Most travellers pass through Shānxī’s capital en route to Píngyáo or heading north to Dàtóng or Wǔtái Shān, but Tàiyuán (太原) is well worth a day or two of your time. It's a huge, modern and cosmopolitan city, but it's certainly not short on history or culture; there's a first-rate museum, several notable temples – including a beautiful and rare set of twin pagodas – and a stunning Catholic Cathedral that wouldn't look out of place in Italy.
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