|Pingyao in 1997|
This walled Ming Dynasty city in Shanxi Province was one of my favorites when I lived in Beijing. Oh, how it's changed since then. A picture accompanying the article showed the street filled with people., and foreigners so rare that a couple of toddlers ran away screaming when they saw me. One little boy was more adventurous and shyly followed me around and a couple of times acted as my "translator", even though he had no English. He did keep his Chinese simple enough that I could understand it, especially the lecture from an elderly gentleman about being a single foreign woman traveling alone in China.
Back when I visited, Pingyao was just beginning to be discovered as a tourist destination. The streets were dirt, and I enjoyed wandering through them, looking at the old buildings. I then climbed to the top of the wall, walking around it and viewing the city below.
Pingyao is considered the best preserved walled city in China. Many movies, including Raise the Red Lantern, and television shows have been filmed here.
There weren't many surprises on the top 10 list, just the normal tourist destinations, such as Beijing, Shanghai nd Xi'an.