Oct 8 2016

Seafood: BaiXing YuCun 百姓渔村(南内环店)

Neihuan Street South 南内环颐高数码港对面
Taiyuan, China

A decent chain restaurant to dine and entertain. Tasteful dishes with good presentation.

One of the breads is named after a historical couple: Wudalang pancakes 武大郎饼 and Pan Jinglian veggie 潘金莲菜. The fictional story goes that Wudalang was a timid and hideous man who sold bread for a living. He had fortune (or misfortune) to marry a very beautiful woman who’s strong sexual need… The pancake tastes light and delicious.

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Oct 8 2016

The Ancient City of Pingyao 平遥古城

Ping Yao is well-preserved city from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 – 771 BC) rebuilt in the 14th century. It becomes a World Cultural Heritage in 1997. A mere 60 miles/100 km southwest of Jinzhong/Taiyuan in Shanxi province, it’s one of 4 old towns in China (the other 3 are: Lijiang, Huizhou and Langzhong). Hotels, restaurants, shops and of course historical sites & museums.

how to get thereshopping and eating.

We set out on the first day after the long Golden Week. Grandaunt Qiao decides to keep me company even she’s been there three times.

Thank you, grandma!

We pick a wagon and a guide from the parking lot near the north gate Gongji Gate 拱极门; the combo includes four ticket-require attractions out of total of 22. Over all, we walked 3.5 miles/5.6 km that day, a total 8,635 steps. For me, it’s nothing but a bit tough for grandma. However, she does just fine and even goes to dinner that night. Great going grandma! Keep it strong.



A panoramic view on top of the old wall from the northern gate. The encircled wall which resembles a shape of tortoise, is 4 miles/6 kilometers long, 40 ft/12 meters tall; the top varies from 10 to 20 ft/3 to 6 meters wide. The wall is built with bricks and stones.

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Dark vinegar is one of Shanxi’s specialties, mature vinegar 老陈醋 made from sorghum. It differs from black Zhejiang known as Chinkiang vinegar that made from rice. The residents are being gradually moved out.

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Eating in Pingyao is fun. We’ve lunch at Xiyu Cheng Hotel 西裕成 招待所, sampling a few specialties, such as wantu 碗秃 that’s made with buckwheat 荞面 and kaolaolao 栲栳栳  bee-heave lookalike, which is made with 莜麦 naked oats. There are bars and dog poop candy 狗屎糖 – sorry I didn’t try.

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Scenes, dress up parade and shops that worth stopping by.

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The palatial Pingyao county gov office on Yamen St is originally built in 1346, completed with bells and whistles, and a karaoke. Does the prison look less intimidating than the torture?

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The Yingxun Gate 迎熏门 at south.

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We didn’t go for the indoor play Seeing Pingyao Again 又见平遥 by 王潮歌, directed by Wang Chaoge, 大型室内情境体验剧 a large-scale indoor scenes experience drama.

Oct 6 2016

Meixuan Yangsheng Huoguo 美轩养生火锅

Banquet Health Hotpot
Taiyuan, China

An upscale restaurant. We dine in the private room. While waiting, they served a plate of fruits, which is nice since our lunch was pretty hot.

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Before the hotpot, we have some various dishes that are finely presented and taste wonderful. I particularly enjoy the durian pastry (better than Flushing’s) and consumed two.

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Oct 5 2016

Taiyuan 太原 & Jinzhong 晋中

Taiyuan 太原市 (wiki) is the capital city, also the largest city of Shanxi province 山西省, 167 miles/270 km south of Datong. It appears to me, pretty modern. I visit it twice, both times in the evenings for dinner.

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A great feature in parking lot at Taiyuan train station: swipe for parking location 刷卡定位方便取车. The cars at the train station parking lot look decent … and they buy an extra seat belt buckle to silent the car


JinZhong 晋中市 is connecting to Taiyuan on the northwest front. After her military service, Grandaunt Qiao set up her root in Yuci, now renamed/zoned JinZhong (since 1999). They’ve four childen, of two are still living there. A short video.

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Eden International is a top tier hotel in JinZhong. My aunt checked me in there, thinking it’s more convenient. But I moved out to be with Grandaunt Qiao the following day.

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Housing prices are skyrocketing in China but for some families, they’ve more homes than they actually need. Old City of Yuci 榆次老城 is an easy 15 minutes walk from Eden.

Oct 5 2016

Shanxi 山西

Shanxi West of the Mountains (Jin 晋) is a province in northern China. Taiyuan is the capital city, 310 miles/500 km southwest of Beijing. The four major cities:

  • Taiyuan (Yuci/JinZhong)
  • Datong
  • Changzhi 长治
  • Yangquan 阳泉

The province is situated on a plateau 在高原, the valleys make an interesting landscape. Mountains are Taihang Mountains, Mount Hua  and Mount Wutai (Wutai Shan). The Great Wall forms much of the border with Inner Mongolia, the Yellow River forms the western border of Shanxi with Shaanxi.