Area 200,000 square km
Population 37.43 million (2011)
Capital City Xi'an

Shaanxi Geography

Located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, Shanxi Province got its name because it is situated to the west of Shaan Yuan highland (a plateau in the present day shan county, Henan Province). It covers an area of over 200,000 square kilometers and has a population of 35.05 million of the Han, Hui, Man and Mongolian nationalities. Xi’an is the seat of province government.

Shaanxi Climate

Climate varies distinctly between the northern and southern parts of the province, as the Qinling Mountain ward off the cold coming from the north and stop the wet monsoon coming from the south. The mean annual temperature is 7°C to 12°C (44.6°F to 53.6°F) in the northern part, 12°C to 14°C (53.6°F to 57.2°F) in the central area and 14°C -16°C (57.2°F to 60.8°F) in the southern part, with the average temperature of January being -11°C and -3.5°C (12.2°F to 25.7°F) and that of July 21°C -28°C (69.8°F to 82.4°F) . The annual rainfall is 400mm to 1,000mm.

Brief History of Shaanxi

Shaanxi is one of the cradles of the Chinese civilization. It is in this province that fossil remains of Lantian Man (primitive man of about 5, 00,000 to 600,000 years ago) were discovered a dozen or so kilometres east of Xi’an are Banpo remains of the matriarchal society. There is a great wealth of history relics of the Zhou, Qin and the following dynasties. During the second civil revolutionary war, a revolutionary base area was set up in Northern Shaaxi with Yan’an as the centre. From 1937 to 1947, Yna’an was the seat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Shaanxi Local Cuisine

Xi’an Restaurant specializes in the local cuisine of Shaanxi. The cooks here draw on the special features of the cuisine of the imperial court as well as the traditional cooking to form a unique style of their own. In this restaurant, tourists can enjoy quick-fried, fried, stewed, stir-fired, quick-boiled, roasted, baked, braised or simmered dishes and dishes cooked in other ways. Though cooked in different ways, the food retains its original shape, colour and taste. It is rich in taste, inviting in smell and crisp to the bite. Well known dishes prepared by the restaurant include, among others, “gourd” chicken, two “crunchiest” with mushroom and walnut meat, etc. Specializing in Huaiyang-style food, Wuyi (Man Day) restaurant is known for its stewed, stir-fired, braised dishes.

Shaanxi Local Products

The famous local products including orange, palm, natural silk, ramie, tea, walnuts, tung oil, dried chilli, Yangtao, persimmons, pomegranates, in addition to Xifeng liquor and jade carving, etc. The production of Dukang liquor and Yanzhou celadon has been resumed. Besides, imitations of coloured glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty, clay figurines, wooden walking sticks and chopsticks made in Shangluo are also very famous. Miniature carving is all the more attractive. It is exquisitely done on a piece of ivory as tiny as a grain of rice or sesame.

Shaanxi Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions

Xi’an, Yan’an, Xianyang and Lintong County are open to foreign tourists. Xi’an, an ancient city , was the capital of 11 dynasties intermittently for a period of 1, 100 years starting from the 11th century B.C. down to the 10th century A.D. These dynasties include Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, Tnang, etc. The world famous “Silk Road” started in Xi’an. Among the over 140 places of historical interest and scenic spots are the forest of steles, the Greater and Lesser Wild Goose Pagodas, the Bell Tower, Qin Shi Huang’s tomb, Mao Ling (Emperor Wu’s mausoleum of the Han Dynasty), Qian Ling ( Tomb of the third Tang Emperor Li Zhi and his Empress Wu Zetian), Mt. Huashan and Mt. Lishan. On Top of all these is the Museum of the Qin Terra-cotta Soldier and Horse Figures, the largest of its kind in the world. With 7,000 life-size figures of soldiers and horses, it is famed as the eighth wonder of the world. All these places attract large numbers of tourists, domestic and abroad.

Terra-cotta Warriors
Shaanxi Provincial Museum (Forest of Stele Museum)

The Shaanxi Provincial Museum is an expansion of the Forest of Stele, located on the site of the ancestral temple of the Tang Dynasty. The garden-style museum of ancient architecture is kept to protect the cultural relics and for the display and study of antiquities. The Forest of Stele was first founded in 1090, during the Song Dynasty. It is the oldest and richest collection of stele in China. The steles are in such large quantity that they are likened to a forest, hence the name. The forest consists of six large exhibition halls, seven corridors and a stele pavilion. There are more than 1,000 stele from eight dynasties from the Han down to the Qing. They are of great value to historians and for the study of calligraphic development.