China Province Travel Guides
Ānhuī province (安徽省 Ānhuī Shěng) is located in eastern China. The province lies across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River and covers an area of 139,400km2. The city of Hefei is the provincial capital. Anhui is landlocked with no coast.
Beijing (北京) is the capital city of China. It is one of four Municipalities in China, giving it autonomy form the surrounding province of Hebei. Beijing was also known in the past as Peking or the older name Peiping.. The city is situated in the North of the country on the edge of the Yellow River plains and a short distane form the Bohai Sea. The population of the city is estimated at around 14,230,000 people. All of China's 56 ethnic groups are represented in the city, though the population is 96.5% Han.
Chongqing (重庆) is the biggest city in China. It's located deep in the centre of the country, though is traditionally classed as being in the west. Chongqing straddles the Yangtze river. This has made the city a key centre for trade within China. The city was part of Sichuan province until it became a municipality on March 14th, 1997. Thus Chongqing became one of only four cities in China to have the status of municipality. This city has seen rapid growth over the last decade. The building of the Three Gorges Dam, just 100km downstream from Chongqing, saw a large number of migrants move into the city. The population of the city is estimated to be 31,442,300 (2007) potentially making Chongquing the largest city in the world.
Fújiàn (福建) is a province on the coast of southeast China. It is a mountainous region. The provinces coastal position has made it a centre for national and international trade throughout it's long history. As a result, the area is culturally and linguistically diverse. It was in Fujian that the international trading centre of Amoy (modern day Xiamen) is located. Fujian is the closest province to the island of Tiawan and traditionally there have been strong links between the island and Fujian.
Gānsù (甘肃) is a province in the north west of China. It has a short border with the Republic of Mongolia in the north of the province. Around the rest lie other Chinese provinces. To the north east is Inner Mongolia and Ningxia autonomous regions. To the south east is Shaanxi province. To the south is Sichuan and to the west lie Qinghai province and Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
Guǎngdōng (广东) province is one of the most prosperous and developed areas of China. The province accounts for 12% of China's national economic output. This prosperity is not only in modern times. It dates back centuries to when the Guangdong capital, Guangzhou, was the sole port for foreign trade in China. This monopoly on trade made the province rich. It also meant that Guangdong had greater foreign influences, creating a distinct culture. To the north of Guangdong lie the provinces of Hunan, Jiangxi and Fujian. To the south of Guangdong is the South China Sea and the former foreign colonies of Hong Kong and Macau. They are now Special Administration Regions belonging to China but outside of Guangdong province control. To the west lies Guangxi province. The Pearl River runs through the Province and the area around the lower section of the river, known as the Pearl River Delta is a highly prosperous zone which including the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhe, Zhouhai, Hong Kong and Macau.
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (广西壮族自治区) is a provincial level region in the south of China. It is classed as an Autonomous Region due to it's high ethnic minority populations, the largest of which is the Zhuang people. Dong and Miao people are also found here in large numbers. This cultural diversity, along with the spectacular scenery of the region, make Guangxi a major tourist destination. In particular the area around Guilin city and the Lijiang River are a big tourist draw.
Gùizhōu (贵州) is a landlocked province in south west China. This is a remote and ethnically diverse region of China with 38% of the population belonging to a non Han ethnic minority group. The largest of these ethnic groups are the Miao (12%), the Buyi (8%), the dong (5%) and Tujia (4%). There are also notable numbers of Yi, Gelao and Shui people. Thus 55% of the province is made up of minority controlled Autonomous Prefectures, Districts and Counties. The area historically had poor communications links with the east of China, making this area more remote and prone to rebellion. Today the areas mountainous landscape maintains some of the remoteness of the province. Away from major tourist centres, this province maintains much of the charm and character of old China.
Hǎinán (海南), is a tropical island province in the extreme south of China. The island is popular with Chinese tourists and is becoming a new secret holiday hide-away for westerner's who want to have a beach holiday with a difference. In fact, Hainan is more than one island. While the main island of Hainan accounts for 97% of the landmass of the province, and almost all of the population, Hainan also contains many hundred other small islands, atolls and reefs in the South China Sea. These consist of the Paracels, Spratlys, and Zhongsha Islands. Though many of these islands are teratorially disputed with neighboughing countries, they are under de-facto Chinese control. The perminent population of the smaller islands comes to just 14 people while the main island of Hainan has a population of 8,640,700.
Hébĕi (河北) province surrounds the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin in the north of China. This geographical situation make Hebei easy to visit as most communication route to these two major cities pass through Hebei. The name literally means, "River North," in reference to it's location to the north of the great Yellow River. The main city in the province is Chengde, the one time summer resort for the emperors of China. This city today is a major tourist attraction and the palaces there are a UNESCO world heritage site. Other tourists attractions in the area include many sections of the Great Wall of China.
Hēilóngjiāng (黑龙江) is a province in the extreme north east of China. The name is derived from the Chinese name of the Amur river that runs along the north and east edge of the province and makes up much of the border between China and Russia. To the south, Heilongjiang borders the Chinese province of Jilin and to the east lies Inner Mongolia. Historically part of Manchuria, the area also has strong Russian and Korean influences, making it a unique and interesting tourist destination. Heilongjiang is bitterly cold in winter but has turned this to it's own advantage by staging the worlds largest snow and ice sculpture park in Harbin, during January and February each year. This is very popular with tourists from all over the world.
Hénán (河南) in central eastern China, is the heart of old China. It was from here that the earliest Chinese civilization began. This land, around the lower reaches of the Yellow river, is very fertile and consequently prosperous. Henan is the second most prosperous province in China and also the fifth largest economy in the country. The history of Henan streatches back over 5000 years. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Luoyang, Anyang, Kaifeng, and Zhengzhou are located in Henan. This means that there is much for tourists to visit. The main attractions are the ruins of the Shang Dynasty capital city Yinxu and the Shaolin Temple, world famous for it's Kungfu martial arts and history.
Hong Kong Special Administration Region 香港特別行政區, is located in the south of the People's Republic of China in the Peal River delta area of the South China Sea. It consists of a number of islands and the mainland Kowloon peninsula. It has only one land border to the North with Guandong (Canton) Province It is only a short distance by sea to Macau, China's only other Special Administration Region.
Húběi (湖北) is a province in central China located north of the Yangtze river between Anhui and Chongqing. The principal city of Hubei is Wuhan. The famous Three Gorges Dam project is located here. The Three Gorges have long been a major tourist attraction in China. Although the gorges have been somewhat tamed by the dam and reservoir, cruises along the river between Hubei and Chongqing remain very popular. Eastern and central Hubei consists of the Jianghan Plain. The west of Hebui is mountainous.
Húnán (湖南) province is in central China, south of the Yangtze river. The famous Chinese leader, Mao Zedong, was a native of Hunan. During the 1927, he setup the short-lived Hunan soviet in this region. Hunan remained a communist stronghold until 1934 then they were finally ejected by the Nationalist KMT soldiers causing the communists to undergo the infamous "Long March" to Shaanxi province. The village of Shaoshan, where Mao Zedong was born, is a popular tourist attraction with both Chinese and foreign visitors. Wuyingyuan UNESCO World Heritage Site is also located in Hunan province.
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 内蒙古自治区 (Nèi Měnggǔ Zìzhìqū or in Mongolian, Öbür mongɣul-un öbertegen jasaqu orun) is a Mongol Autonomous Region in the north China, where as Outer Mongolia is a separate country to the north of China. The region covers most of the northern edge of china, curving in a banana shape. To the north is Mongolia and the North east tip of Inner Mongolia borders with Russia. The other borders of the region are with other Chinese provinces, going clock wise form the north east they are Hēilóngjiāng 黑龙江, Jilin 吉林, Liaoning 辽宁, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Gansu.
Jiāngsū (江苏) is the area of eastern china located south of Shandong and north of Shanghai. It straddling the great Yangtze river. The capital of the province is Nanjing city. Another important city in the province is Suzhou. The province of Jiangsu is largely low lying and flat. Large waterways crisscross the landscape. Both today, and in ancient times, Jiangsu was a prosperous area. Today a wide range of industries area found here. Jiangsu is a popular tourist destination. It's history and famous locations are a major draw of both domestic and international tourists. Travel to and within Jiangsu is extremely easy with good connection to Shanghai and Beijing.
Jiāngxī (江西) province is located is south central China. It was here that the Chinese Communist Party established some of its earliest bases. For many years, the Party centred its operation in the mountains of Jiangxi, with the Kuomindang repeatedly trying unsuccessfully to encircle and eradicate them. It was from here that the Communists set out on their famous Long March that took them via the west of China, to their base in Henan.
Jílín (吉林) is one of three provinces that form the northeast (Dongbei) region of China. It is an area with a rich history which is distinct form central China. Jilin is also a land of cultural diversity. Manchu, Mongol and Korea ethnic groups all have a strong presence here. Geographically the province is also diverse. Beginning in the north on the edge of the Mongolian grasslands and the far eastern end of the Gobi Desert, visitors to Jilin can travel southwards across the Manchurian step land and forests to the mountain range of Changbai Shan which froms the border with North Korea and Russia.
Liáoníng Province (辽宁省 Liáoníng Shěng) is a province in the North East of China. It borders Inner Mongolia autonomous region 内蒙古 (Nèi Měnggǔ) in the north, Jílín province 吉林 to the east, the country of North Korea to the South East and Hébĕi province to the west. The southern edge of Liáoníng forms a peninsula which points south with the Yellow Sea on the west and Bohai Sea to the east. The north of the province is part of the Gobi Desert. The east and central spine are mountainous. In contrast the Western half of the province consists of large flat fertile plains.
Macau Special Administrative Region (澳门特别行政区 Àomén) is a former Portuguese Overseas colony. It consists of a peninsular and two islands, Taipa (氹仔) and Cotai (路氹) in the Pearl River delta in the south of the People's Republic of China. Macau may also be spelt Macao. One narrow land border joins the Macau peninsula to Guandong province. A second border point is formed by the friendship bridge which joins the newly reclaimed land of Cotai 路氹城 to the Mainland.
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (宁夏回族自治区) is one of the smallest provinces of China. It is sandwiched between Gansu province and Inner Mongolia region and has a short border with Shaanxi province to the east. Ningxia is situated on the high Loess Plateau. The yellow river curves through much of the province.
Qīnghǎi (青海) is a province of western China. It is surrounded by Gansu, the Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Tibet. The area is a sparsely populated, high plateau that is little visited by foreign tourists. The location means that Qinghai has long been a melting pot of various ethnic groups with Tibetan, Mongol, and Turkic influences.
Shǎnxī or Shaanxi (陕西) province is located in the north of China. It was here that the first Emperor, 2000 years ago, set his capital for the new united China. Though the first dynasty, the Qin, only lasted a relatively short time, it formed a base on which every future dynasty was founded. Thus Shaanxi is seen as the place of origin of China as a nation state. Shaanxi's capital city, Xi'an, has allot to offer tourists. It's ancient city walls, the famous Terracotta Warriors and the beginning point for tours heading west along the silk road.
Shāndōng (山东) province was the home to Confucius, possibly the most famous ancient Chinese person. His city of birth was Qifu and several visitor attractions, related to hime, are situated there. This province in the east of China forms a peninsula that points east into the Yellow sea. The name Shandong translates as, "Mountain East." This is a reference to the famous Taishan Mountain that is situated in the west of Shandong. Taishan is a major tourist attraction. The Chinese like to either stay overnight on the mountain, or climb in the dark before first light, and then watch the sunrise from the top of the mountain. Shandong has a growing reputation for its wine production. Wine is now the second largest industry in the province. The city of Qingdao in eastern Shandong is also famous for it beer. The brewery was founded there in 1903 when the city was under German control.
Shànghǎi (上海) has long been the international gateway for trade with China. Situated near the mouth of the Yangtze River, the longest navigation in China and the third largest river in the world, the city has a prosperous history. During the 18th century, Shanghai contained many foreign concessions and trading centers making the city vibrant and culturally diverse. Shanghai grew to become the largest city in China. A title that has only recently been lost to Chongqing. However, the cities success has also brought it misery. The Japanese occupation of China in the 1930's and early 1940's saw Shanghai become a focus of much fighting as the two countries jostled for control of this strategically and economically important city.
Shānxī (山西) is a province in northern China. Inner Mongolia borders it in the north, with the Great Wall of China following this border line. The the west, across the Yellow River, lies Shaanxi province. To the east is Hebei and south Henan. The capital city Taiyuan contains the Pingyao World Heritage Site.
Sìchuān (四川) is a province in the centre of modern China. It has a past steeped in legend. The mountains and many rivers of Sichuan made it a remote and forbidding place for most of it's history. To an extent, this continues today as the area is less developed than the coastal provinces. Especially in the west of the province. However, the area has been the focus for recent development works. Sichuan is a centre for tourism. Both for the province's natural beauty and also for it's culture. Sichuan is home to China's panda sanctuary.
The province was original at the western edge of ancient china. In todays thinking, Chinese people still regard Sichuan as the West. The province is completely and doubly landlocked. However, the great Yangzi river runs through the province providing a transportation route to the rest of China and beyond. To the north, Sichuan borders Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. To the east, Sichuan borders the municipality ofChongqing. This new municipality was originally part of Sichuan and the two regions are have strong cultural connections. To the south the provinces of Guizhou and Yunnan. The Western border of Sichuan touches Tibet. In this western part of the province, is the beginning of the Tibetan plateau and some Tibetan populations can be found there.
Táiwān (台湾) is situated of the east coast of China. It has long been an important link in the trade routes between China and neighbouring countries such as Japan. As a result is has received much cultural influence from beyond its shores. During the 20th century, the island has been the center of many political debates. However it remains an interesting and exciting destination for tourists.
Tianjin (天津) city is a Municipality in the north of China, situated beside the Yellow Sea, just south of Beijing. Tianjin is a rapidly developing city that can be divided into the old city and the new Binhai development area. A large number of foreign companies have bases in Tianjin, taking advantage of the sea port location and proximity to the nation capital, Beijing. A high speed rail line connects Tianjin and Beijing with the journey taking just 30 minutes.
Tibet Autonomous Region (西藏自治区 Xīzàng Zìzhìqū) is truly the roof of the world. This high plateau in the far west of China is set along the northern edge of the Himalayas. Here you find many of the worlds highest mountains including the famous Mount Everest. Tibet is one of the least populated regions of China. As such, it remains largely unspoilt by modernity. Here you will find peasants and monks living a lifestyle that has remained unchanged since time immemorial. Lasha, the capital city of the region, is the main destination for tourists. The key tourist attraction being the Potala Palace in the centre of the city.
Xīnjiāng Uyghur Autonomous Region (新疆维吾尔自治区) is located in the far North West of China. It is a huge region, much of which is empty mountains and desert with just a few people. However, it is an area steeped in history and culture. The cross roads of Asia, Xinjiang was route of the famous Silk Road. For thousands of years, caravans of camels have traversed this arid land that links China with the the rest of Asia and Europe beyond. It was over this land that Marco Polo travelled some 700 years ago on his way to Xanadu, the then capital of China.
Yúnnán (云南) is a province in the far south west of China. The area is a junction between China propper and the south east asian countries of Indo-china. The province is mountainous. The eastern edges of the Hymalyas and the Tibet platue touch on Yunnan's North and west. The south and east of Yunnan is generally lower in altitude and it is there that most of the province's population can be found. The provincial capital is Kunming, which is known as the spring city. The name hints at Yunnan's favourable climate with an all year round growing season making it ideal for producing a wide veriety of cops. This also makes it a target for tourists who come to see Yunnan's amazing landscapes and it's high diversity of plants and animals. Yunnan is relative remote from the rest of China and so is less developed than China's eastern provinces.
Marco Polo spent ten years living in the Zhejiang city of Hangzhou. He described as the, "finest and noblest city in the world." Even some 700 years later, the city still has a reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Zhejiang, just south of Shanghai, is the ideal destination for tourists wanting to see China beyond Shanghai but within a tight time schedule. Many cities can be reached by train form Shanghai in just one or two hours. Thus day tripping from Shanghai to locations in Zhejiang is quite feasible. Zhejiang is popular with tourists from abroad as well as within China.