Wang Family Courtyard

Historic Building in Pingyao

More castle than cosy home, this grand Qing-dynasty former residence has been very well maintained (note the wooden galleries fronting many of the courtyard buildings). Due to the sheer size, the seemingly endless procession of courtyards (123 in all) become a little repetitive, but it's still beautiful and the complex is interspersed with gardens. Four direct buses (¥17, one hour, 7.10am, 8.40am, 12.40pm and 2.20pm) leave from Píngyáo’s bus station, returning at 10.50am, 12.30pm, 3.30pm and 5.20pm.

You can join a tour or hire a car to get here. Climb up onto the walls around the vast courtyard for excellent views. Behind the castle walls are interesting and still-occupied cave dwellings (窑洞; yáodòng), while in front of the complex is a Yuan dynasty Confucius Temple, with a beautiful three-tiered wooden pagoda. An audio guide to the courtyard complex is ¥20 (¥50 deposit).