Pingyao - Shanxi Province
Pingyao was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, and it is not surprising to see why. With allegedly the last remaining intact Ming Dynasty city wall the city exudes history and transports you back in time to the era of the great Emperors. The remarkably well-preserved shops and houses really give the visitor a sense of how life was during the period of Imperial rule and hence the city is fast becoming the high point on a growing number of people’s itineraries.
The ancient centre is small and can be explored on foot, but there are also some impressive sights located out of town. The Double Forest (Shuanglin) Temple, originally founded in the 6th century, contains over 2,000 Buddhist statues. Further out of town, the Wang Family Estate is a huge private house complex divided into two parts with walls the size of Forbidden City in Beijing.