Experience China

Changzhi, Shanxi Province, China

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Changzhi is a prefecture-level city in Shanxi Province, People’s Republic of China. This historical city was one of the 36 administrative areas during the reign of the first emperor of a unified China. Literally speaking, Changzhi means ‘eternal peace’ in Chinese.

Location of the Changzhi city center in Shanxi Province
Coordinates: 36°11′N 113°06′ECoordinates36°11′N 113°06′E
Country People’s Republic of China
Province Shanxi
County-level divisions 13

 

Shanxi (meaning ‘West of the Mountains’) Province, with its northern edge protected by the Great Wall, was once a buffer zone against the hostile Mongol and Turkic tribes, who were horsemen of the steppe-land beyond the Great Wall. It is largely a mountainous plateau, with the Yellow River (Huang He) flowing the length of its western border. Its tourist attractions include Chengde, with its imperial park and temple architecture, and the celebrated Buddhist carvings at Yungang, outside Datong. Other key sights include the magnificent Hanging Temple clinging to the cliff face, the peaceful hills around Wutai Shan, one of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains, and the charming Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty architecture in the ancient walled town of Pingyao.

 

The central Chinese provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan and Shandong are linked and dominated by the Yellow River, which has played a vital role in their history. The river is often likened to a dragon, a reference not just to its sinuous course, but also its uncontrollable nature, and its behaviour, by turns benign and malevolent. In southern Shanxi and Henan, close to the river, the landscape is as flat as a pancake and about the same colour. It may look barren, but where irrigation has been implemented the yellow loess soil becomes rich and fertile, easily tillable with the simplest of tools. It was in this soil, on the Yellow River’s flood plain, that Chinese civilization first took root.

 

Sites of Neolithic habitation along the river are common, but the first major conurbation appeared around three thousand years ago, heralding the establishment of the Shang Dynasty. For the next few millennia, every Chinese dynasty had its capital somewhere in the area and most of the major cities, from Datong in the north, capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty, to Kaifeng in the east, capital of the Song Dynasty, have spent some time at the centre of the Chinese universe, however briefly. With the collapse of imperial China the area sank into provincialism, and it was not until late in the twentieth century that it again came to prominence. It is the remnants of dynastic history that provide the most compelling reason to visit, but the region also has much to offer by way of scenery, including holy mountains.

Nowadays, Changzhi is a transportation centre in Shanxi. Convenient transportations are facilitated by 4 controlled-access highways (Taiyuan-Changzhi, Changzhi-Jincheng, Changzhi-Linfen, Changzhi-Handan), 2 railways (Taiyuan–Jiaozuo Railway andHandan–Changzhi Railway ), 3 national highways (China National Highway 207208 and 309) and 1 airport(Changzhi Wangcun AirportITAT Code: CIH, ICAO Code: ZBCZ). Internal transportation is also built with bus and taxi network.

Besides, the city is a rising commercial and industrial centre in south-eastern area of Shanxi. In 2011, its GDP increasing rate ranked the 1st out of 11 prefecture-level cities in the province.

 

Area
 • Total 13,864 km2 (5,353 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 • Total 3,234,100
 • Density 230/km2 (600/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 046000
Area code(s) +86 (0)0355
Licence Plate Prefix 晋D
Administrative division code 140400
ISO 3166-2 CN-14-04

 

Changzhi Travel Guide

 

Chinese Name:长治市 (cháng zhì shì)

Population: 3,216,600

Area: 13,896 square kilometers (5,365 square miles)

Nationalities: Han

Administrative Division: 2 districts (Urban District, Suburban District); 10 counties (Changzhi, Xiangyuan, Tunliu, Pingshun, Licheng, Huguan, Zhangzi, Wuxiang, Qinxian, Qinyuan); 1 county-level city (Lucheng)

Useful Telephone Numbers:

Tourist Complaints: 0355-2035096
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Bank of China: 0355-2085360

 

Location: Changzhi City stands in the southeast of Shanxi Province, neighboring Hebei and Henan provinces in the east. Jincheng City and Jinzhong City are respectively linked by Changzhi in the south and north ends respectively.

 

History: Primitive agriculture in this area began extremely long ago. Its old name Shangdang was given during the Warring States Period (476BC-221BC). The name of Chanzhi was given in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) symbolizing long-term peace and stability.

 

Physical Features: Due to the Taihang Mountains in the east and the Taiyue Mountains in the west, the terrain of the city slopes downward from the eastern and northern parts to the western and southern parts. The central area is comparatively flatter and, is scattered among several basins.

 

Climate: The city is situated in the interior of China and belongs to a warm temperate zone. Hence, it has a typical continental monsoon climate. Temperature differences are distinct in each of the four seasons. Winter is dry and summer has more rainfall. The annual average temperature is constantly between 5℃ (41℉) and 11℃ (52℉).

When to Go: spring and autumn

 

Special Local Product: Shangdang preserved donkey meat, Codonopsis pilosula (panax ginseng)

Attractions:
Taihang Mountain Gorges: The scenic area lies in the southeast of Huguan County, boasting the most stunning natural beauty of Changzhi, including imposing peaks, arduous crags, elegant pools and waterfalls, secluded limestone caves and astonishingly shaped rocks, accompanied by moving, time-honored legends.

Meanwhile, this is an excellent tourist destination containing profound, accumulated cultural content. For instance, the Zhenze Palace built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) is a well preserved complex of Taoist buildings with its historical and artistic value is widely acknowledged.

Shangdang Gate: Shangdang Gate is in the southeast of city proper, being the office gate of the ancient Shangdang Shire. The present gate tower was rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty. In the west and east sides of the gate stand the bell tower and the drum tower. Nowadays, it is seen as a representative building of the city.

Other Scenic Spots: Faxing Temple, Xiantang Mountain, Lingkong Mountain and Huangya Cave

 

Travel Tips:
1. Changzhi Airport is 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) north of downtown. Routes to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taiyuan have been opened. Taiyuan can be reached in 30 minutes.

2. Changzhi Passenger Transport Center is situated in the Fuhou Xi Jie, from which buses to Taiyuan will depart every 15 to 30 minutes. From the Taiyuan Long-Distance Bus Station in the east of the Wuyi Square, Yingze Da Jie, visitors can find buses which go to Changzhi. The whole journey will take about three hours.