its history dates back 2,700 years, and is one of the best preserved ancient cities in the known world. It is still inhabited by 50,000 residents and is renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  Historical importance
Pingyao still retains its city layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties, conforming to a typicalpattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. Preserved Ming- and Qing-style residences number close to 4,000. The streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearanceIn the Spring and Autumn Period, the county belonged to the kingdom of Jin. It was part of the kingdom of Zhao in the Warring States Period. During the Han Dynasty, it was known as Zhongdu county. In 1986, the People's Republic of China designated Pingyao as one of the Chinese Historic and Cultural Cities. It became a World Heritage Site in 1997, including the outlying Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple.
  City walls
The city walls of Pingyao were constructed in the 3rd year of the Hongwu Emperor (1370). The walls have sixgates. The north and south sides have one gate each. The east and west sides have two gates each. This pattern is similar to that of a turtle (the head, tail and four legs), earning Pingyao the moniker "Turtle City." The walls measure about 12 meters high, with a perimeter of 6,000 meters. A 4-meter wide, 4-meter deep moat can be found just outside the walls. Aside from the four structured towers at the four corners, there are also 72 watchtowers and more than 3,000 battlements. In 2004, part of the southern wallswere reconstructed. However, the rest of the city walls are still largely intact and are considered among the best-preserved ancient city walls on this scale. This makes the city walls the centerpiece of the Heritage Site.


Pingyao was the financial center of China in the late Qing Dynasty. During those times, there were as many as 20 financial institutions within the city, comprising more than half ofin the whole country. Among these is "Rishengchang," considered the first bank in China.controlled almost 50% silver trade when its scale reached the top in the whole Qing Dynasty. It continued to maintain its prosperity until going bankrupt in 1914 because lots of the modern banks were built up. The 2009 film Empire of Silver depicted the tribulations of a Shanxi bank-owning family that lived in Pingyao during the early 20th century.

Travel Map

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Pingyao Ancient City, UNESCO-listed town is famed for its Ming and Qing era architecture and quaint streets. Experience China's best-preserved Ming-era cities on this private two days tour. Besides, explore the history and lifestyle at Qiao Family Compound and learn Buddhism culture at Shuanglin Temple.   

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1 Day Pingyao Ancient City In-depth Tour


Pingyao is the only well-preserved city during Ming and Qing Dynasty in China with a particular characteristic of imposing buildings associated with banking. It was the major banking center for the whole of China in the 19th and early 20th centuries and on this full day tour, you'll experience the Old City Wall, Rishengchang Bank Museum, Old City Government, Money Escorting Bureau, Ming and Qing Shopping Street in the famous ancient town.

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Hukou Waterfall Tour from Pingyao Ancient City


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4 Days Taiyuan Pingyao Tour


Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, is the very convenient place for transferring as well as exploring the local highlights from coal, old vinegar, museum and historical sites like Twin Pagoda Temple and Jin Memorial Temple. Travel from Taiyuan to Pingyao Ancient City with convenient transfer, explore splendid Chinese history and culture along the way.

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