Houses of Pingyao

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Houses of Pingyao

Visiting the houses of Pingyao. As we’d already said in our article on the friendships we’d had in China, Pingyao is the ideal place to find yourself and meet new people. At the same time, we obviously visited a lot of the traditional houses of Pingyao that are included in the 3 day ticket, as well as many others that were interesting to see, even though they didn’t have their own history and background.

House of Pingyao

Enjoying the street market and the food during our visit to the Houses of Pingyao

Our guesthouse was one of many on the South Street that combined the chance to stay in a centuries-old house with modern comforts and, in many cases, restaurants that serve traditional Chinese food.

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FamilyTravel Secret
Pingyao Ancient City is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in China, and has a wide variety of historical buildings that you can visit.

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Since we saw so many buildings, and don’t want to bore you with all the little details, we will tell you that the houses are generally larger than they first appear to be and have an endless number of rooms, hallways, patios and various intriguing historical features. We’ll therefore talk about the most breathtaking houses in detail, and only mention the rest that we saw in passing.

The China Armed Escort Company Museum was one of the buildings we liked the most. Noah particularly liked being able to have a go at shooting a bow and arrow with Fábio. They ended up being pretty good at it in the end 🙂

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Its rear courtyard contained a sort of gym of the time. It had weights and everything!

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The China Rare Newspaper Museum housed a wide variety of newspapers from different periods and many things on Mao Zedong and his Red Book.

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The Xie Tong Qing Draft Bank was another one of the houses of Pingyao we enjoyed the most. It was very ornate and had many photographs from the time.

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Behind one of the numerous buildings that made up the house was a path which led to the bank’s basement. The general idea for this room was to make sure the gold, silver and precious metal reserves were even more secure.

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Family Travel Secret
Xie Tong Qing’s main purpose was to guard valuable assets, including people.

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At the Tianxijiang Museum there was a huge collection of furniture, calligraphy, paintings and embroidery.

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Family Travel Secret
When you go see the Nine Dragon Wall, take the stairs to the right of the building. They’ll take you higher up the building, where you’ll be able to see the rooftops of the neighboring houses.

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Wei Sheng Chang Museum

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Chinese Chamber of Commerce Museum

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The First Armed Escort in North China, where you’ll find all sorts of weapons and carriages and even a counting house.

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The Hui Wu Lin Museum, where you can see the layout of a typical house: the children slept in one area, the masters of the house in another and nearby, albeit literally on a lower level, the servants.

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The House of Traditional Martial Arts

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The Wei Tau Hou Museum occupies roughly 1300m2 of space.

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Ri Sheng Chang is one of Pingyao’s most typical houses. I didn’t have much time here though, since there was a group of about 70 women who filled every corner of the house.

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This made it impossible to look at anything in any particular detail… So I visited the house in the opposite way, so I had some good chances to see some empty spots 🙂 🙂

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Family Travel Secret
We weren’t able to see some of the houses (like the ancient Government Building, which put on a show at certain times during the day) because we took our time looking around and didn’t know when it closed. We’ll just have to see it next time 🙂 We recommend that you plan your trip well so that you don’t miss out on anything.

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We loved the houses of Pingyao and the city itself. We might not have managed to see everything there, but taking it slow in a city from the Middle Ages wasn’t bad either. It reminded us that it wasn’t that long ago that life was much more peaceful and, if you get up really early … not full of tourists. 🙂

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Family Travel Secret
The city’s streets tend to be full of people throughout the entire day. However, at around 7am the light is breathtaking and the tranquility is priceless.

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Next stop: Xi’an!

Ruth

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