We found out that the most efficient way to get to PingYao from Beijing would be train. When we booked our tickets, although well in advance, the soft-sleeper was already sold out, and we were left with hard sleeper only. Before our China trip I worried about safety, and personal belongings in the train, but after great experience with hard sleeper on the previous trip to other China destination, all our family was looking forward to experiencing the train trip again. May be we were lucky, may be all tourists in hard sleeper cars are so nice, but we ended up with new friends from other places of the world and lots of great memories just from overnight trip.
The driver from the Beautiful Pingyao Cheng Jia hotel was waiting for us at the railway station early morning when we arrived. Short ride and we are comfortably exploring our room and hotel grounds. Pingyao Cheng Jia Hotel is decorated in national style, with mix of old and traditional elements – huge kang bed and carved furniture, big screen TV, heated floors and stylish showers. Our stay in Pingyao Cheng Jia Hotel , probably is one of the finest experiences with hotels in China. After showers, and good breakfast that we had at a small street café we walked around the ancient city walls.
We spent all day exploring the ancients city filled with shops selling all sorts of antiques, souvenir shops and small boutiques. The street food did not offer a great variety, so we stopped by at a small café for lunch.
Later we continued our way…
Travelling at the very end of the tourist season allowed us to get a lot of fun experience browsing this old town and in many places get personal attention.
And again, the weather was nice – fresh and sunny. For the whole day we explored the town, walked along the Pingyao Ancient City East Street.
Mianshan, is a mountain in the town of Mianshan in Jiexiu, Jinzhong, in central Shanxi Province in north China. After good night rest in Pingyao, the next morning we took a short 25 minutes train ride to Jiexiu, than another 20 minutes on taxi to Mian Shan Touristic Area. Mian Shan met us with crispy clean mountain air and warm sunshine.
True! It was unbelievable experience, one-of-a-kind! We drop all our luggage in Yunfeng Hotel, and walked to one of the nearest Yunfeng Temple. From the Temple we took Cloud Road to the Heaven. The name said everything. Wow! No photos, or videos can describe our feelings, and surrounding views… Tranquility, inviting warmth of bright sunshine, fresh air and panoramic breathtaking views were like a magic energy pouring into our bodies to give us enough to climb and walk for a day without any meals and rest!
We were hungry to see more and more of the surrounding beauty. All unique, and beautifully restored temples on high cliffs, untouched by centuries trees and rocks, peaceful smiles of a few locals, interactions with monks – one of them showed some hidden clues to the statues… all of these unforgettable experiences of joy keep in our heads, and keep reminiscing often.
That day we explored also Rabbit Bridge area, Daluo Temple, Iron Chain Ridge and Universe Pagoda… Dinner at Yunfeng Hotel was delicious, or probably we were so hungry and tired… Next morning after delicious buffet breakfast in Yunfeng Hotel, first we explored Qixian Valley Area with caves along the way.
No Wonderland or Disneyland or any other amusement park can compete with natural beauty of the Valley and entertainment with climbing through the obstacles. This valley was the Highlight of the trip! After the valley we took a shuttle bus to Zhujia Hollow Area visited Cave God Temple, Lingbao God temple and Sight Seeing Pavilion, then again shuttle bus, to Funnel Spring Area, visiting Daluo Temple & Beehive Spring, than magnificent Plank Road on Cliff…
The Plank road on Cliff is another “Wow!” experience of lifetime. Imagine CN Tower glass floor experience… similar, but without any glass, only thin planks that somehow are attached to the vertical cliff!
Yes, it’s thrilling experience! If we ever happened to visit Mian Shan Scenic Area again, we would stay here at least for a week! Unfortunately our time in China was limited, and after lunch we rushed to shuttle bus, then to taxi for railway station, and speed train to Xi’an. To see more wonders that this grand country is so rich for…