Pingyao City Wall & First Bank in China

After breakfast we headed by foot through the streets to see the Pingyao City Wall. We immediately encountered an acting troop playing out a scene from the past on the street. This show was sponsored by the local government. The wall is similar to the Xi’an Wall and a good warm-up to the Great Wall. Afterwards we visited a Taoist Temple and then the First Bank of China. About 200-300 years ago, Pingyao was the center of banking for all of China. The business and entrepreneurial culture in Pingyao made it a perfect environment for banking to take place. We saw the teller room, the counting room, and the opium room where they would drug their clients so the would happily sign more of their money away. The manager and secretary of the bank would earn ten or more times as much money as the local magistrate.

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