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 over 200,000 square kilometers (about 77,225 square miles).
Shanxi has a population of 31.41 million, with natural population growth controlled within 9 per thousand.
The largest ethnic group in Shanxi, the Han, account for 99.75 percent of the total population. The province also has 34 ethnic minority groups, including the Hui, Manchu, Mongolian, Korean and Tibetan, with 67,000 people. There are 58 villages where ethnic minority groups live in compact communities.
Shaanxi 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.
From north to south, the climate belongs to semi-dry monsoon temperate zone, semi-wet and semi-dry monsoon warm temperate zone and moist monsoon sub-tropical zone respectively. Annual temperature and precipitation varies greatly with regions.
Yangrou Paomo (shreded cake in beef and mutton soup), Yulin Bean Curd, etc.
Qinqiang (Shaanxi Opera), Han Opera, Xintianyou (a kind of Shanxi local melody), and Yangge (popular rural folk dance), etc.
Shaanxi has well developed agriculture and stockbreeding. In agriculture, the main products are wheat, cotton, silk cocoon, and tobacco, while flax is the important cash crop. The main industries include coal, machinery, textile, electronics and chemistry, etc. The coal reserve here is among the top in the country.
What to see
Banpo Village Remains, the site of a 6000-year-old village which belongs to the Neolithic Age. In the capital city, Xian, you can see the City Wall, which was begun in the Han Dynasty, a century before the Christian era, and is now the largest and most well-preserved ancient wall, existing in China. Xian Forest of Stone Steles Museum boasts a largest collection of the stone tablets in China, 114 of which are engraved with 'classic' texts. In or near the city are 72 ancient tombs and remains, including the mausoleum of the Tang emperor Xuanyuan (the Yellow Emperor), who initiated Chinese civilization. There are many more ancient structures and temples such as the Big Goose Pagoda built in 652, Famen Temple, Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. The highlight of a Shaanxi tour for many visitors is the amazing Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses who guard a site honored as the Eighth Great Wonder of the world. Shaanxi is also abundant in natural beauty beyond its rich historical legacy. As one of the five best-known mountains in China, Mt. Huashan, 120 kilometers (or 46 miles) east of Xian, is famous for its breath-taking cliffs and awe-inspiring landscape. The Hukou waterfall on Yellow River, the second biggest one in China, is very overbearing and magnificent. And Moutain Lishan and the nearby Huaqing Hot Springs are very attractive. Their beautiful legends will bring you into a moving love story between emperor Xuanyuan and a beauty named Yang Guifei.
Local products, such as pomegranate in Lintong, red date in Qingjian, Maojian tea in Ziyang all very famous, and the Tang Tricoloured glazed Pottery is also well-received by visitors.