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Introducing Jīmíngyì

As ragged and forlorn as a cast-off shoe, tiny Jīmíngyì is a characteristic snapshot of the Héběi countryside: disintegrating town walls rise above fields of millet and corn, while the occasional flock of sheep baas its way through one of the main gates in the early morning. The oldest remaining post station in China, Jīmíngyì is a long way off from the gleaming capital – much further than the 140km distance would indicate. The rural pace of life and unrestored charm are what make the place attractive, though at its height during the Ming and Qing dynasties it was a town of considerably more bustle, as evidenced in the numerous surviving temples.