China National Tourist Office, Toronto © 2015
Website by Sunient | Design & Marketing

SHAANXI
陝西

I n inland Chinese province located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, Shaanxi, or Shan or Qin for short, is the province sharing borders with the largest number of provinces or prefecture-level cities in China. It stretches about 870 km from north to south while its width varies between 200 km and 500 km in the west-east direction. Read More Below.


OVERVIEW

A n inland Chinese province located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, Shaanxi, or Shan or Qin for short, is the province sharing borders with the largest number of provinces or prefecture-level cities in China. It stretches about 870 km from north to south while its width varies between 200 km and 500 km in the west-east direction. The total area of Shaanxi is 205,800 km2, or 2.1% of China’s total area. It is one of the few places where China’s agriculture originated. The discovery of millet and vegetable seed husk at the site of Banpo has proven that the civilization tied to Banpo already began agricultural production and the planting of vegetables back then. Shaanxi is one of the few birthplaces of human ancestors.

I t has been proved by archaeological evidence that the Lantian Man lived on earth about 650,000 to 800,000 years ago. Shaanxi is also one of the cradles of ancient Chinese culture. The recording of events in letters began at least as early as the emergence of Zhouyuan as a center of human activity during the Zhou Dynasty. The Bronze Age culture, which had Feng and Gao as its centers, spread far and wide across China. The Emperor Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum Terracotta Army pits currently on display are truly a huge underground treasure house of works of sculptural art created by the working people back then. Shaanxi is one of the earliest regions in China to engage in exchanges with the outside world. Starting in the Western Han Dynasty, Xi’an, called Chang’an back then, had had frequent exchanges with many countries.

I n fact, the famed ancient “Silk Road” starts from Chang’an. Xi’an played a vital role in promoting China’s economic and cultural exchanges with Southern and Western Asian countries and European countries during the Han Dynasty. During the Tang Dynasty, Chang’an’s exchanges with neighboring countries in eastern and southern China and with Middle Eastern, Near Eastern, and European countries became more active.

GEOGRAPHY

GEOGRAPHY

S ituated in the hinterland of China and the middle of the Yellow River and Yangtze River basins, Shaanxi lies within the eastern longitude range of 105°29′~111°15′ and the northern latitude range of 31°42′~39°35′ and stretches across the north and south as naturally divided by the Qinling-Huaihe Line. It covers a total area of 205.8 thousand km2. It faces Shanxi and Henan to the east, links up with Ningxia and Gansu to the west, reaches Sichuan, Chongqing and Hubei to the south and borders Inner Mongolia to the north, serving as an important hub connecting eastern and central China with northwestern and southwestern China.

OVERVIEWCLIMATE

CLIMATE

T he climate in Shaanxi varies greatly in different zones from north to south spanning the temperate zone, the warm temperate zone and the northern subtropics. The annual average precipitation is 576.9 mm, the annual average temperature is 13.0?C, and the frost-free period is around 218 days. Its huge numbers of rare animal and plant species and natural wonders are attributable to its complex and diverse climatic features and landforms and make it known as a natural museum and “Miniature of China”. Shaanxi Province, stretching across the north temperate zone and subtropics, has a continental monsoonal climate as a whole.

T he province stretches for more than 800 km from north to south and consequently spans a large range of latitudes, thereby leading to significant differences in climate between regions at its south and north ends. In fact, the area north of the Great Wall has a temperate arid or semi-arid climate, the rest of northern Shaanxi, the Guanzhong Plain has a warm temperate semi-arid or semi-humid climate, the basin in southern Shaanxi has a northern subtropical humid climate, and most of the mountainous land has a warm temperate humid climate. The temperature generally drops gradually in Shaanxi as you go from south to north. The annual average temperature of all places is 7~16?C, wherein, northern Shaanxi is 7~12?C; Guanzhong is 12~14?C; the shallow mountain valley in southern Shaanxi is the warmest area of the province, mostly 14~16?C. Due to the monsoonal influence, the four seasons are distinct from each other, with a cold winter and a hot summer.

T he average temperature in January, the coldest month, in northern Shaanxi is -10~-4?C, in Guanzhong is -3~1?C and in southern Shaanxi is 0~3?C. The average temperature in July, the hottest month, in northern Shaanxi is 21~25?C, 23~27?C in Guanzhong, and 24~27.5?C in southern Shaanxi. Temperature rises and drops are swifter in spring and autumn, while the difference in temperature between the southern and the northern parts is small in summer but large in winter. The annual precipitation also generally drops gradually as you go from south to north, with mountainous landforms exerting a relatively significant influence on the figure.

T he precipitation is less in spring than in autumn, accounting for 13%~24% of the annual precipitation. There is scarce rainfall in winter, only accounting for 1%~4% of the annual precipitation. Rainstorms begin to appear in April and disappear in November, mainly concentrated in July to August. The first spell of precipitation in spring in central and southern Shaanxi, which normally results in 320.0 mm of precipitation, usually takes place from early to mid-April. The flood season rain of early summer occurs in late June to early July, during which time rainstorms are relatively concentrated and more flood disasters may strike central and southern Shaanxi.

GEOGRAPHYCULTURE

CULTURE

S haanxi is a major culture-rich province. The glorious history of the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang Dynasties once made Shaanxi’s culture the mainstream of Chinese culture. In fact, cultures originating in the Qinling Mountains and Yellow River have been largely preserved. To this day, the people of Shaanxi still cannot help expressing pride in the province’s rich cultural heritage.

CLIMATETOURIST SEASON

TOURIST SEASON

T he best traveling time in Shaanxi is usually spring and autumn. Visiting the cultural relics and historic sites throughout the province is an important part of touring Shaanxi. Due to the proper temperature in spring and autumn, without the harsh winter coldness or the intense summer sunshine, taking a stroll in downtown and suburban Xi’an to look around the history-related spots would be comfortable. If you go to such scenic spots as Mount Li and Cuihua Mountains in these seasons, you may also enjoy a beautiful landscape of blooming flowers or tinged forests all over the mountains. But it would not be proper for outdoor activity during occasional sand and dust weather in spring. But with a large south-north span and due to the obstruction of the Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi can be divided into such three parts as northern Shaanxi, Guanzhong and southern Shaanxi and the appropriate time for touring varies from place to place. Leaning against the Qinling Mountains to the south and facing Weihe River to the north, Guanzhong Area is basically flat-bottomed land and because of its warm temperate semi-humid monsoonal climate, it enjoys mild weather with 4 distinct seasons, but its hot summer and dry-cold winter are not appropriate for outdoor activity. And its best traveling seasons are spring and autumn. Northern Shaanxi features the typical landforms of the Loess Plateau and its vast area lies in the transitional zone between Maowusu Desert and Loess Plateau.

I t has a temperate dry climate with 4 distinct seasons and is cold in winter with large daily temperature difference. Due to the severe desertification, deflation, water and soil erosion in its north, northern Shaanxi has strong sand winds and the sand-blowing weather is common in spring. It is most appropriate to visit northern Shaanxi in summer and early autumn, because the temperature there is lower than central Shaanxi, thereby making it a good place for avoiding the summer heat. Because of its complex landforms, abundant landscape resources and the blocking effect of the Qinling Mountains to the north, southern Shaanxi basically has a warm temperate semi-humid monsoonal climate characterized by 4 distinct seasons, warmness, humidity and hot rainy season. The precipitation here is mostly concentrated in summer while it is cooler in winter than in other places. Spring and autumn are the seasons possessive of most colorful local natural landscape and comfortable climate appropriate for traveling outside; some scenic spots of southern Shaanxi also organize water activities like rafting in summer, deserving your visit.

CULTURE