Shanxi Province, whose name means 'land west of the Taihang Mountain', lies in the middle reaches of the Yellow River and on the eastern edge of the Loess Plateau. The Yellow, Haihe and Fenhe rivers flow across Shanxi, whose splendid landscape is graced by the celebrated Taihang and Luliang ranges and Hengshan and Wutai mountains. Most parts of the land are more than 1,000 meters above sea level. Shanxi's long history is traced back to the days when it was a major cradle of Chinese civilization. In remote antiquity, south Shanxi was the domain of three legendary kings Yao (capital: Pingyang or present day Linfen), Shen (capital: Puban or present-day Yongji), and Yu (capital: Anyi or present-day Xiaxian County). During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), Shanxi was enfoeffed to the Duke of Jin. In the early Warring States Period (475-221 BC), three families-the Hans, Zhaos and Weis-partitioned up the dukedom of Jin. Hence Shanxi's another name, Sanjin, or Tripartite Jin. A rich cultural heritage mingles with natural wonders to form Shanxi's bustling tourist scene, but visitors tend to be more in favour with the province's many folklore-rich travel programs. Datong, Pingyao, Daixian, Qixian and Xinjiang are famous historical and cultural cities. The ancient city of Pingyao is on the UNESCO'S world cultural heritage list. Shanxi's allure as a tourist paradise is also attributed to its vibrant cultural scene, which includes a variety of local operas and folk arts and crafts, as well as local delicacies and wheaten refreshments.
THE PROVINCE'S MEAN TEMPERATURE (℃)