The Yungang Caves, carved in a sandstone cliff outside the city of Datong, feature 53 major caves with 51,000 niches, all filled with statues. Five massive stone Buddhas between 30 & 60 feet tall thought to resemble that first rulers of the Northern Wei dynasty are the centre pieces of this unique Buddhist cave structure.

Afterwards, we visit Pingyao, one of China's best preserved traditional towns. Almost the entirety of this 2,700 year-old walled city in northern China consists of traditional cobbled streets and classically-styled courtyard homes. When Pingyao became China's pre-eminent banking centre two hundred years ago, and as a result one of its most affluent and handsome towns, wealthy industrialists built imposing mansions in its suburbs. One such residence not to be missed is that of the Qiao Family, whose austerely beautiful home became the setting for Zhang Yimou's famous 1991 movie Raise the Red Lantern.

pingyao-datong HIGHLIGHTS

A selection a some of the many incredible experiences that await you

I have traveled often with exceptional tour companies, but I have never had an experience equal to this. Exceptional in every way!


Custom Itineraries

Explore pingyao-datong through the eyes of a local

Over 40,000 sculptors were employed over a hundred years to build the 51,000 sculptures of the Yungang Caves, a marvel of Chinese Buddhist art. In Pingyao you will get an overview of a traditional Chinese town with its grid pattern of courtyard homes arrayed around the government building, the Confucian temple, and, of course – this being Pingyao – various private banks.

We customize each of our itineraries based on your must-see destinations and must-do interests.

We take a morning flight to Datong to visit the Yungang Caves, home to 51,000 statues carved in 252 grottoes. After your visit we drive to Pingyao and check in to your charming hotel.
In the morning you will explore Pingyao's various attractions, such as the city wall, Rishengchang bank and the Temple of City Gods. After lunch we will take you to the Qiao family mansion, one of the most famous sites in the city. After, we visit the Shuanglin Temple, a rare opportunity to see statues dating from the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties.
After breakfast, get ready to head to Xi’an by train.

Luxury Accommodations

Genuinely stylish boutique hotels are few and far between in China. Enjoy.

Learn More

Jing Residence

A benevolent local entrepreneur employed award-winning Venezuelan architect, Antonio Picardo, to combine two mansions into a chic 19 room boutique hotel in the center of town. Jing boasts a good restaurant, beautiful art and a professional staff.

Your Personal Traveling Concierge

Our China Hosts

Our China Hosts are part of what makes us unique; they help explain our success for over twenty years. Our China Hosts have been hand selected and expertly trained to provide you with the most unforgettable journey. From seamlessly ensuring flawless logistics, to deepening your cultural immersion, to effecting last minute adjustments, in the words of a guest, they take a trip "from excellence to perfection". Before you travel with us, it's hard to imagine what a China Host brings to the party. After, it's hard to imagine traveling without one.

Fine Dining & Authentic Cuisine

Experience the finest in Chinese and Western cuisine

Whereas the water-rich south of China eats rice as its staple, the north enjoys wheat noodles more. Northern towns like Xi'an and Pingyao excel in their variety of noodles. Pingyao's home province of Shanxi is particularly famous for Kaolaolao, a steamed buckwheat noodle eaten with various condiments, and for Daoxiaomian or knife cut noodles, a delicious beef noodle soup. Pingyao Niurou, or Pingyao Beef, is a salted stewed beef dish unique to Pingyao.


  • Population: 48,531 (2009)
  • The seat of Pingyao county with supervision over 10 villages.

Brief History

  • 827-782 BCE – Pingyao is founded by Emperor Xuanwang during the West Zhou Dynasty as a walled city
  • 211 BCE – Pingyao becomes a site of county jurisdiction
  • 1370 – Walls are built around the city
  • 1823 – The first bank in China opens in Pingyao called Rishengchang Piaohao
  • 1914 – Rishengchang bank goes bankrupt in the aftermath of the Xinhai Revolution
  • 1979 – Restorations on the city begin
  • 1982 – Pingyao is declared a National Historical and Cultural City
  • 1997 – Pingyao becomes a World Heritage Site
  • 2004 – Part of the southern wall collapse (since reconstructed)


  • Located in central Shanxi province on the east bank of the Fen River, about 715 km (444 mi) southwest of Beijing.