The Catholic church in Pingyao is situated in the Old Quarter close to city walls. The church, what surprised me, was open. It probably belongs to "official" Catholic Church in China (the Church is divided in two: official - approved by the communist authorities and unofficial - hidden and persecuted).
We walked inside and noticed that it is in a very poor conditions... We wanted to attend the Mass, but no one could tell us what time it started.
I took a walk around the eastern side of the town where no tourists seem to venture and here's some photo's of the buildings. Pingyao looks like it's actually quite a poor town despite the barrage of tourists. This is the "real" side of the town and well worth a visit to get some contrast to that of the main tourist areas. Some of the buildings look very dilapidated and in need of some urgent repair.
To the north of the Temple of the City of God is a wonderful but surprisingly somewhat ignored, 9 Dragon Screen wall. Although this wall is not quite as well maintained or large as those in the Forbidden City and Datong, just the same it is interesting. I sort of came by it by accident as I left the Temple of the City of God by way of the North Entrance.
Hire a taxi for 300 Yuan and head for the Qiao family courtyard home about an hour from Pingyao which was the site for the film, Raise the Red Lantern.
The house was built by Qiao Guifa, who made his fortune by selling tea and bean curd in Inner Mongolia and ended up owning more than two hundred stores and money shops. It consists of six courtyards divided into 20 smaller courtyards with a total of 313 buildings within a high wall.
Various exhibits depict aspects of traditional Chinese life with English explanations.
The courtyards themselves evoke tremendous appeal with lanterns, ornate windows and doors.
Cost of entry: 40 Yuan
Kuixing Tower is one of the lovelier towers that you find along the City Walls of Pingyao. Compared to the other towers, it is quite elaborately designed. It has an eight sided pavilion the rises above the ramparts. The Kuixing Tower is located on the southeast section of the walls in an area that does not receive the hordes of tourists that fill Pingyao.
Want to do something different for a change?
Why not playing pool with the locals...
And forget about poolrooms - in china it all happens on the street.
An advice - don't go playin' pool for money, even if the locals say they haven't played for some years...
This Catholic Church is located in the south-east of the town near the eastern wall.
Just off Cheng Huang Temple Street.