Inside the city walls of Pingyao, there are a total of 19 museums but don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with info on them all.
To visit the museums, there are some ticket offices throughout the city which sells a two day pass which gives you access to each of them.
One of the days that we spent in the city, all museums were open to anyone who fancied going to them. That was probably a great thing for some Chinese tourists but it made the narrow streets very very busy.
With people, bicycles, scooters, cars and vans all beeping the horns continaully, you can probably imagine how noisy the place was – it was great fun. A 1.5km walk from our hostel to the train station took well over an hour so if you go on an open day, give yourself plenty of time.
Thankfully for us, we hadn’t bought the pass to gain access to all of the museums as they would have been too busy, we got the pass the next day and over two days, we managed to see 15 of them.
I’ve listed the names below, if you want info on them, put them into a search engine as most of them have info and reviews.
City of God temple
Government Municipal Building
The armed escort museum
The Chinese armed escort museum (2 of 3 armed escort museums)
Bank Museum (with undergound vaults)
Tian ji xiang museum
Former residence of Lei Lvtai
Rare newspaper museum
Ying Xun gate
Bai Chung tong (furniture museum)
Tian Cheng heng min su
Qingxu Taoist temple
One that I haven’t listed above is the city walls, which surrounds the ancient city. You can climb up parts of the wall and the views are amazing over the old city. There are restrictions in place that do not allow buldings to be above a certain height.
This means that the city walls give a great view over the ancient city. One of the attractions above that I have mentioned was the bank museum where a walkway to the underground vaults allows you to see the original rooms and passage ways that were used to store cash under the old city.
After a while, we found the museums to be quite similar to each other – the main reason for this was the layout of them combined with us being unable to read anything that was in Chinese.
Some rooms had a plaque outside which gave an explantion of what they were used for. The plus point was getting into the buildings as a lot of them are several hundred years old. They have been rennovated in that time so they give a pretty good idea of how they would have looked when they were first built and used.