Gate Tower on Pingyao's Ancient City Walls
Pingyao City Tour
Want to see China’s best-preserved ancient walled town? You’ll want to head to Pingyao! Famed for its major role in Chinese economic history, today the exceptionally well-preserved town is also a marvelous place to see Ming and Qing urban planning and architecture in action.
On your trip to this UNESCO World Heritage Site you’ll scale the city walls for an insightful overview of the town and spectacular views. As you descend you’ll wander the old town and take in the ancient atmosphere. While the past is very much alive here, it is also home to some 48,000 locals who you’ll see cycling through the narrow streets, hanging out their laundry and going about their daily lives.
Pingyao was the major financial hub of China throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and so one of the main features of this charming town is the commanding banking buildings. While exploring these parts you’ll pay a visit to China’s oldest bank - the Rishengchang Draft Bank – which in 1823 was the first bank in China to issue a check.
You’ll also visit one of the first Confucian Temples, which is a huge complex that once served as an exam hall for bureaucrats in waiting to take their imperial exams. The main hub of the complex is the huge Dàchéng Hall, which is also the town’s oldest surviving building.
Explore China’s best-preserved ancient walled town
Visit the country’s oldest bank