Taiyuan Travel Guide

Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi, lies on the Fen River in the heart of the province and in the northern part of the fruitful Taiyuan Basin. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides and it is800 meters above sea level. The contour of the city looks like a bat. It is 144 kilometers from east to west, and 107 kilometers from south to north. Its total area is 6, 956 square kilometers with a population of about 3million. The urban area is 140 square kilometers with a population of 1 million. Taiyuan now administers one city, two suburban districts, three urban districts and three counties. The streets of Taiyuan are very neat and well laid out. All the streets from south to north are called "Lu"(road), while al the streets from east to west are called "Jie"(street). Therefore, since ancient times, it has been praised as "Splendid Taiyuan. " The climate of Taiyuan is continental monsoon. It is in a temperate zone and changeable. The temperature difference between day and night is very large. The annual temperature averages 9. 6 ℃. January is the coldest month with an averaging temperature of-6. 4 ℃. July is the hottest month with an averaging temperature of 23. 5 ℃. The annual precipitation averages 470 millimeters and the annual frost-free time averages 170 days. Taiyuan has no hot summer; the temperature is moderate. The climate is delightful and it is an ideal place for tourism and summer resorts.

According to history, the city was founded in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1066-771 BC). In 500 BC, Taiyuan was an ancient capital, built by Zhao Jianzi and named Jinyang. It was renamed Taiyuan in the Qin Dynasty. The city had been deliberately flooded several times 453 BC, 969 AD, and it was destroyed by war in 1125. During the Ming Dynasty in 1568 the city wall was reconstructed. Because of its mineral wealth, fertile soil and strategic location, it was the site of many wars and changed hands five times between396 AD and 618 AD. Since ancient times, it has been the entry-way to the Shanxi Plateau, a favorite target of northern tribes and an advantageous starting point for the occupation of the Chinese Empire. Thus, Taiyuan was the scene of many political and martial conflicts. It was a silk center during the Sui Dynasty and has grown grapes for a thousand years.

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