Attraction of the week

Definitely one of Pingyao's must-see attractions, the city's 6-kilometer-long (4 mi), 12-meter-high (40 ft), nearly 700-year-old city walls (gǔchéng qiáng, 古城墙)...


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The city's oldest Buddhist structure, the three-story Fan Pagoda, built in 977 AD, is a testament to the persistence of Kaifeng's long history.  The hexagonal structure, originally 80 meters and nine stories high, was built during the Southern Song Dynasty, only to be partially torn down during the beginning of the Ming era because the new Emperor found pagoda's massive height to be intimidating. During the Qing Dynasty, six levels of the pagoda were restored, only to be vandalized once again during the Cultural Revolution. ..

Longting Gongyuan, or Dragon Pavilion Park as it is known in English, is home to the annual Kaifeng Chrysanthemum Festival (held in late September and early October, depending on when it falls in the Chinese Lunar calendar) and is one of the most recognizable sights in the city.  A former imperial palace during six dynasties from the later Liang (907-923) through part of the Jin (1115-1234), Longting offers the beautiful views of Kaifeng amid the tranquil beauty of the park's lakes, bridges and the Dragon Pavilion itself,..

  Located in a small, non-descript alley near Shudian Street and Zhongshan Road, the Shanshanguan Guild Hall was initially established as a temporary residence and community center for out-of-town merchants visiting Kaifeng.  An excellent example of Qing Dynasty architecture, Shanshanguan was later used as a school, until finally being designated a tourist attraction. Of note are the lavish wood carvings that re-tell the daily workings of merchant life, in particular a scene depicting a man being dragged by..

Built in 1049 AD, the Iron Pagoda (Tie Ta) is the most famous monument in Kaifeng.  Ironically not made of iron, but actually glazed bricks, the Buddhist pavillion is still completely structurally sound from its Song-era construction, and visitors can climb to the top by scaling the challenging series of stairs. At over 55 meters in height, the Iron Pagoda has survived earthquakes and floods that have leveled much of historic Kaifeng, making it a marvel of resiliency.  

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