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Taiyuan (太原; Tàiyuán) is the capital of Shanxi Province and a common stopover between Wu Tai Shan and Pingyao.

Understand

Situated next to Fenhe River and surrounded by mountains. Taiyuan has a history of 2,509 years. Now, Taiyuan is important as home to heavy industry and mining. It has 3 notable sights that can be seen within half a day: the Shanxi Museum, the carvings at Chongshan Temple and The Twin Pagodas.

Get in

By plane

Taiyuan Airport (TYN IATA) offers flights to Beijing, Guangzhou and Xian daily and commonly services Chinese tourists wanting to visit Wu Tai Shan and Pingyao.

By train

Taiyuan Station is located at the eastern end of Yingze Dajie

  • Beijing - takes about 8-10 hours, or 3.5 hours by the new CRH bullet trains
  • Chengdu - takes about 30 hours
  • Datong - takes about 6-8 hours
  • Guangzhou - takes about 32 hours
  • Luoyang - takes about 12 hours
  • Shanghai - takes about 22 hours
  • Xian - takes about 11-12 hours
  • Zhengzhou - takes about 10 hours

By bus

The bus station is located at the south side of Yingze Dajie, between train station and Bingzhou Lu.

  • Beijing - takes about 6 hours
  • Datong - takes about 5 hours
  • Shijiazhuang - takes about 4 hours
  • Wutaishan - takes about 4-5 hours (take travel sickness medication an hour before this trip if you are prone, consider suggesting parents give their children some as well as vomiting is common on this journey)
  • Yan'an - takes about 9 hours
  • Yulin - takes about 8 hours

Minibuses leave the train station parking lot for Datong, Pingyao, Shijiazhuang and Wutaishan National Park .

Get around

Price for local bus as for September 2013 is ¥1 per person.

Bus number 1 -- runs the length of Yingze Dajie and one can take this from the intersection across the train station west towards the museum. Hop off at the Coal Museum, just after the bridge over the river (you will see the odd shaped large buildings on the right towards the north. The upside down pyramid is the Shanxi Museum). From the busstop head north a block and then west toward the river, then north again and you will arrive at the main entrance.

Bus 611 runs from the train station to Jinnan bus station where buses for Pingyao leave.

Bus 619 runs from the East Bus station, passing by the train station and Jinnan bus station continuing further. Ask or leave when people with bags does.

Taxi -- cost 8RMB flagfall and expect around 15RMB from train station to Shanxi Museum. (aug 2011)

See

Temples

  • Jinci Temple (晋祠寺; Jìncísì) (25km southwest of central Taiyuan. Take bus 8 (from the railway station) or 804 for about 45 minutes Also bus 308 from near railway station about 1.5 hours, 2.5 ¥). 7:30AM-6:30PM. Jinci Temple, an ancient ancestral temple, was founded about 1400 years ago and was expanded during the Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, resulting in a variety of architecutural styles. Today it comprises of over 100 halls, towers, pavilions, terraces, and bridges and includes some of the best Song Dynasty sculptures and buildings still extant in China as well as some lovely gardens and ancient trees. Well known structures at Jinci include the Hall of Offerings (献殿; Xiàn​diàn), The Flying Bridge Across the Fish Pond (鱼沼飞梁; Yú​zhǎo​ Fēi​liáng​), and the Hall of the Holy Mother (圣母殿; Shèng​mǔ​diàn​), the most famous building at Jinci. Completed in 1032 and with carved wooden dragons coiled around the eight pillars that support its upward-curving double-eave roof, this impressive structure contains some of the finest Song Dynasty clay sculptures in China, each with a different facial expression. ¥40.
  • Temple of the Twin Pagodas (双塔寺; Shuāngtǎsì; lit. Twin Pagoda Temple), Shuangta North Road, Yingze District (迎泽区双塔北路; Yíngzéqū Shuāngtǎběilù) (Bus 812, 820 or 873). 8AM-5PM. This temple is noted for its pair of 13-story octagonal pagodas, dating back some 400 years. These twin pagodas, which can easily be seen from much of Taiyuan, are often used as a symbol of Shanxi's largest city. The two towers, made of brick and stone, are 53 meters in height. Visitors can climb a spiral staircase to the top of the western pagoda to enjoy a panoramic view over the city. ¥20.
  • Chongshan Temple (崇善寺; Chóngshànsì), Diliang Street, Yingze District (迎泽区狄梁公街; Yíngzéqū Díliánggōngjiē (Buses 2, 3, 843, 819, 818 will take you within walking distance of the temple). 8:30AM-5PM. Originally built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In 1381, the temple was extended. In the 19th century, most of the temple was destroyed. The temple is home to the Buddhist Association of Shanxi Province and includes the Bell Tower, the Dabei Hall, and the east and west wing rooms. The main hall has 3 magnificent statues, one of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy, with 1000 hands and eyes. ¥6.
  • Duofu Temple (多福寺; duōfúsì; lit. Blessing Temple), Juewei Mountain (崛围山; Juéwéishān) (20km from central Taiyuan). ¥5.
  • Longquan Temple (龙泉寺; Lóng​quán​sì​; also known as Taishan Temple) (23km from the city). ¥10.

Other historical places

  • Jindoudaifu Shrine (晋窦大夫祠; Jìn​dòu​dài​fu​cí​). 8AM-5PM. ¥10.
  • Old Mosque (清真古寺; Qīng​zhēn​gǔ​sì​), 20 Jiefang Road (解放路20号; Jiě​fàng​lù)​ (Bus 1, 4 or 5), +86 351 2027142. 8AM-5PM. A mosque at this location was first built in the Tang Dynasty, but the present one is much younger. ¥12.
  • Chunyang Palace (纯阳宫; Chúnyánggōng​), 33 Jianshe North Road (建设北路33号; Jiàn​shè​běi​lù)​ (Bus 3, 4 or 5 to Wuyi Square Stop), +86 351 8210666. Summer 8AM-6PM, Winter 9AM-5PM. Originally built in the 13th century and since extented significantly. Features garden and temple as well as a number of other buildings. ¥5.

Museums

  • Shanxi Museum (山西省博物馆; Shān​xī​shěng​ Bó​wù​guǎn​), 13 Binhe West Road (滨河西路北段13号; Bīn​xé​xī​lù​běi​duàn​) (Bus 1 then walk), +86 351 8789014. 8AM-5PM, last entry 4PM. The Shanxi Museum is located in a modern four-storey building situated at a prime location along the Fen River in central Taiyuan and features a very impressive collection of artifacts from this history-heavy province. Chinese civilization first began to develop in Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces along the banks of the Yellow River, and this handsome provincial museum features some of the best of the historical artfacts from around the province. The museum has on display thousands of objects in a series of well laid out exhibition halls. Permanent exhibits include those devoted to relics from the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages, ancient Chinese porcelain, painting and calligraphy, jades, bronzes, Chinese currency, historical architecture, Buddhist stone scultptures, and Shanxi merchants. Signage in Chinese and English. directions="Bus 1 then walk" Free.
  • China Coal Museum (中国煤炭博物馆; Zhōng​guó​ Méi​tàn​ Bó​wù​guǎn​), 2 Yingze West Avenue (迎泽西大街2号; Yíng​zé​xī​dà​jiē​) (Bus 1, 38, 601, 611, 618, 809, 813, 822, 855 or 859 to Yingze Bridge West Station), +86 351 4117829, fax: +86 351 6041802, . Tu-Su 8AM-noon, 2:30PM-6PM. Exhibits on China's coal industry. Note you will have to pay 60 yuan for a personal tour guide (who speaks English) in addition to the museum entrance fee. The personal tour guides do add to the experience though. ¥60.
  • Shanxi Science and Technology Museum (Shanxi Sheng Ke Xue Ji Shu Guan), 8 Yingze Xidajie (Bus 1, 38, 813, 855 or 859), +86 351 6198693, 6065742, 6063101.

Nature and parks

  • Yingze Park.
  • Children's park (儿童公园; Ér​tóng​ Gōng​yuán​), Haizibian West Street (海子边西街; Hǎi​zi​bian​xī​jiē)​ (In the centre of the city), +86 351 4066351. Dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Is home to library, exhibitions, planetarium and a number of older and newer buildings.
  • Taiyuan Zoo (太原动物园; Tài​yuán​ Dòng​wù​yuán​), 176 Jianhe Rd (Northwest corner of Taiyuan, take bus 25, 855 or 864), +86 351 3074953. Summer 7:30AM-7PM, winter 7:30AM-6PM. ¥10.
  • Forest Park (森林公园; Sēn​lín​ Gōng​yuán​), Binhe East Road (滨河东路; Bīn​hé​dōng​lù)​ (Northern part of city, main entrance and parking area from West Gate on Binhe East Road), +86 351 3551684. 7AM-8PM. Recently built artificial forest park landscaped with valleys and rivers. It is features various recreational facilities. ¥5.
  • Jinci Park (晋祠公园; Jìn​cí​gōng​yuán​).
  • Tianlongshan Grottoes (天龙山石窟; Tiān​lóng​shān​ Shí​kū​) (40 km southwest of Taiyuan. Best reached by car. A bus runs from Wuyi Square in Taiyuan to Qingxu, which is the nearest major town to the grottoes.). 7:30AM-6:30PM. Tianlongshan Grottoes is a series of 25 caves carved into the mountainside of Tianlong Mountain and well known among Chinese art experts for the fine Buddhist statues and decorations which were sculpted within. The earliest of these caves were built during the Eastern Wei Dynasty (534-550), and additional caves were added in the Northern Qu, Sui, and Tang Dynasties. Grottoes 2 and 3 are the oldest in the complex, dating back nearly 1500 years. The largest and most impressive grotto is the ninth one, a multi-storied cave with several large Buddha statues and covered by an intricate three-story wooden pavilion, the Manshan Pavilion. ¥25.
  • Longshan Grottoes (龙山石窟; Lóng​shān​ Shí​kū​) (On Longshan Mountain, 20km southeast of central Taiyuan). 7:30AM-6:30PM. Built at the beginning of Yuan Dynasty. They comprise a Taoist temple and a number of statues. ¥20.
  • Fenhe Scenic Area (汾河景区; Fén​hé​jǐng​qū​). Scenic area around Fen River. It includes four theme areas, six natural scenery areas and seven sightseeing spots. ¥10.
  • Juewei Mountain Scenic Area (崛围山风景区; Jué​wéi​shān​ Fēng​jǐng​qū​) (24km northwest of central Taiyuan). The scenic area is home to a temple, a tower, pagodas and lots of trees. Locals flock here in autumn to see the red leaves and in spring to see the flowers. In clear weather there are great views of Taiyuan.

Do

Theaters

  • Shanxi Jin Opera Troupe Theater. Stages Beijing Opera performances.
  • Changfeng Theater (长风剧场; Chángfēng Jùchǎng​), 123 Liuxiang South Rd, +86 351 2028549. The oldest theater in Taiyuan large enough for an audience of 1,200. Stages Beijing Opera performances.
  • Hubin Conference Hall (湖滨会堂; Hú​bīn​ Huì​táng​), 180 Yingze Dajie, +86 351 4720059, 4720064, 4720084. Stages performing arts and festivals large enough for an audience of 2,145.
  • Taiyuan Liyuan Culture Center (太原梨园文化中心; Tài​yuán​ Lí​yuán​ Wén​huà​zhōng​xīn​), 148 Qianfeng North Rd, +86 351 5630586. Comprises halls for opera, folk music, story telling and disco. Stages both modern and traditional performances.

Festivals

  • Wheat Festival. September. Fine foods festival focusing on local dishes based on wheat.
  • Wine Festival. November. Festival focusing on Shanxi Province as a centre for local wine production.
  • International Folk Art Festival. September. Stages dance, song and theatre and exhibits art and sculpture.

Buy

One area to visit for shopping is Bell Tower Street where you will find Fenjiu Dasha, Dongfang Department Store, Jinge Clothing Store and lots of smaller stores. Another option is Liu Xiang where you will find Guidu Department store, Wanjia Dasha, other department stores and many fashion shops.

Local products and markets

Local products can be found around town, but especially in Liuxiang Shopping District. These products include paper cuttings, jade, dough sculptures and lacquer goods.

  • Friendship Store, Yingze Dajie.
  • Arts and Crafts Store, Yingze Dajie.
  • Qinxian Village Flower & Bird Market, Qinxian Village, Xiaodian District, +86 351 7064907.
  • Confucius Temple Street Antique Market. Lots of small antique shops.
  • South Palace Collectibles Market, Yingze Dajie. Lots of small shops selling all kind of local stuff.

Supermarkets

Eat

Budget

  • Haoganggang Mutton Soup Restaurant (At the north entrance of Liuxiang).
  • Qingheyuan Restaurant, 97 Qiaotou St. Breakfast restaurant serving tasty mutton soup.
  • Taiyuan Noodle Restaurant, 73 Yingze Ave (At the junction of Dananmen and Yingze Avenue). Here you can try the very famous local noodles.

Mid-range

  • Brazilian Barbeque (Xinjian South Road), West side of the street, near Wal-mart. Eat all you can, nice salads. Around ¥40 per person.
  • Hotpot City, 16 Yingze Ave (Close to the train station).
  • Lüjiayuan, 352 Jiefang Rd (Opposite the Agriculture Bank of China). Vegetarian restaurant.
  • Taiyuan Mianshiguan, 17 Jiefang Rd, +86 351 4041881. 11AM-3PM, 5:30PM-9:30PM. Typical local restaurant.
  • Sanjin Restaurant, 425 Neihuan South St, +86 351 7242945. Typical local restaurant.

Splurge

  • Greenery Cafe, 9 Shuiximen Street, Yingze District, +86 351 4126388. Serves both Chinese and Western food.
  • Waitan Fengshang Western Restaurant, 246 Bei Dajie, +86 351 3082068. Serves steaks as well as typical café dishes.

Drink

Bars

  • Tribes People Bar, 63 Mianhua Xiang.
  • Xinqing Bar (lit. Mood Bar), 14 Yi Wenyuan Xiang.
  • Ba'er Bar, 100 Qinxian North St. The first bar to open in the city.

Cafes

  • Jiefang South Road Branch (解放南路店; Jiě​fàng​nán​lù​diàn​), 23 Jiefang South Road, Yingze District (迎泽区解放南路23号; Yíng​zé​qū​ Jiěfàngnán​lù​) (Just south of Nangong Square), +86 351 4060638.
  • Wenhua Garden Branch (文华苑店; Wén​huá​yuàn​diàn​), Changfeng Street (长风街; Cháng​fēng​jiē​), +86 351 7632318.
  • Fu West Street Branch (府西街店; Fǔ​xī​​jiēdiàn​), 79 Fu West Street, Xinghualing District (杏花岭区府西街79号; Xìng​huā​lǐng​qū​ Fǔ​xī​jiē​).

Sleep

Budget

  • Hanting Express (Taiyuan Shenglidong Branch) (汉庭快捷酒店 (太原胜利桥东店); Hàn​tíng​kuài​jié​ Jiǔ​diàn​ (Tàiyuán​ Shèng​lìqiáo​dōng​diàn​​)), (杏花岭区北大街276号; ), +86 351 3231199, fax: +86 351 3231133. Small rooms with free internet. Listed rates for doubles from ¥139, breakfast ¥15.
  • Vico Inn (Taiyuan Fuzhuang City Branch) (维客商务酒店 (太原服装城店); Wéi​kè​ Shāng​wù​jiǔ​diàn (Tài​yuán​ Fú​zhuāng​chéng​diàn​)​), 115 Shungta North Road, Yingze District (迎泽区双塔北路115号; Yíng​zé​qū​ Shuāng​tǎ​běi​lù​). Rooms with sofas and free internet. Most of the rooms also have refrigerator and safe. Business center available. Listed rates for doubles from ¥188.

Mid-range

  • Changtai Fandian, 60 Yingze Dong Dajie, +86 351 2230888, fax: (0351)4034931.
  • Shanxi Dianli Dasha, 39 Yingze Dajie, +86 351 4041784, fax: (0351)4040777.
  • Shanxi Huayuan Binguan, 9 Yingze Dajie, +86 351 4046201, fax: (0351)4046980.

Splurge

Go next

  • Pingyao - Famous for its ancient walled city (generally considered the best in China), the typical route taken there is through Taiyuan
  • Wutaishan National Park


This city travel guide to Taiyuan is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.