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Flavor of Pingyao

Release date:2024-03-26Author source:KinghelmViews:215

Author Profile:

Name: Feng Zhujun

Position: Filming and Editing

Hometown: Changzhi City, Shanxi Province,China

Striving Vision: Since I've already taken the first step, I won't retreat despite the hardships; since I've planted my hopes there, I must persist until the final victory.




The ancient city of Pingyao, I believe, is not unfamiliar to everyone. It is like a bustling dream that has lasted for a thousand years, gentle and elegant, with profound heritage. With a history of over 2,700 years, it has witnessed all the extravagance and luxury, where every brick, every tile, every house, and every eave tells the ancient history. Enduring more than 600 years of wind and frost, yet exuding a long-lasting charm. The stories of Jin merchants have been passed down from generation to generation here. For a city, a millennium passes in the blink of an eye; but for humanity, it is a long period of change and evolution.



First Encounter with Pingyao




Looking up, the ancient tile eaves, intricately carved gatehouses, and the slightly faded but still vibrant wooden corridors... Pausing to look closely, the mottled brick walls exude a faint sense of sorrow, while the ornate old windows seem to retain the grace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Under the eaves, the chirping of the birds instantly transports you back a hundred years—a truly marvelous sensation.



Entering the city, a different scene unfolds. The cyan tiles, red-painted pillars, and golden wooden plaques still bear witness to the bustling commercial activities of that time. The preserved Ming and Qing era shops, like two long loongs, line both sides of the streets, adorned even more beautifully with bright red lanterns. Look! Those inns are attracting domestic and foreign tourists in their own unique way. Look! The elderly man selling antiques is displaying colorful and distinctive Shanxi toys, attracting more onlookers and buyers; next to him, another man is skillfully wielding blades and spears, demonstrating an impressive mastery. Even more eye-catching are the elegantly dressed women in ancient costumes, moving gracefully, every expression and movement offering a sense of aesthetic pleasure, truly immersive.




The flat roads of Pingyao, where the heart finds solace



Living in the ancient city of Pingyao, there are green plants and grass in the courtyard, ancient buildings and cobblestone roads behind the house. Encounter a leisurely time at the Deshenglou Inn.


If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, then come here. From early morning to dusk, from the streets and alleys to the earthen kang rooms, carefully savor the most beautiful night of the ancient architecture that has continued for a thousand years in Pingyao.



The most leisurely way to open Pingyao | Ming and Qing Dynasty Street

Pingyao, as a city where once you come, you don't want to leave, is famous nationwide for its slow-paced way of life. The Ming and Qing Dynasty Street in Pingyao Ancient City is an ideal destination for locals and tourists alike to enjoy tea, sightseeing, leisurely strolls, health preservation, and physical fitness. It often captivates people, leaving them lingering and feeling incredibly relaxed.


That's why some say, "To visit Pingyao without strolling along the Ming and Qing Dynasty Street would be a great regret." Here, you can witness the diverse scenes of local life, a microcosm of everyday existence in Pingyao, remaining untouched by the noisy secular world and undisturbed by the clamor of the outside world.



There is a small but certain happiness called "stealing half a day of leisurely life".


When visiting Pingyao, it's a must to explore the streets and lanes. You can take a leisurely stroll here and experience the delightful moments of old Pingyao firsthand. A wonderful day begins with a morning tea, finding a place to rest here at noon, playing mahjong and chatting in the afternoon—this is what slow and leisurely living is all about!



Walking into the underground money exchange, I first met the Xietongqing ticket number

During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was economically prosperous with developed trade, and it was the birthplace of ticket numbers. Each ticket number had a gold well, which was the ancient version of an ATM machine. The treasury was located below, where exchange notes were sent down in a basket, and after a while, the basket would come back up filled with silver.


For the large-scale trade of goods, especially long-distance trade, merchants needed skilled escorts to ensure the safety of people and goods, leading to the establishment of escort agencies. Therefore, martial arts flourished in Pingyao, with around twenty different styles of martial arts at the time, the most influential being Long Fist followed by Tongbi Fist, Tai Chi, Bagua Palm, Eight Extremities Fist, and Bawang Fist.



The taste of faith, the Confucian Temple and Imperial Academy in Pingyao

Pingyao's Confucian Temple, also known as the Confucian Temple and Imperial Academy, was built in the early years of the Tang Dynasty, with a history of over 800 years. It still maintains its original appearance today, with a grand scale covering a total area of 35,811 square meters. This is the oldest and most well-preserved Confucian Temple in China, where you can still see the largest group of statues of Confucius and ancient Confucian scholars.


The main entrance is the magnificent Lingxing Gate. According to the "Book of Later Han," Lingxing refers to the celestial star Tian Tian, which ancient people believed was the literary star in the sky, in charge of selecting literary talents. This implies that Confucius descended from the literary star.


On the wall behind the Dacheng Hall, there is the handwritten character "Kui" by Wen Tianxiang (the ghost character without the horizontal stroke on top), hoping that one day, Pingyao will produce a Zhuangyuan (top scholar in imperial examinations), who will personally add the missing stroke. Unfortunately, to this day, no one has been able to add that stroke.


The Preciousness of Commemoration - My Life's Travel Photography


Wang Family Courtyard


Jinzhong, a city located in the eastern part of the Loess Plateau, is always quietly narrating its long history. Walking through the ancient city of Pingyao, from the Qiao Family Courtyard of "Raise the Red Lantern" to the Wang Family Courtyard of "The Women of the Knife Fight Clan," feels like strolling through a long-forgotten old photo album. Take another bite of Pingyao's beef, sip on some street-side oil tea, or wear the local ethnic costumes, as if you are transported back several hundred years.


The Epilogue

First encounter with Pingyao, and another encounter with Pingyao.

Dreaming back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, meeting is never late.

A timeless journey through ancient civilization.



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