Pingyao | South China Morning Post
  • Fri
  • Mar 27, 2015
  • Updated: 8:16am


If these walls could talk

We exit the train station in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, after a three-hour high-speed train ride from Beijing, and we're greeted with hot towels and cold bowls of ginger tea on a wooden tray.

Friday, 2 March, 2012, 12:00am

The city that time forgot

Most tourists are still in bed and the souvenir shops are tightly shuttered; at 6am you can immerse yourself in seven centuries of history with few distractions. This is Pingyao, said to be the only city in China with its ancient walls still intact and low-rise buildings undiluted by modern structures.

8 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Tourist crowds threaten heritage

Mainland tourists jammed the country's world heritage sites during the 'golden week' holidays amid concerns that the crowds could inflict permanent damage on the attractions.

More than 4.86 million visitors from home and abroad flocked to Beijing during the seven days, a record high for the past 20 'golden week' holidays.

9 May 2007 - 12:00am


St Stephen's College

During the Easter holidays, I joined the school's third annual cultural exchange programme. This year's destination was Shanxi , a mainland province not yet popular with tourists.

Being a sixth former, this was my last chance to take part in such an activity.

4 May 2007 - 12:00am

New plan takes old Pingyao full circle

When news broke that Shanxi had been selected as one of four provinces to test a rural micro-finance programme, provincial officials did not have to think twice about where to launch it.

The town of Pingyao, a Unesco world heritage site about 700km from Beijing, was practically the birthplace of private lending and entrepreneurship in China.

3 Oct 2005 - 12:00am

Old money

The view from the City Building, a three-storey wood and stone tower with brightly painted eves and a small Buddhist temple, is perfect old-world China. Fog has descended over Pingyao, in north-central Shanxi province, and undulating grey tile roofs rise to peaked lines dotted with sculptures of dragons and phoenixes.

10 Jul 2005 - 12:00am

Priority is placed on new Unesco agreement

A Unesco conference entered its second day in Suzhou yesterday, with the chairman saying top billing would go to overturning an agreement which the mainland sees as unfairly limiting it to one new heritage application a year.

30 Jun 2004 - 12:00am

Push on holidays boosts spending

A survey of mainland tourist sites indicates that a policy of 'holidaynomics' aimed at increasing personal consumption is working, with a double-digit increase in spending recorded on the first day of the week-long national holiday.

3 Oct 2002 - 12:00am

Banking on China's past

A victim of an earlier Asian financial crisis, the city of Pingyao is an ominous warning of what may become of Hong Kong if it loses its title of China's premier financial centre.

Pingyao is now a forgotten city deep in the heart of the Shanxi countryside, but behind its vast walls once flourished China's greatest bankers and merchant houses.

13 Jun 1998 - 12:00am