General Information of Taiyuan

Interesting in Taiyuan

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Location: It covering an area of 6,988 square kilometers, Taiyuan is situated in the central Shanxi plain surrounded by mountains with the Fen River running through the city.


Neighboring Areas: Hebei, Henan, and Shaanxi provinces; Inner Mongolia


Population: 2.93 million


Urban Population: 1.83 million


Features of Taiyuan City


Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province, is bounded on three sides by mountains. It has a 2500-year history and in ancient times was an important military town. Now Taiyuan is one of China's heavy industrial cities and accounts for more than half the national coal mining output.


Culture of Taiyuan City


As an ancient capital city, Taiyuan formed kinds of featured cultures along the history. The following are some representative festivals and customs.

1. Dough Figurines: Shanxi Dough Figurine is a kind of decorated food made of steamed flour. Historically it was neither recorded nor bequeathed to posterity. While in the latest years, it has become an art parade. Dough figurines could be used as not only tokens of the marriage, but also birthday gifts on celebration.


2. The First Drum: The history of Shanxi percussion instrument is glorious. The most spectacular and grand scenes in Shanxi Drum are horse-driven car drums--the number of horses driving the car from four, eight to hundreds. The happy atmosphere and acoustic shock completely display the confidence and pioneering spirit of the local people.

3. Jin Opera: Jin Opera (Shanxi Opera) is one of the Four Bangzi in Shanxi province. Jin Opera is characterized by tactful melody, affluent rhythm, graceful tune and amiable lines with a strong local flavor and its own unique style.


4. Vinegar Culture: Shanxi is the hometown of vinegar. It is said that its history can be traced back to 2700 years ago. Perhaps just because they often eat noodle, the vinegar became essential on the table of Shanxi people. The wide range of needs for the vinegar pushes the prosperity of vinegar manufacturing, and then the production quantity and quality of vinegar are known all over the country.


Attractions of Taiyuan


1. Chongshan Monastery: It is located in Huangmiao Lane, Wuyi Road, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province. Today only one-fortieth of the monastery survives, including the Bell Tower, the Dabei Hall, and the east and west wing rooms. Local governments have restored some of its former brilliance to the monastery.

The Buddhist temple, Chongshan Monastery in Taiyuan has become a key cultural relic under the protection of Shanxi Province and home to the Buddhist Association of Shanxi Province. The precious sutra and Taoist scriptures are not only examples of Chinese woodblock printing history, but of ancient Chinese calligraphy and carving arts luring accomplished monks, scholars and tourists.


2. Jinci Temple: Located 25 kilometers (16 miles) to the southeast of downtown Taiyuan City, Jinci Temple is a combination of historical cultural relics and beautiful landscapes. The welcoming boughs of a multitude of ancient trees provide an eye-catching entrance to the temple.

3. Mt. Wutai: The most holy land of Chinese Buddhism, Mt. Wutaishan lies in Wutai County in Xinzhou Region, Shanxi Province. It is rated on both the list of the first group of national scenic spots designated by the State Council, and the list of the Top 10 scenic spots in Shanxi Province.


Its five main peaks, positioned east, south, west, north, and in the middle, embrace one another with broad and plain terraces rather than forests on their tops. That is why it bears the name "Wutaishan" (Mountain of Five Terraces). Besides the religious aspect, the beauty of rising and falling ridges of mountains, exotic rocks, crisscrossed gullies, crystalline waters and towering green forests also gives Mt. Wutaishan its reputation as a colorful and notable tourist resort.


Nightlife in Taiyuan


In the past, Taiyuan's nightlife was not very exciting but now it has become more and more colorful and brilliant. For most Taiyuan people, the city's squares and parks are first choice nightlife destinations.


Nangong Square, as one of the main squares in Taiyuan, has become an ideal place for entertainment and various activities take place here. In the evening, people living near the Fenhe Scenic Area, often relax with their families and friends in its calm surroundings after a hard-working day.


Taiyuan Food


Taiyuan has lots of delicious food to be tasted. The following is representative of all that is available. Jin is short for Shanxi Province. Jin Cai means the Shanxi Cuisine. When traveling in Taiyuan, Jin Cai should not be missed. The Shanxi Cuisine has a salty flavor accompanied by a little sweet and sour.


The methods of cooking include deep-frying, stir-frying, quick-frying, grilling and braising. And the traditional dishes of Jin Cai include Ba Si Shan Yao (Chinese Yam in Hot Toffee), Guo Shao Yang Rou (Braised Mutton), Fu Ru Rou (Braised Pork with Pickled Bean Curd Sauce) and Tang Cu Yu (Sweet and Sour Fish).


Shanxi Noodles are definitely a local specialty and these can be prepared in several ways. Each kind cooked by a special method has a unique name and taste, such as the Fried Oats Noodle, Pulled Noodle, Mao Erduo (Cat's Ear, for it takes the shape of a cat's ear.), Sliced Noodle, and many more. You must taste the noodles yourself to discover how delicious they are.


Shopping in Taiyuan


It is much easier for tourists to shop in Taiyuan than in any other city of Shanxi Province. Shopping malls in downtown Taiyuan are mainly on Yingze Dong Dajie, Wuyi Lu, Jiefang Lu, Jianshe Nan Lu and Jian Cao Ping.


If you are interested in Taiyuan folk customs then please go to the Liu Xiang Commercial Street, Zhonglou Jie (Bell Tower Street) and the Liunan Night Market Street. These streets are the most popular in Taiyuan, especially Liu Xiang and the Qiaotou Jie are the most bustling streets.


Taiyuan Travel Guide


1. Public Bus: The road conditions in Taiyuan are rather good, so the transportation is convenient. There are public buses No. 308 and 804 in front of the Railway Station Square heading for the Jinci Temple. The bus fare is CNY 1 for 308 and CNY 2 for 804.


2. Taxi: The taxi fare is CNY 7 for the first three kilometers (1.9 miles) and CNY 1 for the succeeding kilometer. The taxi types are various from Charade to Santana and the Hongqi, and fares are the same for each model.


China Travel in Taiyuan


Taiyuan has a warm temperate continental monsoon climate with an average annual temperature of 9.3°C (48.7°F). It has sufficient sunshine but little rainfall. The temperature in spring (March to May) increases rapidly. Spring here often comes with strong sunlight and heavy wind. The wind is troublesome, because it carries black dust. If you come to Taiyuan in spring or summer, sunglasses, sun block and a sunhat are necessities.


Summer is hot and rainy with high humidity in Taiyuan. The average temperature is about 23 °C (73 °F) and the mean rainfall is 250-280 millimeters, mainly concentrated in late July and August. The temperature in autumn (September to November) falls quickly and the average is 8 °C (46 °F)-10 °C (50°F). The fair weather in this season makes it the best season for traveling.


The Shanxi Taiyuan International Folk Art Festival will be held in September, in which numerous performances from different places in the world will be on show. Winter, averaging a temperature of -7 °C (44.5 °F), is always cold and dry. Warm clothes should be prepared for traveling in this season.


Generally speaking, from May to October yearly is the best travel season for tourists to visit Taiyuan. To be more specific, the best time happens to May, June, September and October. The weather and activities during the best season are nice and abundant enough for China travel in Taiyuan.

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