General description of Shanxi
Shanxi Province got its name due to its location to the west of Taihang Mountain.
Shanxi is endowed with an abundance of cultural sites from its long history. Most of the ancient structures were built thousands of years ago. That is the reason why the place is often called the ‘Chinese Ancient Architecture Museum’.
Pingyao Ancient City
Pingyao ancient city is located in the middle of Shanxi province, with a history of more than 2,700 years. It keeps all the features of the cities of Chinese Han nationality during the Ming(1368-1644) and Qing(1616-1912) Dynasties, displaying a complete picture of the unusual architectural development.
Overlooking this old city from the sky, you may find that the shape of the Pingyao ancient city is like that of a tortoise as the ancient Chinese people worshipped tortoises, and regarded tortoises as animals of longevity.
Courtyard of Family Qiao
In Pingyao, the most successful Merchant families built compounds out of town. The best known of those is the Courtyard of Family Qiao. The courtyard is massive and castle-like, covering about two acres and is 12.4 miles north of Pingyao. It is notable that the yard’s layout is in the shape of the Chinese character for “double happiness.”
“The road that hangs on the cliff” – that is how locals describe the precarious winding route up to the Taihang Mountain on the border of Shanxi and Henan province. The road is a long adventure but with breathtaking view. Except the road, there are many other fantastic sceneries in Taihang Mountain—steep peaks in cloud, beautiful trees in autumn, etc.
Hukou waterfall at Yellow River is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in China and the largest yellow waterfalls in the world. There are many wonders at Hukou Waterfall, such as smoke from the river, boats on land, rainbows in the sunshine, and so on. Here, the water falls to the deep pond from a very high place, stirring the mist which rises high into the air like surging heavy smoke coming out of the river.