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Wang's Family CompoundWang's Family Compound in Pingyao Price: Duration: Dates: Tour code: Overview: Ask for a free quotation 5 Days As you request TCG-2533 Discover two of China's most history-laden cities in this concise five day tour. The walled city of Pingyao is one of the most well preserved ancient towns in China and the birthplace of China's imperial banking system. The nearby city of Datong is home to even older sites, such as the Hanging Temple and gorgeous Yungang Buddhist Grottoes.

Great for history buffs and very educational for children, this tour is a wonderful diversion if visiting Beijing for business or wanting something a little different in your China experience. As always with The China Guide's tours, the itinerary can be customized if necessary.
Itinerary
day 1
  • Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
  • Take the train to Pingyao 2nd class seat
  • Pick up from the Train Station
  • Stroll Pingyao's Pedestrian Lanes Read more about Stroll Pingyao's Pedestrian Lanes walk the cobblestone streets, visit shops, sample snacks and relax in a cafe
  • Old City Wall Read more about Old City Wall its very peaceful up on the city wall, away from the crowds and traffic
  • Rishengchang Bank Read more about Rishengchang Bank	it was instrumental in ancient trade and part of the Silk Road
  • Temple of the City God Read more about Temple of the City God	a true Chinese Buddhist temple, as locals come to burn incense and pray
Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
Stroll Pingyao's Pedestrian Lanes
Stroll Pingyao's Pedestrian Lanes
Old City Wall
Old City Wall
Rishengchang Bank
Rishengchang Bank
Temple of the City God
Temple of the City God
day 2
  • Meals: lunch
Wang's Family Compound
Wang's Family Compound
Zhangbi Underground Castle
Zhangbi Underground Castle
Shuanglin Temple
Shuanglin Temple
day 3
  • Meals: lunch, dinner
The Hanging Temple
The Hanging Temple
day 4
  • Meals: lunch
Yungang Grottoes
Yungang Grottoes
Nine Dragon Wall
Nine Dragon Wall
Huayan Monastery
Huayan Monastery
day 5
  • Drop-off at the Datong Airport
Drop-off at the Datong Airport
Drop-off at the Datong Airport
  • Tour price
  • Get a free quote
  • Our advantages
  • Included / not included
Tour price
Guests Cost per guest
Ask for a free quotation
Tour code: TCG-2533
  • » Your tour day starts and ends at a hotel in the city, which may or may not be included. If a hotel is included it is listed by name on the itinerary for each night.

  • » Discounts for children in China are based on height. Let us know your child's age and height and we can calculate accordingly.

  • Get a free quote
  •  
  • Let us modify the tour's itinerary for free and with no-obligation to suit your needs. We can change the activities, add or change hotel rooms, flights or trains as you wish.

  • Why book a tour with The China Guide?
  • » Zero shopping stops at overpriced commission factories. Your time and money is better spent.
  • » Flexible time schedule to suit your pace. No rush and can cater to children's needs.
  • » Guides selected and trained by American management. Excellent English, accommodating, family friendly.
  • » Meals are in quality local restaurants. We order according to your tastes and diet.
  • » Western style service. Our agents and guides are there to make you happy.
  • » We have traveled in China with our own children. The American owners have four young children.

  • Read more about why choose The China Guide as your travel agency and meet our travel agents.
  • Included in the tour price
  • » Private English speaking guide (selected/trained by our western staff), experienced Chinese speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle
  • » Admission tickets to all sights listed on the itinerary - no hidden costs
  • » Free bottled water supplied in your vehicle
  • » Meals as specified in quality local restaurants with unlimited standard drinks (Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea)


  • Not included in the tour price
  • » Tips to your guide and driver
  • » International travel insurance (you should purchase your own policy in your home country)


  • For tour booking terms & conditions, please review our company policies.

Stroll Pingyao's Pedestrian Lanes   平遥古城

One of the most fun things to do in Pingyao is to stroll the lanes of the old city. The area within the city walls is mostly pedestrianized and you can walk the cobblestone streets, visit shops, sample snacks and relax in a cafe with a cup of coffee. If you have enough time go up on the city wall for a look, or visit the ancient tower in the center of town.

The old city itself is about 1 mile square, so you can never get too lost. If you are on your own we suggest you locate your hotel on a map, or at least take a card from the hotel with you, then you can find your way back. There are lots of restaurants, most with English menus, so its easy to get dinner on your own.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Old City Wall  

The old city wall of Pingyao is one of the attractions which makes this UNESCO world heritage site so magnificent. We recommend either a walk or a bike ride on the top of the city wall. Its embankments make it quite safe for this. Its very peaceful up on the city wall, away from the crowds and traffic. It also gives a wonderful birds eye view of Pingyao ancient city and is a great perspective for photographers.

Pingyao is one of the few ancient Chinese cities which still has its protective wall intact. Pingyao's city wall is about 40 feet high (12 meters) and its width varies from 10 to 20 (3 to 6m) feet on the top. It is made from compacted earth and covered with brick and stones. When viewed from outer space the wall resembles a turtle. This is a symbol of longevity.

There are six gates into the walled city, one each in the north and south and two on the east and west sides. The south gate is the...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Rishengchang Bank  

Established in 1823, the bank itself is not a huge space, but is popular because it was instrumental in ancient trade and part of the Silk Road.

During the Qing Dynasty, China's currency was based on silver coins. It was not convenient or safe for traders to move the coins from one location to another in China. The Rishengchang Bank was part of a chain which offered a convenient method to move money through a system of bills. Traders could deposit money in one location and it could be withdrawn in another.

While the system of exchange shops eventually closed in bankruptcy, the Rishengchang Exchange Shop had a great influence on the Chinese economy during its 108 years of operation. As everyone likes money, this sight attracts a lot of visitors!

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Temple of the City God  

This quaint Buddhist Temple feels historic when you walk in. Destroyed and rebuilt many times since its original construction during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1127), it still has the atmosphere of a true Chinese Buddhist temple. Locals come to burn incense and pray. It is colorful, peaceful and makes for a pleasant stop.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Wang's Family Compound   王家大院

Built by the Wang family with wealth accumulated in business, this huge compound is more of an ancient mini-city. It has its own protective wall and many structures within.

Wang's Family Compound is located 22 miles (35 km) from Pingyao Ancient City. It was built between 1762 and 1811. As you walk through the labyrinth of buildings you can see example of how people lived in the past. Be sure to take a walk up on the wall surrounding the compound, it gives a good view of the entire scene. You will also notice there are even now people living in caves built into the hillside around the compound.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Zhangbi Underground Castle  

The ancient town of Zhangbi is one of the rarest and most unique displays of traditional urban planning in Chinese history. The town is also referred to as the Zhangbi Castle, with the town’s residential, shopping and religious areas all built within a beautifully designed, Chinese-style castle complex. Peruse the village streets lined with beautifully designed houses, and be sure to visit the famous five Great God temples that are bedecked with ornate Buddhist statues. Zhangbi Castle’s main attraction, however, is a labyrinth of mysterious tunnels that meander extensively underneath the town. An inconspicuous entrance inside an ordinary local home leads to a fascinating underground world spread across three levels that once served as defense tunnels when built at the end of the Sui dynasty.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:30pm

Shuanglin Temple  

Located four miles (6 km) outside of Pingyao old city, the Shuanglin Temple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Shuanglin translates as "two trees", referring to the entrance to Nirvana which is said to be found between two trees.

The halls of the temple are filled with beautiful sculptures of Buddhist gods. Four Buddha warrior attendants in the God Hall reach a height of three meters each and are revered for their power and grandeur. Engraved sculptures on the walls of the Amitabha Buddha Hall tell the story of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism.

The Shuanglin Temple is worth a stop for those interested in Buddhism, ancient art or history. Most convenient is to see it on the way to Wang's Family Compound or while arriving or departing Pingyao old city.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 7:00pm

The Hanging Temple   悬空寺

It is almost impossible to believe that this temple has stood the test of time. Suspended in air against a mountain wall, Xuan Kong Temple looks like a hanging wall mural. Built thousands of years ago, this ancient wooden structure is a popular sight for Chinese and foreign travelers alike. It is a bit of a climb to get up to the temple, but worth the hike to see the beautiful Chinese architecture and designs within the many rooms. Many steps along the cliff lead from one prayer hall to another. Even if you are scared of heights, this is a not to be missed experience.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2.5
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Yungang Grottoes   云岗石窟

This is the oldest Buddhist cave art in China. Over 50 caves have been excavated, revealing over 50,000 stone statues carved right into the rock face. Some of the caves are only big enough to duck your head in to view small, detailed statues, while other caves are big enough to walk into and see large stone statues surrounded by smaller statues carved with intricate detail. This park covers a large area and can take some travelers more than half-a-day to view.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
4
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Nine Dragon Wall   九龙壁

This wall is located in the older part of Datong city. It is one of the oldest and longest walls of its type in China. There are nine dragons all made with different color tiles and represents a different meaning. Upon first site, it seems odd, just a wall standing alone. However, it was once a spirit wall protecting a local palace. Each dragon has a rich meaning which sheds light on ancient Chinese beliefs.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.75
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Huayan Monastery   华严寺

The Huayan Monastery is located in what was once and is now being recreated as the old town of Datong. Built during the Liao dynasty, this complex is divided into two parts, the upper temple and the lower temple. The upper temple is still an active monastery with one of the largest main halls in China. The lower temple is the oldest structure in Datong and one of the most incredible remaining examples of Liao dynasty sculpture and design.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Beijing 北京

Beijing offers much for visitors to do. It is the gateway to the Great Wall, which is 1 - 2 hours drive from the city depending on which part you visit. Within the city, the major sights include The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Hutong tours and cycle rickshaw rides.

Aside from the sights Beijing is a fabulous place to dine. Arguably, it has some of the best Chinese food in the world with lots of regional variations. Western food in Beijing is also excellent due to the abundance of foreigners and embassies.

Beijing also boasts some fantastic parks, with boating, amusements for children, Chinese martial arts and good people watching in a quiet green atmosphere.

The pollution in Beijing comes and goes, blown away by a good wind. Sometimes it builds into a haze, but visitors planning a short trip should not put off. It's just another aspect to life in a city of...   Read more

Pingyao 平遥

Pingyao is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its walled city remains completely intact and is an oasis of history in the countryside. It can be reached from Beijing by flight or fast train to Taiyuan, then its another two hour drive to the old town of Pingyao. There are also overnight trains directly from Beijing to Pingyao.

Inside the walled city much of the area is pedestrianized, so it is pleasant to stroll the old style streets. All the accommodation is in nice, traditional style small guest houses, which is pleasant but don't expect to find any true five star hotels.

Once you have a ticket for the city you can visit many of the historical sights with it. A walk on the old city wall is highly recommended, you escape the chaos below and and get a great birds eye view of Pingyao. Excellent perspective for photographers.

There are many small restaurants with English menus all around the...   Read more

Datong 大同

Datong 大同, in Shanxi Province is a coal rich industrial city with not much to recommend it to visitors. However, the city is blessed with some truly exceptional attractions within close proximity.

The principle attraction for visitors to Datong is the Hanging Monastery (悬空寺Xuánkōng Sì). Located at the base of Mount Heng, the monastery is a remarkable feat of engineering, perched 50 m from the ground on a sheer cliff face. Bridges and boardwalks link the 6 main halls of the monastery, this allows visitors to soak up the view from the height of the monastery. Not for those that suffer vertigo! The monastery is also unique in that it pays tribute to Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. With statues of Lao tzu and Confucius along side one of Buddha.

Another must-see attraction near Datong is the Yungang Grottoes (云冈石窟Yúngāng Shíkū). A UNESCO world heritage site, the grottoes are over...   Read more

Breakfast

Most hotels come with breakfast, or if not it can be added at a cost. Four and five star hotels will generally offer a good western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Three star hotels may only have a Chinese breakfast, or a Chinese interpretation of a western breakfast. Anyway a Chinese breakfast is not bad - rice porridge, eggs, Chinese style breads and vegetables.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Lunch on Tour

We consider experiencing good Chinese cuisine to be an important part of the tour experience. When on a tour, lunch is generally Chinese style and normally included in the price. Our guides will help you order according to your taste. Mild, spicy, meat, vegetables, rice and/or noodles. Dishes are served family style and shared by the guests. The driver may eat on his own but the guide will join you if you like.

Food in Beijing is quite good quality and we take our guests to genuine local restaurants, not tourist traps. We consider it distasteful to ask you for small amounts of money during the tour, so we offer unlimited standard drinks including Coke, Sprite, local bottled water and Chinese tea. You also won't leave the table hungry, if you need more to eat just let your guide know.

We don't have fixed restaurants we must use, it depends on where you are at the time you are hungry. When traveling around China we normally have the same arrangements outside Beijing but this may vary depending on your exact itinerary.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Dinner on Tour

Unless there is a special activity planned or you prefer to have all your meals catered, guests often prefer to relax after a day tour and arrange their own dinner. This gives you flexibility in time and cuisine. Having all your meals catered every day can be tiresome. Handling your own dinner allows you to have some control and also strike out on you own. Your guide can give you restaurant suggestions and in big cities you can find lots of options for fine dining, fast food, both western or Chinese. Hotel staff can often make restaurant recommendations within walking distance.

If you get the taste for a burger or pizza after a lot of Chinese food, this is easily found in Beijing, Shanghai and many other cities around China. Many hotel restaurants offer nice food. China also has its share of McDonald's, KFC and Subway sandwich chains if you need a fix.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.


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