Shanxi Province is situated in the middle of the Yellow River valley, lying between latitude 34.34 to 40.44 degrees north and longitude 110.15 to 114.32 degrees east. Its location west of the Taihang Mountains gives the province its name, Shanxi, meaning "west of the mountain."
It covers an area of 156,300 square kilometers.
It is with forests constituting 20 percent, or about 3.44 million hectares.
Shanxi has a population of 31.41 million, with natural population growth controlled within 0.9%.
Shanxi has a continental monsoonal climate with distinctive seasons. It has cold winters but mild summers, with a mean annual temperature of 6 to 14 degrees celsius. The greater part of the province has a mean annual precipitation of 400-650 mm, increasing gradually from northwest to southeast.
Daoxiao Mian (Knife-Pared Noodles), Shaomai (steamed dumplings with the dough gathered at the top), and Youmian (Naked Oats Noodles), etc.
Shanxi Bangzi (a kind of opera in Shanxi), Huagu (Flower Drum), and Yangge (popular rural folk dance), etc.
Shanxi Natural Resources
Shanxi Province is mostly mountainous regions and plateaus covered by loess. Its mountainous region is wide and plains are few, so cultivated land is inadequate. Shanxi?s forest resource is also little and with low quality. Because of the great need of lumber, almost all of its lumber comes from other provinces. Anyhow, more than 120 types of minerals have been found in Shanxi, including coal, bauxite, pearlite, refractory clay, gallium, and zeolite which are the first in China. It is one of the country?s energy bases, but it lacks water resource.
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 Shanxi 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 and the remote Shuanglin and Jinci Temples, 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 Wutai Mountain 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.
The traditional specialties are Fen wine, Zhuyeqing wine, Qingxu vinegar and Changzhi ginseng.