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The Ancient Ming and Qing Streets
The Ancient Ming and Qing Streets: 
Shanxi - Pingyao; 
Travel in Pingyao, Shanxi While the Wang and Qiao family compounds are major attractions to be found here, Pingyao, is also famous for its lanes and streets which date from antiquity. A short distance from the Rishengchang Exchange Shop in Xida Jie there is a small cross road where to the left a street running from north to south leads to the southern end of the city. Passing by an 18 meter high three tiered tower, built during the Ming Dynasty, you will enter the famous Ming and Qing Street, also called Nanda Jie. This is one of the best places in which to explore ancient Chinese culture. There is a dazzling array of art wares that includes antiques, furniture, ancient coins, Chinese paintings, jade ware, lacquer ware and traditional folk clothing, etc., as you take a stroll among rows of traditional buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This crowded bazaar was the commercial centre during these dynastic periods with over 700 stores and shops. Most of these time-honoured stores continue to thrive to this day. It is also possible to travel through the streets in the appropriate style by taking a rickshaw ride. To complete your appreciation and enjoyment of this unique part of the city there are a number of museums. The Tongxinggong, Tianchengkui and Xietongqing are among the most notable and should not be missed.

Tongxinggong Armed Escort Company Museum

Situated at No. 105 Nanda Jie in Pingyao, this museum is housed in the grandeur of a Ming styled complex. It is an excellent place to discover the history of the armed escort firms that played an important role in the development of Chinese commerce.

The business boom in Shanxi during the mid 19th century meant that there were substantial transits of money earned through trade. So that this wealth should not fall into the hands of thieves, merchants employed the services of professionally organized armed escorts. Wang Zhenqing, who was a master of martial techniques, established a company to provide a much needed escort service. His unparalleled bravery and military skills earned him and his firm such a good reputation that his firm became the established leader in its field. For several decades this firm and others like it played an important role in providing the security so necessary to the safe conduct of trade.

The fine collection of relics and records on display at this museum offer a remarkable insight into the cultural and historical background of past times.

Tianchengkui Farming Museum

This museum specializes in the collection and display of farming implements. There is a collection of over 300 items on display in seven exhibition rooms. The exhibits present a vivid portrayal of the development of farming techniques and productivity and their effect on the social economy during different periods of time in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River.

The theme of Exhibition Rooms No's 1 and 2 focuses upon the history of agricultural development through contemporary records, articles and books. These record both the details of the invention and use of various implements as well as the advanced skills employed in agriculture and husbandry.

Rooms No's 3 and 4 have displays of farming implements dating from the early Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) through to the most recent Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911). The exhibits show how farming methods including cultivation, irrigation, harvesting and threshing, as well as artificial insemination techniques for livestock, have evolved through the ages. The display of implements such as ploughs, picks, shovels, hooks, millstones and spinning wheels is a lasting tribute to the wisdom and diligence of the ancient Chinese people.

This is also a living museum and in Halls No's 6 and 7 you can participate in many activities including milling, spinning and even ploughing and so experiencing at first hand something of the way of life of the local people.

Admission Fee:  120
(Ancient Pingyao City, this scenic spot is included)
Travel in Pingyao
City Wall of Pingyao
Qiao's Compound
The Ancient Ming and Qing Streets
The Temple of the City God
Hotel in Pingyao
About Shanxi
Datong City
Pingyao City
Taiyuan City