The tiny town of PINGYAO has become a firm travel favourite in recent times, and for good reason: not only does it form a logical stopover point between Beijing and Xi’an, but its wall-bound core – almost entirely filled with traditional eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings – provides a step back in time. This is one of the most authentic, old towns in China, and it provides travellers with the chance to sleep on traditional Shanxi beds (kang), raised up on platforms, in charismatic old courtyard mansions. Despite the density of modern domestic tourism, take a few steps away from the restaurants and souvenir stands of the pedestrianized main streets, and you’re in another world. Throw in a couple of fine rural temples and some impressive fortified clan villages, all within day-trip distance, and staying overnight becomes a pleasurable necessity, rather than a possibility.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Hong Kong

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Hong Kong

Hong Kong floats between old China and the west; its futuristic harbour has become one of Asia's most famous views but you'll also find pockets of traditiona…

28 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
China travel tips: 8 things you need to know before you go

China travel tips: 8 things you need to know before you go

Even 20 years ago China was not a conventional tourist destination. Despite the allure of its beautiful landscapes and history-filled cities, politics, poverty,…

13 Jan 2017 • Simon Frank insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right