From a bird's eye view the rectangular wall resembles a tortoise. There are six city gates,
one each on the North and south walls, and two each on the west and east walls. The South gate is the head of the tortoise, the two wells outside being the two eyes of tortoise.
The north gate, the lowest place of the city, is the tail of tortoise. Traditionally the tortoise was considered a symbol of longevity, so through ancient times the hopes were that Pingyao Ancient City would be permanently secure. There are 72 watchtowers on the top of city wall and 3,000 external battlements.
It is said that the 72 watchtowers represent 72 people of great wisdom, the 3,000 battlements the 3,000 disciples of Confucius.
Some statues and seating areas have been added to the walkways.
Little boys everywhere play at defending castles or playing Ninja turtles. These little lads do not have to pretend to defend the castle walls, they will within them daily.