Friday, February 20, 2009

My Pingyao Article at has made my article on the charming little town of Pingyao a "Travel Feature" on the site's front page.


If you're traveling between Beijing and Xi'an, stop off at tiny Pingyao for a side trip that might just turn into a highlight. I don't believe there's another city in China that can match Pingyao's combination of a relaxed atmosphere and ancient Chinese architecture.

As my girlfriend Jackie put it at the end of our four days in Pingyao: "I don't think we could've come to a more lovely and romantic city than Pingyao." I couldn't agree with her more—much to my surprise.

After arriving at the train station, we expected to see a line of taxis waiting to take us into the heart of historic Pingyao. Instead, a row of motorized rickshaws sat waiting for our business.

The look in the drivers' eyes when we walked out of the train station was if they had just spotted breakfast. It was a cold, quiet Monday morning in the off season. They all began yelling "OK!" while frantically preparing their rickshaws for us.

Read On
As I say in the article, Pingyao is a very worthwhile trip if you are traveling around North China. Jackie and I had a very lovely time there just about a year ago. Sometime in the near future, I'll get some of the best pictures I took there back up to this blog.

Seeing that my old blog - - bit the dust last year and I lost a lot of the links from it, I'm re-posting links to the published articles I've had on China.

Kashgar: The Far West of the Far East
Published by the website
This travel article is about the far west Chinese city of Kashgar, experiencing the weekly Sunday market in Kashgar, and the stunning Lake Karakul in the Pamir Mountain range. This article won the distinction of being one of the Top 10 travel articles published in 2008 at

Hua Shan: Shaanxi's Sacred Mountain
Published in the Xi'an English language magazine China Grooves
This travel article is an account of climbing Hua Shan at night and watching the sun rise at the East Peak in the morning.

Helping Xi'an's Neediest One Bowl at a Time
Published in the Xi'an English language magazine China Grooves
This article tells the story of Tony Day and the work he's doing here in Xi'an. Tony started the first soup kitchen of its kind in China.

Now that I'm focusing at least half-hour a day to my blog, I haven't been writing much of anything outside of "Mark's China Blog" recently. This is unfortunate, but at the same time I'm happy with the way my blog is going.


Anonymous said...

That's a very nice writeup on Pingyao, Shanxi. I've wanted to go there but not had the opportunity. The conversation with the driver was classic China, and very charming.

Pingyao has much old world charm that Beijing has lost now that it is "modern". I really like the city wall, as it reminded me of a similar one in Xian. The hutongs and siheyuanr are goen from the big cities.

I've been in Shanxi many times, and it's a poor and dirty province where coal is the staple of the economy. Thanks for pointing out Pingyao. I hope it does not change too much before I get there.

china travel said...

Before reading this post I was not familiar with Pingyao. It sounds like somewhere that I would really enjoy visiting.