An inland province along the middle reaches of the Yellow River and a gateway to northwest China, Shaanxi links the west with the east and connects the north with the south. The Eurasia Continental Bridge, an international economic link starting from Lianyungang in the east and ending in Rotterdam, Netherlands, traverses through the province. It borders Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the provinces of Shanxi, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan and Gansu. The province has an area of 205,600 square kilometers. It measures 1,000 kilometers from north to south and 360 kilometers from west to east.
The province has three distinctive landforms from north to south. The Loess Plateau in the north has an elevation of 800-1,300 meters, and accounts for 45 percent of the total area of the province. The Central Shaanxi Plain in the middle averages an elevation of 520 meters. The Qinling and Daba mountainous areas in the south include the Qinling Mountains, Daba Mountains, and Hanjiang River Valley, accounting for 36 percent of the total area of the province. The Qinling Mountains measures 1,000-3,000 meters in elevation and the Daba Mountains in the southernmost of the province, 1,500-2,000 meters.
So far, 91 kinds of minerals have been found in the province, 58 of which have deposits ranking among the top ten in China. The reserves and output of gold rank fifth and fourth respectively. The output of molybdenum amounts to half of the country's total. The proved deposits of coal, the most abundant mineral in the province, come to 161.8 billion tons. The Shenmu-Fugu Coalfield in northern Shaanxi has reserves of 134 billion tons. It is one of the best fields in the world because of its thick coal layer and easy access and exploitation. In addition, northern Shaanxi has a gas field with proved reserves of 350 billion cubic meters.
North of the Qinling Mountains is the Yellow River system, composed of the Weihe, Jinghe, Luohe, and Wuding rivers. South of the mountains is the Yangtze River system consisting of the Hanjiang, Danjiang, and Jialing rivers. The Hanjiang River, the largest river in the province, provides more than half of the province's total water runoff. Shaanxi has an annual water runoff of 42.6 billion cubic meters, which has a power-generation potential of 14 million kw.
Shaanxi has more than 750 species of wild vertebrates, 79 of them rare. It is home to 12 species of animals and birds under state protection including the giant panda, snub-nosed monkey, and clouded leopard.
The province has 5.93 million hectares of forest in the Qinling, Daba, Guanshan, Huanglong, and Qiaoshan mountainous areas. It has a 28.8 percent rate of forest coverage. It has 3,300-plus species of wild plants, 37 of them rare. The province has 800 species of medicinal plants of great economic value including sea-buckthorn and gynostemma pentaphylla. It leads the country in the output and quality of raw lacquer. The traditional exports of the province are dates, walnut meat, and tung oil.
5. Tourism resources:
Dispersed in Shaanxi are 72 imperial mausoleums, witness to the ancient economy and culture. The province is best known for ten scenic spots including the Mausoleum of Huang Di, the Qin terra-cotta warriors and horses, the Xi'an Forest of Stone Tablets, the Shaanxi Museum of History, and the city gate and wall of Xi'an. The Qin terra-cotta warriors and horses are often called the Eighth Wonder of the World and have been included by UNESCO in the list of World Cultural Heritages.
Environment and current issues:
In 2003, the province continued to carry out the state policy of converting the land for forestry in a pro-active manner. The construction of economic forestry was intensified in the light of local conditions, thus resulting in the dual achievements of both afforestation and economic returns. The year saw a total of 732,100 hectares of land afforested, up by 7.4 percent over the previous year.
During the year, the province also implemented programs to improve eco-environment in the northern part of Qinling Mountains as well as air qualities in cities. Atmospheric auto-monitoring stations were established in Baoji, Xianyang, Yangling and other cities. A total sum of 4.9 billion yuan was invested in tackling industrial pollutions sources. Construction of sewage and industrial effluents disposing plants in Baoji and Xianyang and urban garbage treatment factories in cities of Hanzhong, Baoji, Xianyang and Yangling started in 2003
Total population: 36.90 million (2003).
Population growth rate: 4.29Ąë
The Han ethnic group accounts for 99.4 percent of the total. Other groups include the Hui, the Manchu and the Mongolian. The population density is 174 persons per square km.
In 2003, there were 40,300 graduate students enrolled in universities or research institutes. There were 499,700 undergraduates enrolled in 57 general universities inclusive of those universities run by non-state sectors. A total of 1,223 senior high schools had an enrollment of 1.19 million students. The province also boasts 2,090 junior high schools which had an enrollment of 2.21 million students, and 24,922 primary schools which had an enrollment of 4.01 million pupils in by the end of 2003. About 69.49 percent of the junior high school graduates continued their studies in senior high schools. But 98.59 percent of primary school-aged children went to school
GDP: 239.86 billion yuan in 2003
GDP growth rate: 10.9%
Average GDP per capita: 6,480 yuan
GDP ratio (1st, 2nd, and tertiary industries): 13.3: 47.3: 39.4
Industrial output value
In 2003, the value-added of industrial enterprises above designated size (i.e. all state-owned enterprises and those non-state-owned enterprises with an annual sales income over 5 million yuan) amounted to 66.47 billion yuan, an increase of 16.8 percent over the previous year. The total industrial output value of the eight pillar industries of the province reached 178.16 billion yuan, making up 96.2 percent of that of the enterprises above the designated size, a rise of 20 percent over the preceding year.
Agricultural output value: 54.01 billion yuan, up by 5.1 percent from the previous year.
In 2003, the province achieved US$2.78 billion in foreign trade, 25.2 percent up from 2002. The export hit US$1.48 billion, 26.2 percent up. The major trade partners were the EU, the United States, Japan, the ASEAN, Korea and Hong Kong.
In 2003 the province concluded 229 foreign direct investment contracts, 12.8 percent up from the previous year, which involved a total contractual investment of US$834 million. Shaanxi actually utilized US$466 million of foreign direct investment, up 13.5 percent. The principal investors came from Hong Kong, the U.S.A., Taiwan, Japan, etc.
Electronics, machinery, pharmaceutical industry, chemicals, energy, foodstuff, and tourism
Shaanxi has 13 main and feeder railways. The Xi'an Railway Station is a transportation hub in the northwestern region linking the northwest, southwest, the east, and the north of China. A new railway running north and south is under construction and will solve the transportation bottleneck in northern and southern Shaanxi
The province is constructing a highway transportation network comprised of nine national highways with Xi'an at the core. The province has a total expressway length of 385 kilometers, and the highways now reach 95 percent of the villages.
The XiĄŻan Airport is a Grade-A airport in China and handles the large- and medium-sized airplanes. The Xianyang Airport is the largest air hub in northwest China, and the expansion of the airport has been started. The province has opened 119 domestic and international air routes and has flights to 51 cities in China.
One of the most ancient cities in China is Xi`an well known as Chang`an in ancient times. The name Xi`an literally means Western Peace. Home of nine million people and located in Shaanxi province, this city enjoys a favorable geographical location. Surrounded by water and hills, it has a semi-moist monsoon climate.
Like Luoyang, Nanjing and Beijing, Xi`an is full of relics because of its history of being an imperial capital for many centuries and several dynasties. A total number of 73 emperors have ruled here. You can imagine that such a city with such a rich history is full of ruins, museums and cultural relics. It is absolutely impossible to get bored here.
Often it is said that Xi`an is worth the visit if you only want to see the `Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses`. For sure there is no doubt about that statement because the `Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum` is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries of all times. It is also praised to be one of `the eight major miracles of the world` and designated as a World Cultural Heritage in 1987 by UNESCO. But Xi`an has so much else to offer. For example, the Mausoleum of emperor Qin Shi Huang (also listed on the World Heritage List), the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty (largest and most intact Ming Dynasty Castle in the world), the Forest of Stone Steles (holding 3.000 stone steles of different periods from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty) or Mountain Huashan (one of the five best known mountains in China, famous of its breath-taking cliffs and its unique characteristics).
If we go further into the city of Xi`an, you immediately can notice that this city is encircled by a city wall which has been expanded and used to encompass the area within the second ring road. The geographical center of Xi`an is easily to find because of the impressive Bell tower that is located there. It was used to toll the hour in ancient times. The two-story structure commands a fine view of the city. If it is convenient, you may also visit the four main streets. Dong Dajie, Xi Dajie. Nan Dajie and Bei Dajie which respectively means East, West, South, North Street.
For the younger travelers among us or for people who are not afraid of crowdedness, there is a busy commercial area located south of the city, called Xiao Zhai. Students and youth are in large numbers because of all the universities that are located here. You may also find bars and some nightlife here. It is highly recommended to visit Luoma Shi as these are pedestrian streets you must have visited!
You won`t be disappointed in the variety of food in Xi`an. There are plenty of choices from all different regions of China. Like the famous Sichuan Hotpot, the delicious Cantonese Cuisine or just fashionable foreign delicacies. Also don`t forget to try the different Shaanxi snacks, Dumpling dinner (Jiaozi Banquet) and Muslim food. It is a must-do for every Xi`an visitor to taste everything.
Xi`an by night is also a unique spectacle, especially the nightlife. A visit to the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show or the Tang Dynasty Dinner Performance, enjoying the night scenery around the Bell tower, stroll in the ancient Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square and watching the music fountain performance. All of them are definitely worth the visit.
There is a clear distinction between the four seasons. Except for the colder winter, any season is relatively suitable for traveling. From March to May and from September to November are the optimal travel months. The average temperature in winter is about -1 Celsius, so please do not forget to bring heavy sweaters, a warm coat and of course a hat. It is strongly advised not to travel in the month May and October. As these two months are high tourist season and all popular sites may be annoyingly crowded
Situated in Northern Shaanxi Province on the Loess Plateau, Yan'an overlooks the middle reaches of the Yellow River - the cradle of Chinese Civilization. Yan'an, called 'Yanzhou' in ancient times, has a history stretching back about 1400 years and it has long been the political, economic, cultural and military center of North Shaanxi. Nowadays it is a city which boasts one district and twelve counties. Holding a prominent place in Chinese military history, Yan'an is a revolutionary holy place in China. It used to be the military headquarters during the Chinese Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945) and China's War of Liberation (1945-1949) and was the location of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
This checkered past means that those who are interested in Chinese modern revolutionary history and the Yan'an Spirit which was exhibited in 1942, and is still evident today, or those who want to examine the colorful folk customs and culture of the Loess Plateau, should make sure that they visit Yan'an. The city has as many as 140 revolutionary sites, including Wangjiaping Site, Yangjialing Site, Date Garden, Pagoda Hill, Nanniwan, etc. It has also a number of historical sites such as Huangdi Mausoleum, Zhongshan Grottoes as well as natural scenic spots including Hukou Waterfalls of the Yellow River, Fenghuang Hill and Wanhua Hill. There truly is something for everyone to see
Being of a temperate continental monsoon climate, Yan'an is an ideal place for you to visit all year round especially in summer. Yan'an used to be a poor city but, in recent years, it has seen great changes including economic advancement, especially the development of some tourism-related industries and infrastructure construction. As a result, transportation in Yan'an is convenient today. It is easily accessible by air, train or coach. As well, buses and taxies facilitate easy transportation within the city. The accommodation in Yan'an is generally considered to be inexpensive, convenient and comfortable.
In addition, the abundant special local products, delicious Yan'an snacks, distinctive folk customs and various folk art forms of peasant painting, paper-cut, drum art, and folk songs are also appealing to visitors. You will do not doubt?that your trip to Yan'an very special and memorabl