Area shines after sunset

Updated: 2015-08-14 09:15

By Grace Jackson(

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Area shines after sunset

Typical architecture in Pingyao. [Photo by Deepankar Aron/ For]

By day, the ancient city of Pingyao is a bustling hub of shops, restaurants and bars within its city walls. Our tour group joined torrents of tourists, Buddhist monks and nuns visiting Wutai Mountain temples despite torrents of rain.

Thousands come to admire the Hanging Monastery of Datong every day. The stunning attractions of Shanxi are popular for a reason, but the richness of Shanxi culture does not stop there. I truly saw Shanxi culture when the tourists went away and the sun went down.

It was Luigi, our group’s charismatic Canadian, who suggested we leave the city walls of Pingyao and take a stroll. As soon as we exited, the red lanterns disappeared and only quiet old buildings remained.

The dark road we walked down was peaceful and calm. We were quite a large group, but the few people we met did not shy away. A friendly Pingyao man stopped his electric bicycle to chat with us, asking cheerfully where we were all from and giving a thumbs up for a photo. A pet shop owner and his birds and rabbits watched us curiously, shuffling and chirping. From behind a closed door, we heard a man singing tunefully to himself — the voice of Pingyao!

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