平遥We went to 平遥,(Pingyao) an ancient city in 山西（Shanxi) province some weeks back. The city was known for centuries as the banking center of China, and became a wealthy, large city with gaudy temples and manicured gardens. This changed drastically in the 19th century when Shanghai became the financial city, leaving Pingyao to waste away and depend on coal mining for it's profits. The reason why the city is so preserved, with Ming dynasty city walls made from rammed earth, dusty cobblestone streets and tiled roof eaves, is simply because the inhabitants were too poor to pull down the old buildings and build up Soviet-style housing complexes. Now Pingyao is, sadly, the only city in China with an intact, ancient wall, and gives the impression of a sheltered, beautiful, touristy "old China."