Twenty years ago Wutaishan was a remote and spiritual destination that felt a million miles away from the modern world. On our recent visit we could see that times had changed as the picture below shows.
Our last two trips to China have taken us to the North-Western province of Shanxi. We’ll be posting a series of articles that look at some of the most spectacular sites Shanxi has to offer.
We’ll be recommending what to see and do in places that range from the amazing cave art of the Yungang Grottoes云冈石窟 near Datong 大同 and the temple- studded mountains of Wutai Shan 五台山 to more remote places like Qikou 碛口, a Ming dynasty village on the Yellow river, the cave houses of Lijiashan 李家山, or the castles near the bustling city of Jincheng 晋城.
Pingyao 平遥 won’t be forgotten. We’ve now visited this wonderful city 3 times since 2001. There will be a comprehensive review of all the incredible things to see and do in and around this unique historical city.
It’s a tedious ride on a local bus from Taiyuan passing through an endless sprawl of residential tower blocks that blur the distinction between the ending of one town and the beginning of another. The apartments are interspersed with companies, ranging from small and medium-sized to large, all set back from the road in their own compounds. The traffic is relentless and the ride seems to go on and on.
Then, suddenly, you are dropped in Yuci榆次Ancient Town and immediately the urban horrors of modern China recede and give way to striking temples, imposing ancestor halls and magnificent but austere Confucian buildings. Add to this some exquisite vernacular buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasty and you can enjoy a superb day trip from Taiyuan.
On a beautiful winter’s day in early January with temperatures below 10 and an azure sky, we were incredulous to find the town devoid of tourists, finding ourselves more often than not the only visitors at the various sights.
Visiting the Ancient Town
Start by paying 60 Yuan for a Tong Piao 通票 (through ticket), which allows you to visit all the numerous sights; you can wander around the town itself without a ticket. The first on your list, and close to the entrance, should be the magnificent God Temple 隍庙, where you’ll find Continue reading “Yuci Ancient City 榆次古城: Taiyuan Shanxi Province”