Location of Pingyao
Situated in central Shanxi, Pingyao County is 94 kilometers (58.4 miles) northeast of Taiyuan, 616 kilometers (382.8 miles) northeast of Beijing, 543 kilometers (337.4miles) west of Xian, 758 kilometers (471 miles) east of Tianjin and 2390 kilometers (1485 miles) to Guangzhou. Owing to the passing-by Tong-Pu Railway, No.108 National Highway, Dong-Xia Road, Fen-Tun Road and Dayun Highway, it has quite a convenient transportation.
With fourteen towns and villages in all under its prefecture, Pingyao County covers an area of 1260 square kilometers (486.5 square miles). The 2.25 square kilometers (556 acres) broad Old City is the epitome of the local history. As one of the World Cultural and Natural Heritages in China, this Old City now is quite a hot tourism spot. What's convenient is that the Railway Station and the Bus Station are located adjacent to the Old City. You can easily get into the Old City as soon as you arrive there by train or long-distance bus.
Since the county is not far away from Taiyuan, Taiyuan City can be taken as a transfer station for your trip to other cities around China.
Get in Pingyao by plane
There is no airport in Pingyao County. If you would like to go there by air, the Taiyuan Wusu Airport (TYN) which is 90 kilometers (56 miles) away from the old city may be the best choice. After reaching the Wusu airport, you have two ways to get here: by long-distance bus or by train.
Get in Pingyao by Train
Pingyao Railway Station is situated in the Zhongdu Road not far away outside the West Gate of the Old City. Trains to and from cities like Beijing, Chengdu, Xian, Chongqing and Taiyuan are available in this station. For the railway station is not large, every day only one train from Beijing stops over here; and also only one train stopping over Pingyao heads for Beijing. There is respectively one train to and from Chengdu, Xian and Chongqing stops over here.
It is quite convenient to commute between Taiyuan and Pingyao by train. Trains stopping over at Pingyao from Taiyuan Railway Station are in an interval of about 1~3 hours; those stopping over at Taiyuan from Pingyao Railway Station are in an interval of about 20 minutes to 1.5 hours during 15:00~23:30. The whole trip only takes about 1~1.5 hours according to the type of the train. The price is also reasonable in a range of CNY 8~26.
In Pingyao Railway Station, there are battery cars available for you to get to the Old City. It charges about CNY 10 per person per time.
Get around in Pingyao
As the old walled city is only about 1 mile by 1 mile (or 1.6km by 1.6km), walking is the by far #1 way around. Most of the old walled city is also off-limits to taxis/cars. However if you are feeling lazy, you can hire golf carts that wander the streets. Pay around RMB 5 for a ride if a single person, around RMB 15 for four people. It is also possible to rent bikes for RMB 10 per day, though the streets crowded with Chinese tourists may make this not much faster than walking.
If navigating by map - know that there are several interior towers/wall sections that look very much like part of the city wall proper. The first day, many map-wielding tourist become confused in placing themselves, thinking they are seeing the nearby city wall, when they in fact are not.