China – Pingyao and Mianshan

We get off the train. It is foggy and rainy. We find our way out of the platform and have barely time to put our rain jackets before the man in charge rushes us out—the station is closing? Once out, we take some seconds to examine the view in front of us until we look to each other. What’s this? Where the hell are we?

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The high speed railway station of Pingyao is some kilometers away from Pingyao itself. A future park around the station presents itself as a lot of mud covered with construction materials and machines. We see a few taxis down there in the mud and venture to take one of the last ones. Our hostel is inside Pingyao walls and looks like a traditional Chinese house. It looks very nice.

Our host helping translate some Chinese. Turns out to be difficult!

Our host helping translate some Chinese. Turns out to be difficult!

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Pingyao is a very nice walled city with traditional Chinese houses, temples and even a catholic church. Everything is very touristy though and the main streets inside the walls are full of souvenir stores and local food restaurants.

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A side street full of tiles. I love pictures that encompass lots of small things together...

A side street full of tiles. I love pictures that encompass lots of small things together…

Street food. We still don't know what it is!

Street food. We still don’t know what it is!

A vegetable store, so clean!

A vegetable store, so clean!

Entrance of one of the temples we visited.

Entrance of one of the temples we visited.

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Decoration of the roof of the temple, this was on the center of the roof.

Decoration of the roof of the temple, this was on the center of the roof.

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Dragon on top of the roof.

Dragon on top of the roof.

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Detail of the embroidery of a curtain in a door of the temple.

Detail of the embroidery of a curtain in a door of the temple.

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It didn't happen... ;)

It didn’t happen… 😉

The light was great for this plant in the temple. This is the original picture.

The light was great for this plant in the temple. This is the original picture.

Detail of the pot, we loved the mix of colors.

Detail of the pot, we loved the mix of colors.

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Inside a store, someone who didn't want to appear in the picture was doing home made noodles.

Inside a store, someone who didn’t want to appear in the picture was doing home made noodles.

Feet fish massage! We didn't dare.

Feet fish massage! We didn’t dare.

Tower of Pingyao, around the center of the walled city.

Tower of Pingyao, around the center of the walled city.

these are moon cakes that were sold all over the place. So good!

these are moon cakes that were sold all over the place. So good!

As I said, I love pictures with lots of things together...

As I said, I love pictures with lots of things together…

A catholic church inside the walls of Pingyao was quite different from the other temples.

A catholic church inside the walls of Pingyao was quite different from the other temples.

Entrance to a house in a back street.

Entrance to a house in a back street.

Door of a house in a back street.

Door of a house in a back street.

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One of the gates of the walls of Pingyao.

One of the gates of the walls of Pingyao.

Lots of things! This was a store selling all kind of colorful earrings, pendants and other things.

Lots of things! This was a store selling all kind of colorful earrings, pendants and other things.

Pingyao Mountain Noodles, served this way, with tomato and vinegar sauces. We loved them.

Pingyao Mountain Noodles, served this way, with tomato and vinegar sauces. We loved them.

We have to stay an additional night here since there are no train tickets to Xian—trains in China are gone quickly—so we decide to visit Mianshan with a taxi organized by our hostel.
Mianshan is located an hour away from Pingyao. The trip shows us how scary Chinese people drive here. The roads are paved with holes here and there and have no painting. The number of lanes varies according to the situation. Normally there are two lanes, but if you pass a truck that is passing another truck and there is a third truck coming in the opposite direction, then there are suddenly four lanes—with the proper amount of honking. Talking about trucks, it is noticeably full of red trucks here, apparently carrying coal and other things. The last day in Pingyao I will record a video going to the muddy train station where you can see what I’m talking about.

When we start visiting Mianshan it turns out to be an unexpected surprise since it is not even mentioned in our guidebook. It is a mountain full of Taoist temples built up in the steep hills, sometimes carved in the rocks. There is an intense fog during our visit giving some of the places a very mystic aura.

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This is a wood instrument we have seen inside many temples.

This is a wood instrument we have seen inside many temples.

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I believe this is similar to lighting a candle in a church.

I believe this is similar to lighting a candle in a church.

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Praying tools

Praying tools

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There are also some crazy paths that cross small lakes, climb through vertical walls and get lost inside gorges leading somewhere. We do not dare climbing the scary ones since it is wet, cold and slippery but we manage to make some touristy pictures.

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We didn't take this path as we were tired but just seeing it was impressive enough.

We didn’t take this path as we were tired but just seeing it was impressive enough.

People make wishes by placing sticks in the mountain walls.

People make wishes by placing sticks in the mountain walls.

It is true that the entrance to the place might be too much and some of the stops in Mianshan are touristy and not worth the time, but the temples and mountain paths are amazing. Our favorite place will be a temple inside a gorge with a very relaxed and misty atmosphere.

On the mountain walls they hang bells in impossible places.

On the mountain walls they hang bells in impossible places.

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Bells where hanging all over the place.

Bells where hanging all over the place.

Love lockers. Lots of them!

Love lockers. Lots of them!

We loved the light, colors and the fog in this place.

We loved the light, colors and the fog in this place.

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5 thoughts on “China – Pingyao and Mianshan

  1. Que preciosidad !!!! Impactante el video de la carretera….
    Unas fotos fantásticas !!! ya tengo unas cuantas candidatas para pintar 🙂

  2. Amazing pictures and… jelousssss!!!! SO nice adventure you’re living, hope you keep a record of every little experience so we can chat about them for some years! ^_^ Besos parejaaaaaa

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