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Weekly Challenge – Inside the Ancient City of Ping Yao

“Darkness is just light turned inside out.”

Beelzebub

CHINA'S FUTURE
CHINA’S FUTURE

This week we have been challenged to look on the inside, to see past the obvious.  As I was working with our tour company to put together our China itinerary, I stressed exactly that – an interest in looking inside the “real” China, which to me meant visiting some of the more remote, less modernized regions.

PAST MEETS PRESENT
PAST MEETS PRESENT

“Every moment is a crossroad in time. Consider that, as above so below and as inside so outside and live accordingly.”

Grigoris Deoudis

What I’ve learned thus far, as so aptly put by my husband, is that China is a dichotomy, a country in transition – bicycles and BMWs, ancient and modern, young and old, crazy crowded and peacefully solitary.  As a UNESCO world heritage site, the ancient city of Ping Yao offers a look at China before the many cranes and expanding roadways began to change her look and feel.

BOY IN A BASKET
BOY IN A BASKET

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Ping Yao region has been occupied since neolithic times, and has been an urban center since 800 BC; its walls were built in the 14th century.  It was the home of the first draft bank in China and thus became a major center for trade and commerce.

BASIC BARBERSHOP
BASIC BARBERSHOP

“We are all alike on the inside.”

Mark Twain

As business and industry moved to more modern cities like Beijing and Shanghai, places like Ping Yao have begun to depend on tourism and local commerce for their livelihoods.  The remarkable preservation of the walls and courtyards of Ping Yao make it a valid visit to China’s simpler past – but because it is off the beaten path it is not overrun nor spoiled by its tourism.  Here then, a few examples of the walls and courtyards within them:

ATOP THE CITY WALLS
ATOP THE CITY WALLS
ROOFTOPS
ROOFTOPS
RED DOOR
RED DOOR
RED BANNERS
TWO BANNERS

“Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes.”

Carl Jung

And finally, a look at some of Ping Yao’s people going about their everyday lives – showing us that what’s inside is not about the walls, or the courtyards, or even the history. It’s about those upon whom China depends for her future, her people.

WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY
WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY
A PEEK AT LIFE INSIDE
A PEEK AT LIFE INSIDE
BESIDE THE BIKE
BESIDE THE BIKE
HAPPY GRANDMOTHER
HAPPY GRANDMOTHER

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”

Deepak Chopra

China, to me, is a visual explosion.  There are photographs just waiting to be made at every turn.  During our travels in the countryside, the grasses are so green and the flowers so yellow, you just want to dive into them – but more on that next time 🙂  In the meanwhile, to see more entries on the Inside,  click here.

 

 

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147 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge – Inside the Ancient City of Ping Yao Leave a comment

  1. Your photos capture the feel of the region,which appears frozen in time. Remarkable photos – the boys, the walls, the doors, all timeless, all speak to me. Love love love the Emerson quote.

    • Many thanks Bente! It’s so very different from my everyday life that its fascinating. Travel is good for the soul! China is beautiful and the people are very warm and welcoming. Not like the china of our youth! Thanks for your visit and comment.

  2. I almost feel a bit guilty adding one more comment to the 113 already posted … but not guilty enough to not comment 🙂 I like so many of these photos, in particular The Red Door, Past meets Present, and Happy Grandmother. Your comments about transition and old vs new reminded me of the book The Last Chinese Chef. My bookgroup read it this past year and very much loved the discussion of the old ways of chinese cooking and of course, the American tendency to “americanize” all ethnic foods. Have you by any chance read it?
    I wrote about our experience of trying to find authentic chinese food in SWVA (i’m quite sure you’ll have no time to check out the post but do so if interested). Loved this post and your photography!
    http://lifeonthebikeandotherfabthings.com/2012/10/28/the-search-for-authentic-chinese-food-in-swva/

    • Thanks so much LB! Loved your comment. Haven’t heard of the book but always looking for a good one so will check it out! And am saving your comment in my email to remind me to check out the post you mentioned. Loving the food over here 🙂 last night grilled yak skewers !!!

      Sent from my iPad

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