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Pingyao update

November 8th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 08-China | UNESCO World Heritage Sites - (1 Comments)

We promised more from Pingyao, so here it goes.  We’ve still not fully recovered from these damn nasty colds so trying to string a few words together is still rather difficult, we’re uploading a video instead.

It’s just a few shots of us rambling through one of the tourist streets, but we think it still captures the laid back approach that seems to be unique to Pingyao.  Not sure what the quality will be like.  We shot it in HD but not sure how youtube handles this type of media.

Yamen Youth Hostel

November 4th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 08-China - (3 Comments)

We feel we have found a real gem with Yamen Youth Hostel which warrants an individual post.  A former Ming residence – the governor’s to be be precise – with a beautiful outdoor courtyard, a large comfortable lounge and rustic dorms.  Our second night here and we are enjoying it immensely. 

The smog of Xi’an and change in temperature from the south has given us both pretty bad colds, confining us to our beds for most of today.  Having nice residence in which to laze about will no doubt aid the healing process.  It rather difficult to write posts when your brain feels like jelly!

Energy levels permitting, tomorrow we plan on visiting Pingyao’s many temples, so expect more from here soon.

New addition: Davey’s ramblings, just press play below!

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Beautiful Pingyao

November 3rd, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 08-China | UNESCO World Heritage Sites - (0 Comments)

Possibly the best preserved ancient walled city in China, according to the Lonely Planet.  A breath of fresh air (literally) in comparison to Cunming and Xi’an, and more of what we were expecting of China.

Pingyao was a thriving merchant town during the Ming dynasty and centre of a large network of trade that extended from the south of China to Mongolia.  Local businessmen had become so successful by the Qing dynasty that they created the country’s first banks and cheques, in order to facilitate the transfer of enormous amounts of silver from one place to another.  The city fell into poverty in the 20th century, and thankfully, without the cash to modernise, it’s streets have since gone unchanged.

With a movie-set charm, it has obviously become a major tourist trap mobbed with megaphone-wielding tour groups.  To escape the souvenir shops and Japanese paparazzi, we hired a couple of bicycles and got to see its 21st century wealth – dusty cobbled streets and architecture more akin to life in imperial China.

UNESCO World Heritage Site #11

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