Taiyuan (太原), Shanxi, China Travel Guide

World / Asia / China


Downtown Taiyuan, Shanxi Province
Downtown Taiyuan, Shanxi Province
Author: Gomeying (public domain)

Taiyuan (太原) is the capital and biggest city in Shanxi Province, in northern China. It is a prefecture-level city covering 6,956 sq km (2,685.7 sq mi) with a population of 4.3 million people. As with the rest of China, it observes the China Standard Time, which is eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+8). The phone area code is 351.

Guide to Taiyuan Hotels

It's never easy finding the hotel that's just right for your stay. Still, by taking a little time to do your research, you increase your chance of getting a good hotel at the best price. Go through the list of hotels in Taiyuan which we've put together, with full description, star rating, address, location map and evaluation. Pick the hotel of your choice and view the rates offered by different booking sites. Yes, we show you prices from different websites, so you don't have to visit them one by one.

More about Taiyuan

Taiyuan is located on the banks of the Fen River. Its name means "great plains", in reference to the fertile plain between the river and the mountains. It experiences a semi-arid climate. Summer temperatures rise to 29°C and often above that, especially in July. In winter, temperatures may drop to -12°C in January. Wettest month is August, which receives 107 mm of rainfall. Taiyuan is often visited by dust storms, especially during summer. Heat waves are also no uncommon.

Shanxi Provincial Government Office, Taiyuan
Shanxi Provincial Government Office, Taiyuan
Author: Gomeying (public domain)

Taiyuan today is a heavily industrialized city. This however makes it the fourth most polluted city in China behind Lanzhou, Jinan and Changsha, according to a National Bureau of Statistics report in 2005.

The level of pollution in Taiyuan is not surprising, as it is the biggest coal mining area in the country. It has a number of heavy industries, including the Taiyuan Iron and Steel Company and the Fenxi Machinery Factory, which produces submarine missiles for the People's Liberation Army. On the other hand, efforts taken by Taiyuan to improve its environmental condition has earned it praise from the United Nations Environmental Programme. This include the construction of urban parks and recreational areas. The projects have been emulated by other cities in China and around the world.

Jin River College, Taiyuan
Jin River College, Taiyuan
Author: Gisling (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

The history of Taiyuan goes back to ancient times. The area is said to have been settled as early as 859 BC. Taiyuan was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zhao, as early as 497 BC, when it was known as Jinyang. It was first known as Taiyuan during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). It continued to play a role as a capital city to subsequent states, including the Northern Wei and the Northern Qi, in the 6th century.

Taiyuan has been the capital of Shanxi Province since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). After the fall of Imperial China, Taiyuan was renamed Yangqu in 1911, but it reverted to Taiyuan in 1947. It developed its industrial base in the early 20th century, particularly following the Japanese occupation in 1937 and the Communist takeover in 1949. In addition to its heavy industries, Taiyuan is today also a center for research and education.

Jinci Temple, Taiyuan
Jinci Temple, Taiyuan
Author: Gisling (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Planning your trip to Taiyuan

You can fly to Taiyuan from major cities in China. A rail trip to Taiyuan takes about 10 hours from Beijing, 22 hours from Shanghai and 32 hours from Guangzhou. Bus trip takes 6 hours from Beijing.
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Places of Interest in Taiyuan

  1. China Coal Museum
  2. Chongshan Monastery
  3. Duofu Temple
  4. Jinci Temple
  5. Jindoudaifu Shrine
  6. Juewei Mountain Scenic Area
  7. Liu Xiang Lane
  8. Longshan Grottoes
  9. Old Mosque of Taiyuan
  10. Shanxi Museum
  11. Shaunglin Monastery
  12. Taiyuan Zoo
  13. Twin Pagoda Temple

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