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Taiyuan City Guide

Location map of Taiyuan, Shanxi

Location of Taiyuan

Taiyuan is a prefecture-level city and the capital of Shanxi province, China. In 2010, the city had a population of 3.8 million. The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River leaves the mountains.

Geography and Climate of Taiyuan

Taiyuan is one of the great industrial cities of China and lies on the Fen River in the north of its fertile upper basin. It commands the north-south route through Shanxi, as well as important natural lines of communication through the mountains to Hebei province in the east and (via Fenyang) to northern Shanxi province in the west. It is considered to be one of the world's most polluted cities, although factory shutdowns related to global economic downturn may have reduced environmental hazards somewhat.

Taiyuan City

Taiyuan City

ClimateTaiyuan experiences a semi-arid climate. Spring is dry, with frequent dust storms, followed by early summer heat waves. Summer tends to be warm to hot with most of the year's rainfall concentrated in July and August. Winter is long and cold, but dry and sunny. Because of the aridity, there tends be considerable diurnal variation in temperature, except during the summer. Conditions are much cooler than comparable-latitude cities, such as Shijiazhuang, due to the moderately high altitude.

Monthly mean temperatures range from −5.5 °C (22.1 °F) in January to 23.4 °C (74.1 °F), for an annual mean of 10.0 °C (50.0 °F).

Taiyuan Attractions

Twin Pagoda Temple

Twin Pagoda Temple

Several tourist attractions in and around Taiyuan include the Liu Xiang Lane, which contains ancient Chinese houses of important heritage, and several temples, such as the Chongshan Monastery, the Jinci Temple, the Twin Pagoda Temple, and the Shaunglin Monastery Longtan Park and Yinze Park are also popular tourist destinations.

Taiyuan is also known for its Liuxiang shopping district and the construction of parks and recreational areas that are praised by the UN Environmental Programme for their role in the improvement of the environmental condition of Taiyuan. Taiyuan's environmental improvement project is being copied in many other Chinese cities and urban areas around the world.

Jinci Temple

Jinci Temple in Taiyuan

Chongshan Monastery
Initially built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Chongshan Monastery (Temple for Appreciating Kindliness) was once called White Horse Monastery (Baima Si). It is located in Huangmiao Lane, Wuyi Road, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province. In 1383, in memory of his mother, Zhu Gang, third son of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had the monastery rebuilt and extended, renaming it Chongshan Monastery.

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. Beyond this, the numerous halls, cabinets, pavilions and bridges are guaranteed to keep any visitor enthralled. Jinci Temple is world-famous because it is an ancient ancestral temple, something which is rare in China.

Taiyuan Museum

Taiyuan Museum

Shanxi Museum
The Shanxi Museum is located in a modern four-storey building situated at a prime location along the Fen River in central Taiyuan and features a very impressive collection of artifacts from this history-heavy province. Chinese civilization first began to develop in Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces along the banks of the Yellow River, and this handsome provincial museum features some of the best of the historical artfacts from around the province. The museum has on display thousands of objects in a series of well laid out exhibition halls. Permanent exhibits include those devoted to relics from the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages, ancient Chinese porcelain, painting and caligraphy, jades, bronzes, Chinese currency, historical architecutre, Buddhist stone scultptures, and Shanxi merchants. Signage in Chinese and English.

China Coal Museum
China Coal Museum is the sole national coal industry museum, is the collecting center of historic relics, specimens, literatures and data of national coal industry, is the science-popularizing organization of coal industry and science-researching organization and propaganda and educational organization and the symbol of advocating science and civilization. It was granted "national science-popularizing base" "national industry tourism demonstration base" by China Science Association and State Tourist Bureau and “Shanxi Adolescent educational base” and “Shanxi Patriotism Educational Base” by Shanxi Province.

Jinci Temple

Jinci Temple

Twin Pagoda Temple
The Twin Pogoda Temple (Shuang Ta Si), also known by the name 'Yongzuo Temple' (Yong Zuo Si), is located in the southeast of Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province. There are two 53-meter-tall pagodas standing in the temple, hence the name 'Twin Pagoda Temple'. History records reveal that the temple and two pagodas were built under the Emperor Wanli's order in 1608 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Tianlongshan Grottoes
Tianlongshan Grottoes is a series of 25 caves carved into the mountainside of Tianlong Mountain and well known among Chinese art experts for the fine Buddhist statues and decorations which were sculpted within. The earliest of these caves were built during the Eastern Wei Dynasty (534-550), and additional caves were added in the Northern Qu, Sui, and Tang Dynasties. Grottoes 2 and 3 are the oldest in the complex, dating back nearly 1500 years. The largest and most impressive grotto is the ninth one, a multi-storied cave with several large Buddha statues and covered by an intricate three-story wooden pavilion, the Manshan Pavilion.

How to get there

By plane
Taiyuan Airport (IATA: TYN) offers flights to Beijing, Guangzhou and Xian daily.

By train
Taiyuan Station is located at the eastern end of Yingze Dajie.
Beijing - takes about 8-10 hours, or 3.5 hours by the new CRH bullet trains
Chengdu - takes about 30 hours
Datong - takes about 6-8 hours
Guangzhou - takes about 32 hours
Luoyang - takes about 12 hours
Shanghai - takes about 22 hours
Xian - takes about 11-12 hours
Zhengzhou - takes about 10 hours

By bus
The bus station is located at the south side of Yingze Dajie, between train station and Bingzhou Lu.
Beijing - takes about 6 hours
Datong - takes about 5 hours
Shijiazhuang - takes about 4 hours
Wutaishan - takes about 4-5 hours
Yan'an - takes about 9 hours
Yulin - takes about 8 hours
Minibuses leave the train station parking lot for Datong, Pingyao, Shijiazhuang and Wutaishan National Park .