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Revision as of 14:05, 8 November 2009

See also Shaanxi, a neighboring province.

Shanxi (山西) is a province in Northern Central Region of China.



Other destinations


Shanxi Province, whose name means 'land west of the Taihang Mountain', lies in the middle reaches of the Yellow River and on the eastern edge of the Loess Plateau. The Yellow, Haihe, and Fenhe rivers flow through Shanxi, whose splendid landscape is graced by the celebrated Taihang and Liliang ranges and Hengshan and Wutai mountains. Most parts of the province are more than 1000 meters above sea level. Shanxi's long history is traced back to the days when it was a major cradle of Chinese civilization. In remote antiquity, southern Shanxi was the domain of three legendary kings - Yao (capital: Pingyuan or present day Linfen), Shen (capital: Puban or present day Yongji) and Yu (capital: Anyi or present day Xiaxian County). A rich cultural heritage mixes with natural wonders to form Shanxi's bustling tourist scene. Datong, Wutai Shan, Taiyuan, Pingyao, Linfen, and Yuncheng are locations full of historic and cultural significance. Several sites in Shanxi are on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.


Get in

Get around

The main sites in Shanxi are clustered around the main provincial highway, an impressive modern tollway which runs from Datong in the north to Yuncheng in the south. This highway passes through or near such major tourist centers as Taiyuan (the capital city), Pingyao, and Linfen. Thus the key tourist sights in Shanxi are easily visited by car. (The main exception being Wutai Shan, which can be reached by car but which is not so close to this main highway.) Unfortunately it is not that easy to rent a car and/or driver in Shanxi, particularly if one is not a Chinese speaker. This is best arranged through a travel agency.

Shanxi also has a major rail line which runs parallel to this highway and which stops at the key cities. It is a good way to get from city to city, although one does need to check the schedules carefully as some cities are served infrequently.

The main airports are in Taiyuan and in Datong.

There are many local and long distance bus lines in Shanxi. In general the buses get to destinations more quickly than the train.

Taxis are freely available for local trips or for daily hire.


Landmarks and buildings

  • Yungang Grottoes — in Datong.
  • Nine Dragon Screen — in Datong.
  • Hanging Monastery — near Datong.
  • Yingxian Wooden Pagoda — near Datong.
  • The Outer Wall of Shanxi — portion of the Great Wall of China, Li'erkou to Deshengbu, Juqiangbu to Laoniuwan, and along the Yellow River, near Datong.
  • The Inner Wall of Shanxi — portion of the Great Wall of China, Yanmenguan, Guangwu Old City, Ningwu Pass and Niangziguan.
  • Wutai Shan — one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China.
  • Jinci Temple — on the outskirts of Taiyuan.
  • Tianlongshan Grottoes — near Taiyuan.
  • Temple of the Twin Pagodas — in Taiyuan.
  • Shanxi merchant family compounds — near Pingyao. (Includes Qiao, Chang, Wang, and Qu Family Compounds.)
  • Guangsheng Temple (including Flying Rainbow Pagoda) — near Linfen.
  • Hukou Waterfall — nearest major city is Linfen.
  • Guan Di Temple — in Xiezhou near Yuncheng.
  • Yongle Palace — in Ruicheng County near Yuncheng.

Parks and nature

  • Hengshan Mountain — in Datong.
  • Hukou Waterfall — in Jixian County near Linfen.


  • Shanxi Museum — in Taiyuan.
  • Folklore Museum — at Dingcun village in Xiangfen near Linfen.
  • Folklore Museum — at Qiaojiabao in Taiyuan.



Shanxi has its own cuisine which is rather different than the more commonly experienced Cantonese, Beijing, Shanghai or Sichuan cuisines. Shanxi cuisine is particularly noted for its noodles, which come in many shapes and sizes and come accompanied with many different types of sauce.


Stay safe

Get out

Shanxi sits between Beijing and Xi'an, home of the famous Terracotta Warriors. For those who have time, it makes much sense to travel from Beijing to northern Shanxi to southern Shanxi to Xi'an (in Shaanxi Province)--or from Xi'an to Beijing via Shanxi in the other direction.

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