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Scene Of Shanxi Province

General Introduction

Shanxi (West of the Mountains -- named from its lying west of the Taihang range) has many places of scenic and historical interest as one of the cradles of ancient Chinese culture, Bounded by the North China Plain in the east and the middle Huanghe River in .the west, it has an area of more than 150,000 square kilometers and a population of 24.76 million, of which 3.37 million are in the urban areas and 21.39 million in the countryside.

Scenic Spots

Datong -- Ancient Land of Buddhism
Huangling County -- Where the Yellow Emperor Rests in Peace
Hukou Waterfall

Taiyuan --'Metropolis of Cathy'
The Old Town of Pingyao
Mount Wutai -- Sacred to Buddhists


Mountains cover 67.5 per cent of Shanxi province which also has highlands, hills and basins and stands about 1,000 meters or more above sea level, sloping from northeast to southwest. With a thick layer of yellow earth covering its land surface, Shanxi is customarily called the Shanxi Plateau, which actually forms the eastern section of the Loess Plateau. The Central Shanxi Basin, the main farming area and economic center, crosses the central part of the province from north to south in a series of valleys: the Datong, Xinxian, Taiyuan, Linfen and Yuncheng. The Taihang range, the natural geographic divide between the Shanxi Plateau and the North China Plain, lies in the Eastern Shanxi Mountain Area which also includes -- from north to south --the Hengshan, Wutai, Taiyue and Zhongtiao mountains, all exceeding 1,500 meters in elevation. The area is interspersed with the Changzhi, Pingding, Jincheng and Shouyang intermontane basins. The Western Shanxi Tableland, with the Luliang Mountains as the main range, is badly eroded with the loess-covered ground cut into a web of gullies.

The western and southern borders of Shanxi are drained by the Huanghe River where the Hukou Waterfall and the Longmen Rapids have hydroelectric power potential. The Fenhe, Sushui and Qinhe rivers in the province are tributaries of the Huanghe; the Sanggan, Hutuo and Zhanghe rivers in the east are upriver streams of the Haihe River.


Shanxi is continental in climate. Because it is higher than regions of the same latitude in the North China Plain, it has a lower temperature and a drier climate. It has cold winters but mild summers. From north to south, its mean annual temperature is from 5ºC to 15ºC, and its frost-free period lasts 4 to 7 months. The greater part of the province has a mean annual precipitation of 400-650 mm., increasing gradually from northwest to southeast.


Shanxi is served by three trunk railway lines--the Beijing-Baotou, Datong-Puzhou and Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan railways. In 1979 a line, from the provincial capital, Taiyuan, to Jiaozuo in Henan, was opened to traffic. The province's highway mileage is 31,900 kilometers.

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