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Sanmenxia (三门峡; Sānménxiá) is a city in western Henan with 2.2 million inhabitants.


Sanmenxia is on the southern bank of the Yellow River. Sanmenxia city is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. During the Warring States period, this city guarded the strategic pass between the Qin forces in the Wei Valley to the west and the kingdoms of the North China Plain to the east. It is here that Laozi wrote the Dao De Jing, the founding charter and source of Taoism.

In 1921, the first of late Stone Age paintings were found in MianChiXian Yangshao village. These paintings showed a Chinese matriarchal society. The patterned painted pottery is one of the important features of what came to be known at Yanghao culture.

Today, the city is mostly known for the dam of the same name, built in revolutionary fervor with the semi-mythical goal of clearing the Yellow River. Tourists come during the rainy season to witness massive discharges of the river's water.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

Map of Sanmenxia


  • 1 Sanmenxia Museum (三门峡博物馆), Shanzhou Park, Taiyang Road, Hubin District (湖滨区太阳路陕州公园内) (In the center of Shanzhou Park. Take bus no. 1, 2 or 17 and get off at the bus stop named Scenic Area (风景区) on the eastern side of the park. You can catch bus nos. 1 and 2 from the Sanmenxia Railway Station), +86 398 2890577. 09:00-17:00, no entry after 16:30, closed on Mondays. Free.
  • 2 Guo State Museum (虢国博物馆), Liufeng North Road, Hubin District (湖滨区六峰北路) (Either take bus no. 208 to Yellow River Park (黄河公园) or take bus no. 6 to the Guo State Museum bus stop), +86 398 2955760, . 09:00-16:00, no entry after 16:30. The state of Guo was a vassal state of the Zhou Dynasty. This is the largest comprehensive museum dedicated to the state of Guo and has an extensive collection of artefacts. Highlights includes items unearthed from the royal tombs and an actual burial pit containing the remains of dozens of horses and chariots. ¥40.
  • 3 Hangu Pass (函谷关), Wangduo Village, Hanguguan Town, Lingbao (灵宝市函谷关镇王垛村) (Catch a train to Lingbao (not Lingbao West), then transfer to bus no. 8 and get off at the final stop), +86 398 6922012, +86 398 6923333. 08:00-18:30 (summer), 08:00-17:30. Historic pass guarding the Qin state in the Wei valley to the west against the state to the east. The pass is so important that during the Warring States period, the North China Plain was known as "East of the Gate" (关东). Today's gate structure was built after 1992 and is of questionable authenticity. ¥80. Hangu Pass (Q848793) on Wikidata Hangu Pass on Wikipedia
  • 4 Sanmenxia Dam (三门峡大坝, Sanmenxia Dam Scenic Area 三门峡大坝风景区), Wangda Road, Hubin District (湖滨区王大路) (The dam is about 14 km northeast of the city. Buses to the dam reportedly depart from the notheast corner of the intersection of Liufeng North Road (六峰北路) and Jianshe Road (建设路)), +86 398 2992070. 08:00-17:00. ¥30. Sanmenxia Dam (Q1555047) on Wikidata Sanmenxia Dam on Wikipedia
  • 5 Shanxi Rift System (Pinglu rift valley). An around 10km long (straight) rift valley. However the whole are is covered with such faults. Shanxi Rift System (Q110235754) on Wikidata Shanxi Rift System on Wikipedia






  • Royal Hotel International Sanmenxia (Located in Sanmenxia Scenic Area near the highway and railway to Zhengzhou and Xi’an), +86 398 2966000. It features dining and conferencing facilities. The guestrooms range from presidential suites to standard rooms which are equipped with satellite TV and a mini bar. Internet available against surcharge. Discounted rates from ¥158 without breakfast.
  • Sanmenxia Mingzhu Hotel, 57 Xiaoshan Road, +86 398 2821508. Three star hotel from 1995. The hotel houses four restaurants, serving a combination of Cantonese, Sichuan and Western cuisines. Other facilities include KTV, a sauna center, a hair and beauty salon, and a bar featuring live entertainment. Free internet. Discounted double rooms from ¥220 including breakfast.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Sanmenxia
LanzhouXian  W  E  LuoyangZhengzhou

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