xxxx   SHANXI     province        山西 xxxx

 Shanxi is to the southwest of Beijing. The name means "west of the Taihang Mountains, as it is separated from the Huabei Plains by the Taihang mountains. It is often referred to as the Coal Sea because it is rich in coal. The province is mostly covered by ranges of hills: the western regions border the Loess Plateau of Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia, and exhibits the characteristic rolling hills of yellow earth.

The capital city, Taiyuan, is in the center of Shanxi (山西). Taiyuan was founded in the Western Zhou (1066 – 771 B.C.). It is one of the main industrial centers in northern central China, with one of the largest steel works in the country, and it is also important for chemicals and heavy industry. Vinegar and spirits from this region are famous throughout China.
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  PROVINCES ATTRACTIONS:                                  ( CTRL +F  to open a search window )
  WUTHAI SHAN (Mount Wuthai)
Guanyin cave       观音洞 GPS: 38.98834, 113.59215
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Qifo temple (Seven Buddha Temple)    七佛寺 GPS: 39.01776, 113.5998

Bishan temple  (Guangji Maopeng)   碧山寺 GPS: 39.02273, 113.60138
Bshān Temple is Wutai Shan's largest shfāng chnsi: Buddhist monks of any denomination are welcome to stay and eat here for free. The austere complex dates from the 5th century, but was considerably added to during the Ming dynasty. An interesting feature is the precept platform called 'abstinence altar' where Buddhist precepts are formally kept and received. Here too lies one the temple's most precious donations – a Buddha statue of white Burmese jade.  

Jifu temple GPS: 39.022, 113.59567

Sanquan Shouning temple   寿宁寺 GPS: 39.01527, 113.58755
Sanquan Temple, on the hillside of Mount Wutai and near the town of Taihuai gets its name from the three ever-bubbling springs in a well beside the temple. Built in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the temple was reconstructed by Master Xinglian during the period of Ming Zhengtong (1436-1449). Master Xinglian rebuilt the nave and cast a bronze statue of Buddha, enshrined on the lotus stage in the nave. During 1725 to 1734, a Shananism Lama renovated the temple again.  

Cifu temple    慈福寺 GPS: 39.01742, 113.59262
This temple, also known as Chantang (Meditation Hall) Yard, is on the lower section of a shady slope to the south of the mouth of the Zixia Valley and at the back of Pusa Ding (Bodhisattva Top).  

Longquan temple (Dragon Spring Temple) 
GPS: 38.9967, 113.54825
Dragon Spring Temple or Longquan-si  was named after the spring found near the site, and as it is situated at the mid ranges of Mountain Jiulong-Gang, it is also known as Nine-Dragon Ridge . The Temple was first built in Song Dynasty (1254-1324), restored in Ming (1368-1644) and expanded during late Qing Dynasty in late 20th century. It was originally an Ancestral temple for family of General Yang.  

Zhenhai temple     镇海寺 GPS: 38.9733, 113.57242
The centrepiece of this temple, 5km from Taihuai, is a striking 9m-tall Tibetan stupa where the 3rd Changkya Khutukhtu is buried. The Changkya Khutukhtu is a tulku or in Chinese, a huf (活佛), a reincarnate custodian of a lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism; the Dalai Lama is also a tulku. Also worth noting are the three statues of the Shakyamuni Trinity in the main hall – all in the form of men sporting black facial hair.  

Mingyue Pool    明月池 GPS: 38.96602, 113.58051

Shancai temple    善财洞 GPS: 39.01012, 113.60149 

Taihuai village      台怀镇 GPS: 39.00138, 113.59451
There are more than thirty Buddhist temples in this town, including Jinge Temple, Mimi Temple, Xiantong Temple, Tayuan Temple, Wanfo Pavilion, Luohou Temple, Yuanzhao Temple, Guangzong Temple, Pusading, Cifu Temple, Shuxiang Temple, Longquan Temple, Zhenhai Temple, Nanshan Temple, Bishan Temple, Lingfeng Temple, Shouning Temple, Guangren Temple, Puhua Temple, Santa Temple, Qifu Temple, Guanghua Temple, Fanxian Temple, Jifu Temple, Pushou Temple, Jixiang Temple, Wuye Temple, and Mingyue Chi.  

Wuthaisan montain GPS: 39.00761, 113.59627
Representing a manifestation of Manjushri, Mount Wutai is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, along with Mt. Emei, Mt. Jiuhuashan and Mt. Putuoshan. It takes its name from its unusual topography, consisting of five rounded treeless peaks of North, South, East, West and Central. With such a spectacular formation and integration of many ancient temples tracing back to Tang dynasty, it was listed as World Heritage Site in 2009.    

  DATONG area

Datong Yungang Grottoes    大同云冈石窟 GPS: 40.1119, 113.13237
Known as one of China’s three major cave clusters, the Yungang Grottoes embody the beauty of Buddhist cave art, representing the peak of Buddhist cave carving in China’s history. Preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the 252 caves containing more than 51,000 statues and relics were first carved in 450 at the height of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-584).  

Nine-Dragon Screen         大同九龙壁 GPS: 40.09298, 113.30355 
The Datong Nine-Dragon Screen Wall was built at the start of the Ming Dynasty (1368).45.5 meters long, 8 meters high, and 2.02 meters thick.As one of the three famous walls of this style in China, the Datong Nine-Dragon Wall is the oldest, largest, and most enchanting one.    

Wooden Pagoda (Pagoda of Fogong Temple)
GPS: 39.56489, 113.18906
The Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple of Ying County, Shanxi province, China, is a wooden Chinese pagoda built in 1056, during the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty. The pagoda was built by Emperor Daozong of Liao at the site of his grandmother's family home.The pagoda stands on a 4 m (13 ft) tall stone platform, has a 10 m (33 ft) tall steeple, and reaches a total height of 67.31 m (220.83 ft) tall; it is the oldest existent fully wooden pagoda still standing in China.    

Temple GPS: na

Hanging Monastery (Xuankong Si)  悬空寺 GPS: 39.65817, 113.71231 
The Hanging Monastery was built in year 491 so it’s now more than 1500years old, and still standing tall 75 meters (246 feet) above ground. The Monastery was originally built without the wooden pillars, that’s supporting the buildings. But they were added later for security measures. The pillars are actually moveable and can be taken away without the Monastery falling off the cliff.    

Datong City     大同市 GPS: 40.07676, 113.30012
Today’s Datong is a third-tier city of 3.3 million people, with a vastly expanded urban area of almost 50 square kilometres. In recent decades, mass and indiscriminate rebuilding, alongside a booming coal mining industry that gained Datong the label “China’s capital of coal”.    

  TAIYUAN area
Tianlongshan Grottoes    天龙山石窟 GPS: 37.73605, 112.38543
Tianlongshan Grottoes is a series of 24 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 24 caves were carved in Eastern Wei, Northern Qi, Sui, and Tang Dynasties. Grottoes 2 and 3 are the oldest in the complex, with a history of nearly 1,500 years.  

 Jinci Temple    晉祠 GPS: 37.70683, 112.44521
The Jinci or Jin Temple is the most prominent temple complex in Shanxi. It is located 25 km southwest of Taiyuan at the foot of Xuanweng Mountain at the Jin Springs. It was founded about 1,400 years ago and expanded during the following centuries, resulting in a diverse collection of more than 100 sculptures, buildings, terraces, and bridges.      

  PINGYAO area
Pingyao Ancient City        平遥古城 GPS: 37.20436, 112.17569
Pingyao is a small, well-preserved, ‘ancient city’, famed for centuries-old architecture and China’s first bank. It is an outstanding Han Chinese city of the Ming and Qing dynasties that has retained its historic features to an exceptional degree.    

Shuanglin Temple   双林寺 GPS: 37.17071, 112.13159
The Shuanglin Temple is among the many cultural monuments located in the Pingyao, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed in 1997. Founded in the 6th century, the temple is notable for its collection of more than 2,000 decorated clay statues that are dated to the 12th-19th centuries. Its original name was Zongdu but it was renamed during the Northern Song Dynasty period as Shuanglin.        

Shanxi Countryside GPS: na

Great Wall Shanxi GPS: na
Basic Facts of the Shanxi Great Wall
In Shanxi Province, more than 3,541 kilometers of the Great Wall were built in ancient times and now the best preserved sections stretch approximately 1,497 kilometers, and are distributed across nine cities and over 40 counties.

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