Tag Archives: China

The ancient city of Pingyao

On Pingyao’s impressive city walls, surveying the grey rooftops of the town below, a lone rickshaw rider takes a break. The imposing wall is probably one of China’s last Ming city walls still mostly intact, encircling a cityscape that has … Continue reading

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Pingyao’s backyard

Pingyao has received so many glowing reviews that we had to put it on our list of places to see in China. The town is believed to be more than 2,700 years old and its city walls are said to … Continue reading

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The Tunnels of Zhangbi Village

From this perspective, it looks like any other village in the Chinese countryside – crumbling in a slow decay, its population reduced and largely elderly. This could be anywhere in China. Yet Zhangbi is unique. Beneath its dusty cobbled lanes … Continue reading

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Around Pingyao: Wang Family Courtyard

While Pingyao is well-known as one of China’s best-preserved ancient towns, there are also gems in the Shanxi countryside around Pingyao such as this: the huge sprawling complex of the Wang family courtyard. This place gives the term multi-generational living … Continue reading

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Hanging on a prayer

It only gets 3 hours of sunlight a day. That’s one reason why the Hanging Monastery of Hengshan or in Chinese, Xuankong Si (悬空寺) is still in relatively good shape today despite its 1,500-year history. The faded paintwork aside, one … Continue reading

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Yungang Grottoes: Home of the Buddhas big and small

I have mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, the thousands of Buddhas (51,000 to be exact) huge and tiny, carved from the sandstone hills leave me slack-jawed with awe. The thought that these have withstood the ravages … Continue reading

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Independent travel in China with children

BigonTrips was started to document the trips I made with my large family and to prove that independent travel with children in tow need not be expensive nor difficult, that children are very adaptive travelers and with their deep and … Continue reading

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