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Shanxi Travel Guide

Shanxi Overview

Shanxi, famous as a coal producer in China, is a province processes many historic sites including Datong and Pinyao. Although the coal industry is developed well in Shanxi, the transportation is not as convenient as other tourist places in China.

In Shanxin Province one can get a glimpse of Chinese gardening, architecture, sculpture, carving and other arts. The statues of the maids of the Song Dynasty (960-1280) in Jinci Temple of Taiyaun are considered masterpieces of ancient Chinese sculptures. Pingyao Ancient Town, as one of the world heritage sites in China, expresses the unique architecture characters and the mysterious city culture of China. Datong processes the Yungang Grottoes as a famous religious site that welcomed all tourists from all over the world.

Besides the history colors in Shanxi, it is also worth considering. Shanxi cuisine focuses on saltiness, freshness and deliciousness. There are altogether 25 different cooking techniques, in which deep-frying, stir frying, roasting, braising and steaming are the most reputable. Local favorites include sweet and sour fish, hot candied yam, boiled lamb, chopped noodles, hand stretched noodles and knife carved noodles.

Shanxi Facts

Provincial Capital: Taiyuan

Area: Shanxi Province has an area about 156,600 square km.

Geography: Shanxi Province is situated in the middle of the Yellow River valley, lying between latitude 34°34'-40°44' north and longitude 110°15'-114°32' east. Its location west of the Taihang Mountains gives the province its name, Shanxi, meaning "west of the mountain."

The highest peak of Shanxi Province named Mount Wutai is situated in northeast side.The Great Wall of China forms most of the northern border with Inner Mongolia. The Zhongtiao Mountains run along part of the southern border and separate Shanxi from the east-west part of the Yellow River.

The Yellow River forms the western border of Shanxi with Shaanxi. The Fen and Qin rivers, tributaries of the Yellow River, run north-to-south through the province, and drain much of its area. The north of the province is drained by tributaries of the Hai River, such as Sanggan and Hutuo rivers. The largest natural lake in Shanxi is Xiechi Lake, a salt lake near Yuncheng in southwestern Shanxi.

Population: The year 2005 saw births of 402,100, or a birth rate of 12.02‰, and deaths of 200,700 or a mortality rate of 6.00‰. Shanxi Province composed of Han, Hui, Mongolian, Manchu and other nationalities. Taiyuan is the provincial capital.

Administrative Division: Shanxi is divided into eleven prefecture-level divisions, all of them prefecture-level cities.

Shanxi Climate & Weather

Shanxi has temperate continental monsoon climate. Its annual average temperature is about 3℃~14℃. It has large temperature difference between day and night; also between south area and north area. Its annual precipitation is about 400-650 mm, but distributed unequally in each season. In summer, from June to August, the precipitation is centralized and during this period, Shanxi has many rainstorms; the precipitation in summer accounts for more than 60% of the full year.

Tips for Beijing Weather

Best season to visit Beijing:
The best time to travel in Shanxi is in spring and autumn, especially May, August to October. Spring has large daily range of temperature and much sand blown by the wind in Shanxi. The provincial average temperature is about 10℃. Summer is short and hot with lots of rain. The provincial temperature in this season is a little high. The temperature of the hottest month July is about 21℃~26℃. Autumn is short with mild climate in Shanxi. The average temperature of the whole province is about 10℃. Winter in Shanxi is long, dry and cold. The temperature in this season seems to be below 0℃ around the whole province.

Clothes for travelling:
The temperature difference between day and night in the scenic areas in Shanxi Province is big, and sunshine time is long; even if in summer, it is cool in the morning and evening and hot at noon. Please bring enough clothes to keep warm. If you go to the Mt. Wutai in Shanxi Taiyuan, be sure to take your thick sweater and warm clothes, also you can bring down jacket, for the climate in Mt. Wutai is changeable.

Avoid Peak Holidays:
It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07).. Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.

Other Tips:
1. The temperature changes a lot in the daytime and night and the air is a little dry in Shanxi, tourists should drink more water and eat more fruit.
2. Shanxi has much sand blown by the wind, tourists should prepare your long sleeve and trousers; also should take your sunglasses, sun helmet, sun cream, lip protector, etc...

Shanxi Tours & Tings to Do