Image by Luis Castaneda Inc. / Getty Images


Waist-deep in handsome history, Shanxi (山西) is home to an impressive roll call of must-see, ancient sights. Most travellers start with the walled city of Pingyao. Basing yourself here and jumping to the town's surrounding sights is practically all you need: you'll encounter time-worn temples, sprawling Ming- or Qing-dynasty courtyard residences, and the opportunity for a day trip to the dizzying mountain cliffs and gorges of Mian Shan.

Travellers shouldn't overlook Datong, a forward-thinking city with a brand-new city wall and a great looking old town, but it's the astonishing cave sculptures at Yungang, outside town, that give expression to the province's other great source of magic: a rich vein of Silk Road Buddhist heritage, which splendidly litters the rolling mountain fastness of Wutai Shan with temples. Add the time-warp walled village, Guoyu, and the still-inhabited cave dwellings of Lijia Shan, and you could find yourself staying longer than planned.

Explore Shanxi


Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Shanxi.

Top experiences

Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Shanxi.