Shanxi Province's

TAIYUAN

 

As the third most polluted city in the world, there is little reason to come here except to take another train or bus. Pingyao 2 hours in the South or Wutaishan 3h30 in the North provide much better accommodations in better surroundings.

If you arrive too late to leave the same day, you can follow one of the touts at the train station or check the followings :

Hotels  << Get precise info, book online and save money !

  • Tielu Xingshe (4173 840), on the left when you exit the train station / Acceptable dorm 8(5), 10-15(4), 15-18(3), 20-30(2) without bath / Dbl or Trpl with huge bathroom 120

  • Yunshan Hotel (404 1351), 10mn walk from the Train Station, on the right after the Long Distance Bus Station / Nice Sgl, Dbl with bath start at 90, 108 (fan) or 98, 118 (air cond.) / Trpl 140

 
Railway Hotel tielu (xingshe) binguan

Yunshan Hotel

yunshan fandian

 

Backpacker's Tips : Olivier Boivineau, France (May 00)

Near the city :
Twin pagodas, to the E of the city. Taxi is the best way of getting there, 10Y at most from the city (if Sunday, beware of traffic!) / Entrance: 4Y. Still can't go up them. 400 years old, 13 storeys high, 55m high, 60m apart from eachother, not identical (some say they are). Symbol of the city. Quiet and peaceful (sometimes useful in China). If you are lucky, you can see the city through the smoke.

In the vicinity :
Jinci temple, 25 km SW of TY. Quiet and interesting (non Buddhist temple for a change). A good escape from Taiyuan if you're stuck there or just around / How to get there: no.8 bus (anywhere on YingZe Da Jie, Westward), 1hr, 2Y. Taxi: 30 mn, no more than 50Y / Fees: botannical gardens 5Y, temple 35Y / Story : Built to enshrine the founder of Jin State, Tang ShuYu, and to celebrate the Holy Mother (mother of the founder of Jin). Another temple... but a different one! I promise / Features: an X shaped bridge, the last of its kind in China; 40 odd well preserved clay statues of maids, representative of Chinese ancient art; the ever gurgling Immortal Spring; 10 arches dividing the flow of the spring into 3/10 going to the North, 7/10 to the South (there's a story behind that); the zig-zag bridge (bad spirits can only move in a straight line); winding dragons sculpted on the pillars of the Temple of the Holy mother; a white pagoda; and more.

Tianlong Shan (moutain of the celestial dragon), where you can change the air in your lungs. A taxi ride away from Jinci, 20mn, 35Y round trip (just stick to that price). Tell the driver to meet you at the Celestial Dragon Tree, TianLong Shu (he'll know the drill). You can visit a temple with a 13m Buddha on the face of the mountain (overhanging style). Just follow the path down to the village. You'll notice a weird tree. Ask the people around to show you the eyes and neck of the Dragon. The taxi driver (whom you have not yet given any money!) will be waiting for you and will get you back to Jinci, where you just hop on a bus back to Taiyuan (2Y still). Fee: 15Y


Bus Schedules :

From Main Bus Station

To Price Type Duration Time Nb Frequency
Wutaishan 43 Iveco 3h30 6 to 13:30 ++ 30mn
Datong 31/50 ordi/Iveco ?/5 8/11:30 1/1 na
Beijing 120 luxe 6 7 to 14 ++ 20mn
Pingyao 10 ordi 2h30 9/10/11 3 na
Zhengzhou 88/120 sleep/luxe 8 14:30,16 /19:30 2/1 na

From Train Station 

To Price Type Duration Time Nb Freq.
Wutaishan 22/40 Iveco 6/3h30 6 to 18 ++ 45mn
Datong 0:00 Iveco 5 7:30 to 18:30 ++ 30mn
Pingyao 20 Iveco 2 ? ++ 30mn

Trains

To Pingyao, see chart below and double check at the train station if more trains

 
Train No 1591/1594 7084 K128/125 7083
Taiyuan 0446 0700 1957 2110
Pingyao 0631 0933 2135 2310


The trip to Pingyao :
Train No678 at 11:41 / SS / Y5 / 2 hrs

A fairly relaxed trip as the train was half empty (or was it half full ?) / Note : this train was no longer listed in the new schedules. Check at the train station.

The trip to Zhengzhou :  Train / Night / 11 hrs

A very convenient train that allowed me to visit Pingyao in the afternoon and come back in the evening on time.

See also trip from Wutaishan to Taiyuan...