Ancient City of Pingyao
Ancient City of Pingyao
4.5
What people are saying
At least 30% of the city is under construction so things are closed, plus it's hard to get around
2.0 of 5 bubblesJul 2022
If you want to go to Pingyao, put it off for a while. At least 30% of the city is under construction so the roads are closed and most of the restaurants and attractions along them are closed too. Even major attractions like the South Gate of the city wall are hard to get to -- you have to climb over a wall to get to the entrance. Almost all sights require a ticket that you need to purchase on your phone and they'll tell you you MUST use WeChat Pay to get it. I don't have it so was told it was impossible to get a ticket and see the main sights. I finally went to the police to complain (because refusing to let people pay in cash is illegal) and they found a way for me to use cash to get a physical ticket. All of this wasted my first day in the city. Getting around the city is hard, partly because it's big, partly because a ton of the roads are closed and partly because the travel mini-buses are confusing to use. Supposedly you can ask them to take you anywhere, but some will be like, "No, I don't want to take you there." On my third day in Pingyao I wanted to go to the Shuanglin Temple, but couldn't find a mini-bus to take me to the city wall so I could get a bus or taxi. I had to walk, and by the time I got there, there was no time to get a bus to the temple. Another major disappointment! Right now I'm back at my hotel room feeling really sad. In almost 20 years in China, this has been my most disappointing travel experience.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,372 reviews
Excellent
731
Very good
490
Average
121
Poor
23
Terrible
7

MFinChina
Shanghai, China11 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
If you want to go to Pingyao, put it off for a while. At least 30% of the city is under construction so the roads are closed and most of the restaurants and attractions along them are closed too. Even major attractions like the South Gate of the city wall are hard to get to -- you have to climb over a wall to get to the entrance.

Almost all sights require a ticket that you need to purchase on your phone and they'll tell you you MUST use WeChat Pay to get it. I don't have it so was told it was impossible to get a ticket and see the main sights. I finally went to the police to complain (because refusing to let people pay in cash is illegal) and they found a way for me to use cash to get a physical ticket. All of this wasted my first day in the city.

Getting around the city is hard, partly because it's big, partly because a ton of the roads are closed and partly because the travel mini-buses are confusing to use. Supposedly you can ask them to take you anywhere, but some will be like, "No, I don't want to take you there." On my third day in Pingyao I wanted to go to the Shuanglin Temple, but couldn't find a mini-bus to take me to the city wall so I could get a bus or taxi. I had to walk, and by the time I got there, there was no time to get a bus to the temple. Another major disappointment!

Right now I'm back at my hotel room feeling really sad. In almost 20 years in China, this has been my most disappointing travel experience.
Written 20 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Business And Pleasure
New York City, NY245 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
wonderful old town (historical style hotels are great experience) and great show not to be missed (separate post). the show is a sufficient reason to go there.
Written 13 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MattwalesNorthWales
Chengdu, China2,247 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Business
Spent two days here with my colleagues. This amazingly well preserved Qing city is a visual spectacle. From the city walls you can see the order behind the apparent chaos as walking through it is easy to lose yourself. Dozens of museums, hundreds of historic buildings and years of history unfold before your eyes. At night red lanterns illuminate everything with a gentle glow. Stay in a boutique courtyard hotel, enjoy the local food, sample the locally produced drinking vinegar, shop till you drop and finish the day off at a bar. This place has it all. Couldn't recommend more highly.
Written 27 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin S
Shanghai, China60 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
One of the more disappointing ancient towns we've visited in China - though the cards were stacked against Pingyao.

Pingyao was the first ancient town I ever heard of when arriving in China back in 2002. Perhaps it reached mythical status, one that could never be reached in reality. We arrived on May 1st, the first day of the Labor Day holiday at nine at night - complete bedlam. The streets were covered in people and litter. The next morning went to explore at 5:30 to avoid people - unfortunately, found that the Northern section where we were staying was under construction with giant above-ground drainage pipes covering anything of visual value. Later in the day was happy to discover that it was only about 30% under construction.

Doesn't match Fenghuang Ancient Town's uniqueness. Nor the beauty of Hongcun. Not cozy like many in the Jiangnan area. Same souvenir shops; same kitsch products found in any ancient town. Tickets for performance sold out months in advance. Disappointed.
Written 9 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina70,548 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Spectacular and charming ancient Chinese architecture. We enjoyed walking the streets of the Ancient City of Pingyao. Impressive.
Written 1 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joel K
Vancouver, Canada3,671 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
We loved strolling this fabulously colorful and interesting ancient city that was the banking capital of China. It was fun to stroll the old streets of this city and visit the food stalls, vinegar stores, restaurants, etc.
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trisha J
Whangarei, New Zealand42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
We were recommended Pingyao by our agent as a pre Beijing stay as we wanted something more historic and this was perfect. We flew into Taiyoan airport then taxi to Pingyao and took the fast train back to beijing. I would prefer to train both ways. It was amazing and lots to see and do and very interesting history as it was where the banks were originally formed
Written 18 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

book_of_dreams
Australia147 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We loved exploring the old streets of Pingyao. It reminded us a little of our experiences in Bhaktapur and Fes, with the old narrow lanes, beautiful temples and imposing walls. The main street or two are quite commercial, and filled with tourists on teh weekend, but you do get plenty of eateries, second hand shops and coffee etc. Take a walk one or two streets form the main area and you are immersed in the local life much more. It's a beautiful at every turn.
Written 21 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LeeYen76
Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia134 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Is a beautiful old town. We went to Pingyao Gucheng Railway Station, took the bus 1 yuan per person to Pingyao South gate. We asked the bus driver about the information to go Zhangbi and Wang's Compound. The bus driver was very friendly introduced us to hire a 7 seater private car 280 yuan( cheaper than booking through hotel) a day tour to Zhangbi Castle, Wang's Compound and Shuanglin Temple then dropped us at the Pingyao Gucheng Railway Station. We booked the tour with him on the bus. He was so kind to stopped bus near south gate, came down the bus, went across the road to show us the direction to walk to south gate. Our hotel near the south gate. Pingyao is an old city, it is very beautiful. We bought the ticket inside the south gate on the right. Spent 5 hours to visit the town and went up the city wall at 4.30pm. Walk around about 1 hour. From the city wall can see all old houses and roofs which is much more beautiful than Xian city wall scenery ( all new building). We bought the Youjian Pingyao show ticket at the shop on left of the south Gate (direction coming from outside the gate), this shop give discount tickets.
Written 17 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Warren O
Lexington, SC, United States50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
During my last business travel to China, my Chinese friends treated me to a day trip in the Ancient City of Pingyao. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Pingyao was absolutely fascinating. All buildings in the walled historical city have been maintained to their original structure and appearance. You can also find several 5 star hotels in these historical buildings. A must see for history buffs. I stayed at the YungJingChang hotel and it was quite the excellent experience. I’ve included several photos. I would suggest two things. For English speakers, hire an interpreter for a guided tour and these tours are not for visitors with mobility problems. Many uneven surfaces due to the old structures.
Written 15 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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