The dubious honorific of "coal-mining capital of China" doesn't ruffle any feathers among Taiyuan (Tàiyuán, 太原) folk—these are a hardy people, and their foggy city has endured more than its fair share of abuse over the years. Sitting in a valley beside the Fen River in the well-worn "invasion corridor" that bridges the lands of the north and south, Taiyuan's millenial battlegrounds have suffered the ravages of Mongol hordes, maurauding Huns, nomadic Turks, the rise and fall of dynasties, the Boxer Rebellion and the Imperial Japanese.
The capital of Shanxi Province is now a sprawling industrial city that functions as the political, economic and cultural center of the province. And while Taiyuan won't top many lists of must-see destinations, it's not a bad place to spend a couple days while on route to the Wutai Shan or Pingyao.
Downtown Taiyuan is small enough to be explored on foot and offers a good range of Taiyuan hotels and restaurants. The area in and around Yingze Daijie is best situated for accomodation and visiting many of Taiyuan's attractions, including the Shanxi Provincial Art Museum, the Minsu Museum, Chongshan Temple, Shuangta Temple and the delightful food street of Shipin Jie.
Jin Temple (Jìn Cí, 晉祠), also called Jinci Temple, is an important temple complex located outside of town at the foot of Xuanweng..
Taiyuan has long been a coal town (at least as far back as the 10th century). The Coal Museum of China (Zhōngguó Méitàn..