The Dragon Temple, Pingyao, Shanxi Province

On the May Day Holiday, I went with some friends to the ancient walled city of Pingyao, which is almost untouched by the 20th Century. I’ll post more pictures as I discover where they are on the various flash drives I carried around… There were quite a few places that would be of interest to readers of this blog.

First up: a sad scene – the Dragon Temple outside the walls on the eastern side of the city. It was marked as an attraction on the official tourist map, and sounded intriguing, so we went along. Our tuk-tuk driver was bemused, and we soon found out why… the place was an empty ruin. It felt completely desolate… and yet, perhaps I imagined it, there still seemed to be some power there. How magnificent this temple must have been in the Imperial era, and how cruelly time has treated it…

It was very odd: the old man was sitting in the courtyard when we arrived. He didn’t acknowledge us, look at us, speak to us, or indeed move, while we were looking around. As we left, he got up, followed us out, and locked the door behind him. Was he waiting for us? How could he have known?

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