Travelling to Pingyao.
After three nights and two days spent in Datong it is again time to move to a new destination. New place is Pingyao, a relatively small town famous for its very well preserved old walled town. This one is expected to be real, not rebuilt from scratch like the one in Datong. My train is the K961 leaving at 09:34 from the central railway station that is located at walkable distance. Unfortunately this is not going to be a fast train and therefore the about 400 kilometres will be covered in six hours. Furthermore there were no available seats so I’m ready for a tough experience. Train is really full, I think is coming from Beijing or maybe even further. Is not easy to find a place, not even standing but in the end I managed it and the situation is also good to chat a little bit with a young Chinese couple. They don’t speak English very well but it is still better than my Chinese… 🙂 We talk about travelling, Italy, Social networks and other things. Meanwhile, in Huairen, our first stop, some people get off the train and I’m able to sit at least for some time. The train is so full that there’s no room for occasional sellers like it happened during the long trip from Tianjin to Datong. I try to spend the time reading and, when is possible, also working on my laptop. And this way, a bit tired, I finally reach my destination arrives and I can get off.
Getting acquainted with Pingyao.
There are two railway stations in Pingyao. This one is quite in the centre of the town, the other one, about 7 kilometres away, is for fast trains. This means that also thanks to the pick-up I’ve arranged with my guesthouse, I can reach my room quite fast but nevertheless when I’m finally out to take a first look at the town is almost five ‘o clock. Still a couple of hours to spend getting acquainted with Pingyao. My place is very close to the northern gate of old town so I quickly head in that direction. Before reaching the walls I stop by a little stage where there is a children show. Some of them wave me. I take the opportunity for few shots but now I’m really eager to go to see the walled town. In front of the wall’s gate it is very busy, with a lot of cars and buses but within the walls, only electric shuttles for tourists are allowed but of course bicycles as well. The city has a perfect squared shape and it is divided into four quadrants from the main streets running from north to south and from east to west. I move southward in this very colourful scenario. As usual in China there are many places selling street food and of course there are specific local snacks. The most popular seems to be a kind of boiled wrap filled with rice, meat and some kind of strong aromatic spice that gives to it almost a balsamic taste. There also many little shops producing their own soy sauce. I didn’t read so much about the most important sights of the town so I’m basically walking without a well defined goal or destination but I’m going to have an interesting meeting. This post continues to next page