Shanxi Province

Shanxi Travel Guide

Shanxi Map

Shanxi Facts

Chinese Name: 山西 (shān xī)
Abbreviation: Jin
Population: 37,292,200
Area: 156,700 square kilometers (60,502 square miles)
Location: in the north of China
Administrative Division: 11 cities (Taiyuan, Datong, Shuozhou, Xinzhou, Yangquan, Luliang, Changzhi, Jincheng, Linfen, Yuncheng); 26 districts; 11 county-level cities; 80 counties
GDP (2019): CNY 1,702.668 billion (USD 246.799 billion)

Rich in Mineral Resources & Ancient Buildings

Shanxi Province got its name due to its location to the west of Taihang Mountain. It neighbors Hebei, Henan, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia. It is located to the east of the Yellow River. The area belonged to Jin State in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), so it is abbreviated in Jin. Shanxi is a major resource development and utilization province. The reserves of 32 mineral resources such as coal, coalbed methane, and bauxite rank among the top ten in the country. Among them, coal reserves account for 17.3% of China’s total reserves.  

In terms of tourism, Shanxi boasts a great number of historical relics and beautiful natural landscapes formed by mountains and waterfalls. Shanxi's existing ancient buildings rank first in the country including temples, ancestral halls, ancient cities, Taoist temples, Shanxi traditional residential courtyards. The majestic Yungang Grottoes which is one of the three largest Buddhist grottos in China and Pingyao Ancient City are most unmissable. And the most popular natural attractions include Taoist shrine Mt. Hengshan and Hukou Waterfalls, Chinese second-largest waterfall.

When to Go

Being at a high altitude, Shanxi Province has a cold and dry climate and has an annual rainfall of between 400-600 millimeters. The province is also frequently plagued by sandstorms, especially in the spring, so it is often useful to bring along both sunglasses and a hat when visiting. Generally speaking, the province's climate is the best between May and October.

Cities in Shanxi



Shanxi is one of the birth places of Chinese civilizations with a long history and traditional culture. As early as one hundred million years ago, the ancestors of the Chinese lived and propagated in this region. Legend tells us that the Yellow Emperor, founder of the Chinese nation, once lived here for a certain period. Today, many Neolithic sites from that period can still be seen dotted across the vast expanse of the province.

What to See

Shanxi is endowed with an abundance of cultural sites from its long history. Most of the ancient structures were built before the Liao and Song Dynasties. So it is the reason why the place is often called the 'Chinese Ancient Architecture Museum'. The more obvious of these include: the Buddhist wonder of the Yungang Grottoes in Datong City, the Ancient City of Pingyao which was listed as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997, the oldest and tallest ancient wooden pagoda in China, the Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian County, the remote Shuanglin Temple and Jinci Temple, and a rare multi-functional fortress Zhangbi Ancient Fortress, which are well worth the long journeys for the visitors.

Of course, there are a number of natural magnificent and beautiful places that can also be seen in Shanxi. The most famous of them include Mount Wutai with the longest and most prestigious history in the four most well-known Buddhist holy lands of China, the whistling rage of the Yellow River's Kettle Spout waterfalls (Hukou Waterfalls) and one of the Five Sacred Mountains in China - Mt. Hengshan.

 Recommended Shanxi Tour:
Pingyao Ancient Town Tour: 2 days to visit Qiao's Compound, Ming Qing Street, Temple of City God, and Ri Sheng Chang Financial House
More China Tour Packages

- Last updated on Aug. 10, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on Shanxi Travel
Asked by Stanley from MALAYSIA | Nov. 03, 2019 00:43Reply
Can I know whether free entrance for those above 60 years old include Mt Wutai and Mt Hengshan ?
Answers (2)
Answered by Lavelle from GERMANY | Nov. 05, 2019 22:08

As I know, Chinese citizens above 60 years can enjoy half price tickets in Mt. Wutai and above 70 years can enjoy half price tickets in Hengshan Mountain. But I don't know whether these policies also apply to foreigners or not. Thus you can bring your passport.
Answered by Bukhard from GERMANY | Nov. 06, 2019 07:33

All Chinanese get above 60 get free entrance to them now, not half price and all special concessions for senior citizens in China apply to foreigners too.
Asked by Patrick from SINGAPORE | May. 03, 2019 07:15Reply
How do I go to Shanxi from Hangzhou ?
Answers (2)
Answered by James from AUSTRALIA | May. 06, 2019 19:41

Which city do you go? If you plan to go to Datong, you can take a normal speed train, which takes about 24-26 hours. You can also take a plane but there is no direct flight and you need to transfer in other cities.
Answered by Rick | Aug. 10, 2023 11:45

well, maybe CRH high speed train is a better choice, only takes about 9 hours, 700 CNY. By the way, in China, most of time, there are 3 kinds of train. Gxxx , Dxxx and Kxxx, G is like Audi A6, D is like Audi A4, G trains always faster, more comfortable, but basicly they got no too much differets. About K trains, it feels like an old cheap car, I' ve lived in China 16 years, and only taked K trains for 1 time because there are no D or G trains(it was 11 pm)
Asked by H. BAN from USA | Apr. 26, 2016 14:34Reply
What is the admission ticket $ for foreigners to Hanging Temple Hengshan?
Answers (1)
Answered by Cheryl from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 27, 2016 03:26

You need to pay CNY 130 (about 20 dollars) per person from May to October; CNY 125 (about 19 dollars) per person from November to February.
Asked by H. BAN from USA | Apr. 26, 2016 14:29Reply
Is The Hanging Temple expected to open for tourists to walk the wooden walkways from May 15, 2016?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lee from GERMANY | Apr. 27, 2016 03:22

Yes, it is very likely that the temple will open by May 1, 2016. Let's pay attention to the latest news! :)
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