General Information of Yanan

Interesting in Yanan

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Location: Yanan is located in the north of Central China’s Shaanxi Province, about 300 kilometers from Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi Province. It is on the middle reaches of the famous Yellow River, considered as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.


Population: 1.96 million 

Nationalities: Han, Hui, Uygur


Features of Yanan City


Holding a prominent place in Chinese military history, Yan'an is a revolutionary holy place in China. It used to be the military headquarters during the Chinese Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945) and China's War of Liberation (1945-1949) and was the location of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.


Culture of Yanan City 


1. Yan'an Folk Songs: Yan'an Folk Songs, namely Northern Shaanxi Folk Songs, date back thousands of years ago. Having taken root and flourished on the Loess Plateau, Yan'an Folk Songs have developed into various types, depicting different aspects of the content of life.


These songs mainly are collective creations with full-bodied local features, simple but vivid lyrics, smooth, beautiful melody and free rhythm. The masterpieces of Yan'an Folk Songs are called Xin Tian You (Rambles in the Sky). Should you be interested in local customs and the Chinese cultural heritage, then Yan'an Folk Songs will prove very representative of these traditions.


2. Drum Art: Drum Art is a special art form of Yan'an including performances of many kinds of drums such as Ansai Yaogu (Waist Drum), Luochuan Biegu, Yichuan Xionggu (Chest Drum), Zhidan Shangu (Fan Drum) and so on.

Ansai Waist Drum Dance is the most famous for its rhythmic and sonorous drumbeats as well as its quick variation of body movements. In Yan'an, the Ansai Waist Drum Dance has long been performed in many traditional Chinese festivals, especially during the month around the Spring Festival.


3. Paper-Cut: Paper-cut is a kind of Chinese folk art to be found in Yan'an, especially in its Ansai and Luochuan Counties. It is originated from the ornamental cutting of clothing material, depicting the various aspects of the life of Yan'an people, especially the life in cave houses. Scenes such as farming, poultry breeding, harvesting, bazaar trading, and wedding are frequently seen in paper-cut.

Its vivid description and artistic style show the wit, penetrating observation and bold imagination of the local people as well as the appealing traditional folk art and culture. Nowadays, being named 'living fossil of culture', Yan'an paper-cut has already become a popular artwork in both home and abroad.


Attractions of Yanan


Yanan has as many as 140 revolutionary sites, including Wangjiaping Site, Yangjialing Site, Date Garden, Pagoda Hill, Nanniwan, etc. It has also a number of historical sites such as Huangdi Mausoleum, Zhongshan Grottoes as well as natural scenic spots including Hukou Waterfalls of the Yellow River, Fenghuang Hill and Wanhua Hill. There truly is something for everyone to see in Yanan.


1. Date Garden - Site of the CCP Secretariat: Occupying an area of 540,000 square meters (about 133 acres), the Date Garden-site of the CCP Secretariat is eight kilometers (about five miles) away from Yan'an. It was originally a garden of a warlord and at one time had also been used as the site of the CCP Secretariat from October 1943 to March 1947. As an important revolutionary site, it has now become a famous revolutionary tourist attraction.

2. Huangdi Mausoleum Scenic Spot: Huangdi Mausoleum, memorial mausoleum of legendary Huangdi, is the most important ancient grave site in China. The main sights in this scenic spot are Huangdi Mausoleum and Xuanyuan Temple.


3. Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls): The Yellow River is the mother river of the Chinese nation. In its basin, there is a tourist attraction that visitors should not miss. That is Hukou Waterfalls, a glistening pearl in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. It is located in Yichuan County in Yan'an City, Shaanxi Province. It is the only magnificent yellow waterfall in the world and the second biggest waterfall in China after Huangguoshu Waterfall.

The tremendous mass of water strikes the rocks, creating piles of foam and huge water poles. It is an amazing view with mist all around. The riverbed here is like an enormous teapot absorbing all the rushing water, so the waterfall is named Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls). No matter its rumbling sound, its grand vigor or its marvelous scenery can make you exclaim that the nature is really incredible.


4. Yan'an Pagoda Hill: Yan'an is of great historical importance in relation to the Chinese revolutionary movement and for that reason Yan'an Pagoda Hill is a must to be explored if you want to really enjoy yourself in this remarkable city.


Nightlife in Yanan


Compared with those bustling cities in China, the nightlife in Yan'an is much simpler and quieter. To some extent this is due to the influence of the natural conditions of high altitude and the special climate. The widely fluctuating temperature of Yan'an results in cold and harsh weather at night, preventing people from lingering outside. Another reason is the comparative lag of the local economy. Often residents prefer to watch TV in their homes.

However, Yan'an isn't completely devoid of nightlife. As do the local people, you can take a walk after dinner on the streets or in the squares of the urban area of Yan'an. With the recent progress made in economic development, people desire relaxation and recreational activities, so Yan'an has some entertainment places, including bars, clubs, cafes, theaters and so on.


Yanan Food


Yanan is famous for its huge selection of distinct and delicious snacks. The ideal location on the Loess Plateau endows Yanan with superior natural conditions for agriculture including fertile soil, sufficient sunlight and an obvious difference in temperature between the day and the night.


Consequently, Yanan has a large variety of agricultural products as well as special local products which provide materials for making a variety of tasty foods. Snacks from Yan'an are typically rich in nutrition and are also inexpensive. This makes them popular with tourists from home and abroad. Some of them are listed below:


1. Deep-Fried Cake (You Gao) is one of the most outstanding representatives of Yan'an snacks. It is made of broom corn millet and dates. The well-prepared cake is golden in color, soft, smooth and delicious in taste.


2. Bean Jelly (Liang Fen) is made of mung beans, haricot beans, potatoes or buckwheat. This snack is seasoned with sauces, vinegar and spices, making it very tasty and refreshing.

3. Buckwheat Vermicelli (Qiaomian Hele) is a special kind of vermicelli made from low-fat buckwheat which is also helpful in lowering systolic blood pressure. Qiaomian Hele in the counties of Wuqi and Zhidan in northwest Yan'an are the most savory varieties. This snack is even more delicious when combined with a particular kind of mutton broth of North Shaanxi flavor.


4. Streamed and Stir-Fried Potato Slice (Yangyu Caca) can be found everywhere around the city and is sold at a price of just CNY2 for one bowl. It is mainly made of potatoes and flour. The sliced potatoes are first seasoned with salt, pepper, shallots, ginger, etc. and mixed with flour, then steamed and stir-fried.


Shopping in Yanan


The special geographical location of Yan'an on the Loess Plateau contributes to its wide array of distinctive local products, many of which are items you have been searching for on your travels. Yan'an's higher altitude and exceptional weather contribute to creating the natural conditions that produce an abundance of local products. There are main categories of items for you to consider.

1. Fruit: The special weather conditions with sufficient sunlight and wide variances in temperature between day and night cause the accumulation of sugar in fruits. Chinese red dates, apples and pears among others from this area are especially delicious.

2. Agricultural Products: The fertile soil of Yan'an is not only kind to fruit trees. Here, a variety of agricultural products are recommendable. The Mixed Beans mixed of soybeans, adzuki beans, mung beans, peas, kidney beans, and many other legumes are of superior nutritional value.


3. Forests Products: The wide natural forest areas of Huanglong Mountain, Qiaoshan Mountain and Laoshan Mountain provide habitats for wildlife and teem with various pollution-free and nutritious wild foods such as Chinese chestnut, walnut, gingko, agaric, mushroom, and so on. These tasty and nutritious foods are sold in many supermarkets and souvenir stores.

4. Medicinal Herbs: Yan'an is a natural treasure trove of Chinese medicinal herbs. You will find that the herbs that are well-known throughout natural healing methods are grown here. For example, almond, Wu Chia Pee, Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri), Sheng Di (Radix Rehmanniae) and Sha Ji (Hippophae rhamnoides) all take important positions in Chinese herbal medicines market.


Yanan Travel Guide

Yanan Travel Tips: Transportation in Yanan


1. By City-bus: The city bus service in Yan'an connecting the main streets is generally good. There are about ten bus routes in the urban area of the city connecting many famous tourist attractions. Several routes to the suburbs are also available.


The ticket prices vary according to the distance. Tourist sites in the urban area of Yan'an are situated close to each other and can easily be reached by the city buses. Here is some information on the bus routes to some of the main attractions:


Wangjia Ping Site: No.1, 3


Yangjialing Site: No.1, 3


Date Garden: No.3, 13


Pagoda Hill: No.1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19


Fenghuang Hill: No. 2, 3, 4, 12, 19


Qingliang Hill: No. 1, 4, 5, 6, 11, 19


Wanhua Hill: No. 10

2. By Taxi: Taxis in Yan'an are very convenient. Taxi fares here are considered to be much cheaper than other cities. A Yan'an taxi charges CNY5 for the first three kilometers (about 1.9 miles), and CNY1.2 for each extra kilometer.


China Travel in Yanan


As an inland city located in the North Warm-Temperate Zone, Yanan has a continental monsoon climate. Generally speaking, it is warm there with an average annual temperature of 9.3°C (about 48.7°F) and comparatively dry with little annual rainfall of 500 to 800 mm, mainly concentrated in the summer months.


Yanan has an altitude between 800 and 1100 meters (about 2,625 and 3,609 feet), and as a consequence there is a huge difference between day-time and night-time temperatures, so some warm clothing is recommended. Typical of the loessial physiography of the area, there is prevalence for wind-blown sand in the air and for comfort, glasses, a hat and a muffler should be packed.


Summer in Yanan is free from extreme heat, so the months of July, August and September are pleasant and comfortable for a leisurely holiday there. While the Yanan caves are warm in winter but cool in summer and make excellent dwellings.


Additionally days around the Spring Festival are also suitable for traveling to Yanan, especially on January 15th according to the lunar calendar known as the Lantern Festival. On this occasion, there will be certain tourist festivals, cultural activities and performances with distinctive local features, showing the folk customs and the art forms of Yan'an.

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