Pingyao Ancient City
Qiao Family Compound
Wang Family Compound
Shanxi Province is an ancient city that is considered one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. By visiting cultural and historical sites dating back to several thousand years ago, you'll fall in love with this mountainous region literally named, "West of the Mountains." With our Shanxi Travel Guide, discover old cities, homes of royal families, spectacular temples and caves that are based in a natural setting, as well as Mount Wutai and its sacred sites.
Located in the northwestern region of Chinese territory, the province of Shanxi has played a major role in the protection of the country against invasion for a long time. With the great wall bordering the north, the Gobi desert to the Northwest and its distinctive geography, Shanxi occupied a strategic place for nearly a thousand year. Therefore, the historical and cultural remains are rare and important in Chinese history.
Unfortunately, Shanxi was gradually left aside and it was only with the arrival of the Communist Party that its potential was brought to date. Indeed, thanks to its large natural resources, Shanxi is the main contributor to coal production in China with the third largest iron deposits in the country.
However, the geography does not help Shanxi to develop since 70% of its territory is located more than 1,000 meters above sea level and the Yellow River limits the Shanxi to the West and South. Nonetheless, this is the charm of the province. Cities are installed on the Loess plateau, between the green peaks of the mountains.
Shanxi province has the same pronunciation as its neighbor Shaanxi by one letter difference. Shanxi is a northwestern region least known among those in the West compared to the famous Shaanxi province a little further west. Shanxi is translated as the "West of the Mountains."
Amidst this mountainous region is some China's greatest sites. The archaeological wealth and natural landscapes are the icon of Shanxi. During a trip to Shanxi, you can't miss the extraordinary Yungang Grottoes in Datong and the impressive hanging temple on a cliff. A visit to the ancient city of Pingyao is should be on your schedule. Also, you should visit the homes of some royal families nearby. Lastly, for those that love nature or are fond of Buddhism, a trip to Mount Wutai is a must. As one of the four Buddhist mountains in China, the temples there are in harmony with the forest.
Shanxi is located in northern China, which unlike coastal regions is not humid. It rains rarely, but July is the heaviest rain period. Due to its mountainous topography, the temperature varies rapidly. Thus, it is better to dress well in the winter since the temperature can quickly drop below zero. In the summer, the cool temperature is typically around 20°C. In spring and autumn, there is some northern cold wind and a few summer showers.
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