Linfen (临汾 ; Línfén) is a city of almost 1 million people (2020) in Shanxi. Linfen is a main industrial center for coal mining, which has significantly damaged the city's environment, air quality, farming, health and its previous status as a green village. Linfen prefecture is home to several notable tourist attractions including the Hukou Waterfall which is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River and the second largest in China. Hukou Waterfall is located 150 km (93 mi) west of Linfen city in Jinshan Gorge.
Linfen is on the main rail line which runs through Shanxi. It is also accessible by bus from most major cities nearby.
Take these roads to Linfen:
- China National Highway 108
- China National Highway 309
- G5 Beijing–Kunming Expressway
- G22 Qingdao–Lanzhou Expressway
- Guangsheng Temple, at the foot of Huoshan Mountain (17 km northeast of Hongdong Town, which is north of Linfen City). Guangsheng Temple was established in the Eastern Han Dynasty in 147. The temple, originally known as the Julushe Temple before being renamed Guangsheng in 769, was damaged in a major earthquake in 1303, during the Yuan Dynasty, and was rebuilt thereafter. The temple experienced many repairs during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911), but the structures have kept the architectural style of the Yuan Dynasty. The highlight of Guangsheng Temple is the spectacular Feihong Pagoda ("Flying Rainbow Pagoda"), the largest and best preserved glazed pagoda in China. Octagonal in shape and nearly 500 years old, this 13-storey pagoda glimmers on sunny days, with the sunlight reflecting off of the many multi-colored glazed tiles which cover the 47-meter tall tower. The many eaves of the structure feature glazed Buddha, birds, beasts, dragons, guardians, warriors, other figures, and all sorts of plants, all exquisitely sculpted and still in excellent shape after over four centuries. At the corner of each eave, a wind chime dangles from a ceramic dragon, with 114 such bells in all. While the Feihong Pagoda is the main feature of the Upper Temple, visitors should not neglect the other strucures in the temple, which are quite spectacular as well. Guangsheng Temple consists of an Upper Temple and a Lower Temple, and the buildings in this complex contain many exquisite sculptures, mainly from the Ming Dynasty.
- Yao Temple (尧庙; Yáomiào) (Located 3 km to the south of Linfen.). Yao Temple was built to honor Emperor Yao, one of the most respected emperors in Chinese history. According to ancient legend, Emperor Yao became emperor of China around 2350 B.C., over 4300 years ago. He was much respected for his humility, unpretentiousness, and caring devotion to his country and his people. The original temple honoring Emperor Yao was built some 1700 years ago, with the temple having been moved to its present site in 658. It was substantially renovated during the Qing Dynasty under the orders of Emperor Kangxi. The temple was used to hold memorial ceremonies for the legendary sage-king. The main buildings include the Five Phoenix Palace (built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty) and the Guanyun Hall, which was built during the Tang Dynasty and which features a 2.8-meter-tall multi-colored sculpture of Emperor Yao. Between these two buildings is a platform with a well. Legend has it that this well was dug by Yao and that it was the first well in China, from which people learned how to dig wells to tap underground water. In the gardens of the temple is a drum which is believed to be the largest in the world as well as a stele which dates from the Yuan Dynasty and which is an important source of information about a major earthquake which happened in ancient times. ¥40.
- Linfen Drum Tower (Dazhonglou), Gulou Road (In roundabout at intersection of Gulou N, E, S, and W Roads). This impressive drum tower, located at the center of a busy roundabout in central Linfen, is the second tallest drum tower in China. (At 43.75 meters tall, it is just a bit shorter than the one in Beijing.) Also known as Dazhonglou, this magnificent square tower was built in the Northern Song Dynasty, approximately 1000 years ago, and has been rebuilt a number of times since then, including in 1984. This drum tower is supported by 12 massive wooden pillars, each one meter in diameter. The building contains no nails and is held together by a series of interlocking wooden pieces. Visitors may climb to the top, and the drum on display is not the original one, but the bell on display is some 800 years old.
- 1 Linfen Museum (临汾市博物馆), Binhe West Road, Yaodu District (尧都区滨河西路) (On the south side of Fenhe Park (汾河公园). Take bus no. 202 or 302 and get off at Pingyang Bridge West (平阳桥西), then enter the park and walk north until you get to the museum), ☏ +86 357 3999116, +86 357 3999118. 09:00-17:00, no entry after 16:00, closed on Mondays. Free.
One should generally not plan to stay in Linfen for long as air pollution is a serious issue in the city.
- Hu kou pu bu — China's greatest waterfall. A day trip from Linfen, on the border with Shaanxi province.