Most of our stay it was raining in Pingyao. The streets and buildings were mostly grey still not without charm. As most sites however it looks even more charming in sunshine. Pingyao Old City was constructed in XIV century and was a financial center for the whole of China. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is plenty of museums to see, all located within traditional Chinese houses, dwellings and temples. Wanfo Shrine, the main shrine of Zhenguo Temple, dating back to the Five Dynasties, is one of China’s earliest and most precious timber structure buildings in existence.
The train ride from Datong to Pingyao took us 6h from 9:30am to 15:30pm. We got there on time. The carriage was not as clean and fresh as the previous one, someone used our linen, but it was decent. Curious thing in the toilet – a pocket for mobile mounted to the door.
We took a taxi from the train station, but it couldn’t enter the ancient city (tuk tuks caan and the resdients/business owners – although some part is off limits to them as well). The driver called the owner of the place where we were going to stay and he picked us up from the gates.
This was one of the traditional dwellings and we booked a courtyard room (Pingyao Free heart Hotel I can recommend the place and the owner was really nice and helpful).
Very exciting! The main entrance opened to restaurant and then through small wooden door we were lead to the courtyard and our room. The chamber was small and most of the space was taken by a bed. We had huge window overlooking the courtyard, two chairs and small table. All you can need really.
as usual we left our luggage and set of to find something to eat. We had our meal just down the street in one of the restaurants. Nothing tasty. Bony chicken, pork belly with more lard than meat, chicken noodle turn out to be a soup… the usual…
I know it looks not too bad, but believe me it wasn’t tasty. The red bits are chillies. hard as a rock.
We decided to return to our accommodation to rest, have some coffee and as it turned out also local wine fenjiu. It smelled like perfume, was semi sweet and quite strong. Ideal to warm us up. It was nice to just sit there catch up with the trip journal but cold. Quite cold in deed.
Fen Jiu has been acclaimed as the forefather of Chinese spirits. ‘Pure’ and ‘clean’ are the guiding principles behind brewing Fen jiu, it is described as delicate, dry, and light, with a delectable mellow and clean mouthfeel. Connoisseurs of the beverage focus especially on its fragrance.
Sure enough later we went to look for some more of the drink… bigger quantity, lower price…