We were to visit Pianyan north of Chongqing. I am a frequent traveler in China and have visited many such old towns. This became a visit of an unusual kind, but not a pleasant one. We borrowed a car to drive there, it is 10 Km north of central Chongqing. First, the motorway was excellent, then we followed a country road with very heavy traffic of large dumpers, no respect or courtesy shown, frequent honking with loud horns and frequent truck service stations with piles of tires. It felt like going through a derelict 1950s industrial zone. The town looked different than then carefully manicured and cropped photos we had seen, it gave us more the feeling of a dark neglected slum. When leaving a woman blocked the way of our car and shouted something in the local language we could not understand. She was certainly not an official, parking or ticket attendant. We guess she was one of these scam operators who think foreigners are rich and can be “taxed”, they bang on the windows, sometimes kick the car, or throw something in front of it and demand money with menace, to extract money from foreign visitors. It is not common, but it happens and it happened here. This is not China, there are better places to visit. (Position Pianyan 30.0028, 106.6575) Go to Ci Qi Kou (29.5790, 106.4464), Hongyadong ((29.5623, 106.5783) or Longxin (29.687644, 106.817966) if you want to experience old China genuine towns.
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