Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Asian Adventure - Qiao Family Courtyard

After the same breakfast as the previous day, our guide collected us and we walked the 15-20 minutes outside the Ancient city. 

About an hours drive away was the Qiao Family Courtyard. Initially, we had not been interested in visiting this attraction, but we had misunderstood what it was all about. It sounded like it was a large house built by a famous Chinese film director, but it turned out that the Qiao family were very wealthy merchants hundreds of years ago. The founder of the family had started as a soybean farmer, but built up his wealth and founded the family. They eventually had 2 private banks and built a huge courtyard enclosure for around 60 family members and many servants. The courtyard was used for the filming of the famous Chinese film “The Red Lantern” in the 1980s. There were 5 main enclosures and one which was a garden. Now it holds museum attractions, and there were lots of visitors. 

Click to play video (2min 06sec)

Nearby was the restaurant for lunch and we had a pork soup, along with eggplant, and another pork dish. It was very nicely washed down with a cold beer. 

Front of our Restaurant

Yanging Beer

It was about an hours drive to Taiyuan where we were dropped at the beautiful new train station to take the bullet train to Xian. It was a much better environment than Beijing Railway Station, large, clean, and plenty of waiting seats available. 

Taiyuan Railway Station

Waiting area at Taiyuan Railway Station

Bullet Train
Our only disappointment was that it became obvious that the travel agent had not told the guide and driver that we had pre-paid the tips. We soon sorted that out. 

At 16:05 our train left for the 600-odd km journey, at up to 248km/hr (only got the photo of 2 less), and arrived at 19:45, where we were met by our new guide, Ms Mai Gao, and driver Lee in a van. 

I think this is a sign advertising appartments 430m2 for Yen2700 per sq m

Even here the pollution is evident...

This hotel was pretty dingy.

In the evening we went for a walk and enjoyed the city lights.

Out Hotel at night

Police presence

No comments:

Post a Comment