One of the highlights of the city - and the first thing one sees when you arrive - is a fortress-like town with a wall that marks a boundary between modernity and the past with a 12-meter high wall.
As I walked toward this historic center, the feeling that I had gone back in time grew ever stronger. The feeling was so intense that I actually forgot all about the city's traffic.
The noise of the city and the lights from the shops also seem to fade to nothing as a feeling of peace and calm rarely found in big cities swept over me.
It's free to walk around the old city, but you will have to pay to access the most interesting monuments or climb the wall.
The city center sells a ticket that enables you to enter about 20 places in the city. In addition to the wall, the best place to visit is Nandajie.
Around 440 meters long, it is the most famous street in Pingyao.
There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and places of interest to visit, full of color and smells of local cuisine.
Thousands of houses and shops have been preserved along the road for more than 600 years.
Visiting the wall at dusk is not something you will -regret. Pingyao is one of those cities that changes completely at night.
Within the city there are several outstanding houses that you should visit.
The price of entry is a moderate fee.
Take care, though, it's highly likely you will end up getting lost as you traverse the numerous alleyways, so pay special attention as you travel around.
Visiting these homes is a privilege that is almost nonexistent in large cities such as Beijing, where visiting old buildings is mainly limited to their exteriors.
In Pingyao, however, you can truly feel the city's history.
The 300-year-old Tower of the City stands out above all other towers.
This elevated viewpoint allows visitors to contemplate the most beautiful view of Pingyao; gray roofs and streets decorated with -countless red lanterns, and old residences with landscaped patios.
The Qiao family compound is another place you shouldn't miss.
The complex is 5,000 square meters in size and boasts 313 rooms, six large patios and 19 smaller patios.
One of the -private -residences has -become a museum full of unique period furniture that is a true testimony of the era.
The Wang family compound feels even more unique.
This compound is much better that the Qiao compound, but still goes relatively unknown to visitors from abroad.
Forty-five thousand square meters in size, the residence is one of the largest -architectural masterpieces of the Ming Dynasty.
It is also known as the Forbidden Temple of Shanxi Province.
The house is actually located away from Pingyao, but can be reached by private car.
Although they are a product of modernity, staying in the historic center is an unforgettable experience.
To maintain the architectural style of the city, the hotels offer facilities and rooms -designed in accordance with olden times.
The Yide Hotel is very popular. Their rooms, with their furniture and stone beds, are really peaceful and romantic.
Pingyao is a place that you have to visit if you truly want a compete idea of what -China looked like in ancient times.
No matter if it's the city's history, tranquility, romanticism, Pingyao is worth spending a few days of your time walking its beautiful streets and looking at the pretty red lanterns.