Prime Minister Chen’s Castle

Top choice in Shanxi

This well-preserved, magnificent Ming dynasty castle is the former residence of Chen Tingjing, prime minister under Emperor Kangxi in the late 17th century, and coauthor of China’s most famous dictionary. The Chen family rose to prominence as senior officials in the 16th century and the castle walls were originally constructed to keep revolting peasants out. While it may have some tourist trappings today, it remains a riveting maze of battlements, courtyards, gardens and stone archways.

Bus 803 (¥12) runs to the ticket office from Jincheng’s East Bus Station every 15 minutes between 6.30am and 6.30pm; the last bus back to Jincheng departs at 5pm or 5.30pm. If there isn’t a minibus back to Jincheng, minibuses zip to the small town of Beiliu (北留; ¥5, 15 minutes), where you can catch an ordinary bus back to Jincheng (¥12).

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