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Travel in Hebei

Travel in Hebei

Xingtai: The Oldest City in North China


Seated in the southern part of Hebei (hé běi 河北) Province with Taihang Mountains (tài háng shān 太行山) rising in the west, Xingtai (xíng tái 邢台) borders Shijiazhuang (shí jiā zhuāng 石家庄) and Hengshui (héng shuǐ 衡水) in the north, Handan (hán dān 邯郸) in the south, and the provinces of Shandong (shān dōng 山东) and Shanxi (shān xī 山西) in the east and west respectively. It is 108 kilometers (67 miles) south of Shijiagzhuang City and 396 kilometers (246 miles) away from Beijing.
Xingtai has a nickname and that is Ox City (niú chéng 牛城). It is the oldest city in North China. The history of Xingtai can be traced back 3500 years ago. During the Shang Dynasty (shāng cháo 商朝 1600 BC-1046 BC), Xingtai functioned as a capital city. During the Warring States Period (zhàn guó shí qī 战国时期 473 BC-221 BC), the Zhao Kingdom (zhào guó 赵国) made Xingtai its provisional capital. During the Sui (suí 隋 580-630) and Tang (táng 唐 630-907) Dynasties, the city was known as Xingzhou (xíng zhōu 邢州). From the times of the Yuan Dynasty (yuán cháo 元朝 1271-1368) to Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, Xingtai was called Shundefu (shùn dé fǔ 顺德府), and functioned as a prefecture in China.
Located at the convergence of Taihang Mountains and North China Plain (huá běi píng yuán 华北平原), Xingtai city slopes from the west to the east. Its main topography is plain occupying more than half of the city area. Xingtai has reserves of black metal and other minerals. What’s more, Xingtai is the site where one of the seven famous kilns in Tang Dynasty, Xing Kiln (xíng yáo 邢窑), is seated having a brilliant history of white porcelain making.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 11:56
Hengshui: The Bright Pearl in Beijing-Kowloon Railway


Hengshui (héng shuǐ 衡水) City is like a bright pearl in Beijing-Kowloon (jiǔ lóng 九龙) Railway, which now is developing to be a landscape style modern central city. Situated in the southeast of Hebei Province, Hengshui neighbors Xingtai (xíng tái 邢台), Handan (hán dān
邯郸), Cangzhou (cāng zhōu 沧州) and Baoding (bǎo dìng 保定) within the province and is bordered by Shandong (shān dōng 山东) Province in the southeast. The capital city of Hebei, Shijiazhuang (shí jiā zhuāng 石家庄) is about 119 kilometers (74 miles) west of the downtown Hengshui, and Beijing is about 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of the city.
Hengshui has a long history and deep cultural deposits. During the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū shí qī 春秋时期 770 BC-476 BC), it mostly belonged to the Jin Kingdom (jìn guó 晋国), while in the Warring States Period (zhàn guó shí qī 战国时期 476 BC-221 BC), it was a part of the territory of Yan and Zhao kingdoms. It was put into the Julu County (jù lù jùn 巨鹿郡) after the Qin Kingdom unified China in 221BC. Most domain of present Hengshui took shape in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 BC), and the great philosopher and the great master of Confucianism in the Western Han Dynasty-Dong Zhongshu (dǒng zhòng shū 董仲舒) was born here. In the period of the Three Kingdoms, Yuanshao (yuán shào 袁绍) gathered millions of soldiers to contend against Caocao (cáo cāo 曹操) in Jizhou (jì zhōu 冀州).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 11:57
Handan: The Hometown of Idiom and Allusions


Handan (hán dān 邯郸) is a medium-sized city located in the southern part of Hebei (hé běi 河北) Province in China. It is 163 kilometers away from Shijiazhuang (shí jiā zhuāng 石家庄), and it is in the communication center of Hebei, Henan (hé nán 河南), Shanxi (shān xī 山西) and Shandong (shān dōng 山东) provinces within 200 (124 miles) kilometers away from the capital cities of these four provinces and about 500 kilometers (311 miles) from Beijing and Tianjin. Handan lies at the east foot of Taihang Mountains (tài háng shān 太行山), and borders the North China Plain (huá běi píng yuán 华北平原) in the east.
Handan has a history of more than 2,500 years, and is considered one of China's historical and cultural cities. In the Warring States Period (zhàn guó shí qī 战国时期), it was the capital of the Zhao Kingdom (zhào guó 赵国). There are many archaeological sites and ancient places of interest. Many renowned historical figures were born and brought up here such as the First Emperor of China, Qinshihuang (qín shǐ huáng 秦始皇), Emperor Wuling (wǔ líng wáng 武灵王) of the Zhao Kingdom, Lian Po (lián pō 廉颇) and Lin Xiangru (lìn xiàng rú 蔺相如) who figure in the story "The General and the Premier Make Up (jiàng xiàng hé 将相和)".
Handan was also regarded as a commercial centre during the Western and Eastern Han Dynasties (xī hàn hé dōng hàn 西汉和东汉), but slowly it declined, perhaps because of the numerous battles ravaging northern China after the Han.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 11:58
Zhangjiakou: A Fusion of History and Reality


Located at a gate in the Great Wall of China, Zhangjiakou (zhāng jiā kǒu 张家口) has historically been a communications and commercial link between Beijing, Shanxi (shān xī 山西) and Inner Mongolia (nèi měng gǔ 内蒙古). Zhangjiakou has unique topography. It is located at the juncture of the Hengshan Mountain (héng shān 恒山), Taihang Mountains (tài háng shān 太行山) and Yan Mountains (yān shān 燕山). The Sanggan River (sāng gàn hé 桑干河) flows through the whole area. The city slopes downwards from the northwest to southeast. Energy is the foundation of Zhangjiakou's industry economy. The Zhangjiakou General Power Plant (zhāng jiā kǒu fā diàn zǒng chǎng 张家口发电总厂), with an installed capacity of 2.88 million KWh, is one of the largest thermal power plants in north China.
Zhangjiakou is a time-honored city north of the Great Wall inhabited by many ethnic minorities. In the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū shí qī 春秋时期: 770 BC-476 BC), its north part was inhabited by the Huns (xiōng nú 匈奴), while the south part was the territory of the Yan Kingdom (yān guó 燕国). It had been divided into two shires in Sui Dynasty (suí cháo 隋朝: 581-618) and has brought into the domain of the central regime of China. Zhangjiakou was long known as Kalgan (kā lā gàn 喀拉干) to much of the world. The name comes from the Mongolian word for “barrier”, which was an apt description of this key city's importance to Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝: 1644-1911).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 April 2010 10:54
Tangshan: The Cradle of Chinese Modern Industry


Tangshan (táng shān 唐山) is located in the central section of circum-Bohai Gulf (bó hǎi wān 渤海湾) region, facing the Bohai Sea in the south, depends on Yan mountains (yān shān 燕山) in the north, border Luanhe (luán hé 滦河) River, which ranks No.2 in North China, with Qinhuangdao (qín huáng dǎo 秦皇岛) city in the east, the west adjoin with Beijing and Tianjin (tiān jīn 天津). Tangshan is part of North China Plain, and it is the corridor linking two major regions of North China and Northeast China, making it a throat strategic area.
Tangshan was well known by the whole world for an earthquake. It suffered this earthquake of moment magnitude 8.2 (7.8 from official report) at 3:42 a.m. on July 28, 1976, which caused a tragically tremendous number of injuries and deaths. The official death toll was 255,000, but many experts believed that the actual number of fatality was two to three times that number, making it the most destructive earthquake in modern history. As a result of the earthquake, most of the town had to be rebuilt.
Historically, the Chinese modern industry started in this city. The first railway in China was built from Xugezhuang (xū gè zhuāng 胥各庄) to Tangshan in 1877 and the first fire-resistant material manufactory, and the first and largest cement manufactory were constructed in Tangshan as well.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 April 2010 14:08
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