Thursday 13 September 2007

China: Pingyao's sites

Enticed by the front of the bottle of Chinese shower gel in our bathroom ('Scraps removing & tickle prevented shower'), I continued to read the description on the back, which is a fair representation of the slackness in China's legendary translations:

'This Article Increase Efficiently The Plant Suppresses The Beautiful White of Vegetable Of And Lemons To Nourish The Essence, Matching With The Amino Acids To Moisten To Protect The Wet Composition, At The Time of Repressing The Insect Growth Effectively, Nourish The Skin,activate The Cell. fragrant of Special Lemon, Refreshing Come To the Brain, make Bath Feel More Comfortable And Great Behind.'

After a substantial breakfast which included bacon (ahh) we explored some of Pingyao's sites, such as the Confusion temple, the Taoist temple, the southern gate and the Ancient City Building in the heart of the town. The majority of the town can be observed from this central location, giving some idea of the scale of the place.

There are hundreds of small alleys leading from the main roads which run in a grid across the city. It is like being in a living museum.

We wandered in the serene grounds of the Confucion Temple when a modestly dressed monk appeared for the perfect photo opportunity. However, his purpose was to turn on the public address system with a remote control as Confucian chants burst forth across the grounds. Good to see they are embracing technology.

In the evening we ventured to one of the ticket offices to have our day tickets validated for tomorrow (nothing like a good bit of bureaucracy). This gave us the opportunity to explore Western Main Street.

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