Ying Ze Street is one of the main streets in Taiyuan. The street connects the railway station on the east and the Ying Ze bridge on the west. I walked from the Ying Ze bridge to the railway station. It is a wide street with high-rise buildings including banks, shops, hotels, restaurants, government office buildings, Worker Cultural Palace, and Ying Ze Park, and some art sculptures and garden.
Toilet facility is available. Y0.50 per entry.
It is an easy walk!
In Chinese: 迎泽街 (Ying Ze Jie)
If you are having a mood to ride a boat to cruise around the lake in Ying Ze Park, here is the charges:
Paddle Boat: Y40 per hour (Y100 deposit)
Electrical Boat: Y50 per hour (Y100 deposit)
Dragon Boat: Y200 per hour (Y300 deposit)
They have three docks for you to rent a boat and return. Please refer my Ying Ze Park map in my travelogue- purple stars.
Ying Ze Park is located in the downtown of Taiyuan, on Ying Ze Street. It covers with 66.7 hectares land, one third of the land is a lake in the center, Ying Ze Street is on the north, Qin Nuan Road is on the east, Nan Sha He is on the South, and Jiefang Street is on the west.
This park was completed in January 1954, and opened to the public since June 1957. It has been restored for severe times through out the history. The park is surrounded by 130 genus garden plants; peony garden, rose garden, Yue Ji garden, Hai Tang garden, apricob garden, bonsai garden, and so on. Other attractions in the park including an aquarium, Children Room of insects, 4D cinema, Ice World, Crocodile farm, and etc.
This park has four natural regions, north lake, middle part, south lake, and south part. It has five function areas, include management area, production area, culture area, environment area, and recreational area.
I only managed to visit north side of the parks. It is a huge park, it takes hours to walk around the park and lake. If you have Children, aquarium, 4D cinema, or even Ice world would be fun to visit. If you want to visit the south lake, take the paddle boat to a small island on the south lake and enjoy the view of the lake with seven holes bridge.
And don't miss my favorite building " Taiyuan Youth Palace , 太原少年宫 " is on the north side of the lake.
Check out the map and other attraction in my " Ying Ze Park's Travelogues.
In Chinese: 迎泽公园 (Ying Ze Gong Yuan)
The Underwater World in Ying Ze Park is the largest aquarium in Shanxi Province. This 5000 square meters facility is a large scale integrated aquarium that consists of all sort of marine life especially largest rare seen thousand fishes species in northern China. You will also see seals and sea lions in this aquarium.
Opening Hours: Summer (8:30-19:30); Winter (9:00-17:30)
Admission: Adult (Y60); Children (Y40)
Taiyuan Worker Cultural Palace (Taiyuan Gong Ren Wen Hua Gong) is located on Yiingze Street. It was first built in 1958 with total area of 60,000 square meters, and the building built-up area of 30,000 square meters. This is the largest trade union and cultural activities center in Shanxi Province. It is not only the center of provincial capital of politics, culture, sports, entertainment and other activities, also a skills training center for professional and technical personnel.
There is a square in front of the Palace, or the Palace Square. In the morning, this square is utilizes by the locals for morning exercises like dancing, Tai Chi, and etc.
During my visit in Oct 2011, this Palace was just finishing its major renovation of the Palace and square. Based on the local news, the government has spent 500million yuan for the entire renovation cost.
In Chinese: 工人文化工 (Gong Ren Wen Hua Gong)
This modern architectural building was completed in 2004, which is the largest museum in Shanxi Province. The province government has spent 400million yuan to built this 51,000 square meters museum of four stories of exhibition halls with the largest collection of porcelain, currency, Jades, painting and calligraphy of the province. It also covers seven historical and cultural topics and five artistic topics. The historical topics includes the Cradle of Civilization, Xia, and Shang Trace, Dominance of the Jin, the Ethnic Melting Pot, Buddhist Relics, the Legacy of drama, and Shang Merchants in the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The artistic topics include Architectural Relics, Natural Beauty, Painting and Calligraphy, Ancient Coins, and Chinese Porcelain. The exhibits highlight the “bright spots” in the history and culture of Shanxi , and have broken with the traditional exhibition model to form a distinctive style that combines uses the displays to bring history to life.
Operating Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Ticket Counter is closed at 16:00)
Admission: Free (But you need to get the ticket at the ticket counter)
In Chinese: 山西博物院 (Shan Xi Bo Wu Yuan)
Fen River divided the Taiyuan City into East and West. This river drains the center of Shanxi Province. The water flows from the Guancen Mountains of Ningwu County in northeast of Shanxi to the southeast into the basin of Taiyuan, and then south through the central valley of Shanxi before turning west join the Yellow River wast of Hejin. It is one of the two largest tributaries of the Yellow River, Wei River is another one. The river is 694km long and drains 25.3% the area of Shanxi Province.
I arrived at the Ying Ze Bridge by a bus. It is one of the bridges to connect the city between east and west as part of the highways. Underneath the bridge is the river with Parks. There were several sections of the park are quite nice with flowers, trees, and benches. The river walk was nothing much except a giant decorative dragon floating on the river. I walked toward north till I Shanxi Museum. There is a square with water fountain built as parallel with the Museum. Unfortunately, the water fountains had no water.
In Chinese: 汾河 (Fen He)
Daxiong Baodian Temple is just next to the Twin Pagodas, and Y30 admission is covered to visit this temple. It is a two stories ancient temple, the first floor named " Daxiong Temple" and the second floor named " Sanshengge Pavilion" . There are halls on each side of the temple, Ketang Saloon and Mediation Room. The garden in the courtyard has the Peony Planted in Ming Dynasty named "Zixiaxian Peony".
This is my favorite part of Taiyuan. This ancient temple has unique architecture from the Ming Dynasty.
Daxiong Temple: This temple was built during Wanli Period from 36th to 40th year in the Ming Dynasty of Chinese Ancient Time (A.D 1608-1612). It has five halls in total, length 19.35m and depth 11.3m was built by brick without beam mount and wood, and is one of the examples of work to imitate wood construction without brick beam mount depend exquisite workmanship and special formation. At present three bronze and iron statues are being consecrated here such as Amitabha, Sakyamuni, and Oriental Senior Pharmacist.
In Chinese: 大雄殿 (Da Xiong Dian)
Sanshengga Pavilion: This Pavilion was originally called Mother Buddha Pavilion to consecrate the Mother Buddha. It has three halls, length 16.75,. depth 9.70m, was built with Ancient Chinese special construction style without beam mount, and is appraised as one rare ancient Chinese traditional building without beam mount. The Mother Buddha, Manjuist and Puto Statue consecrated here were relocated from the original Zizhusi Temple in March 1985.
In Chinese: 三圣阁 (San Sheng Ge)
Twin Pagoda is located southeast of Railway Station. I believe this is the most famous attraction near downtown Taiyuan. These two 13-stories Pagodas have different names, Xuanwenta Pagoda and Wenfengta Pagoda.
Xuanwenta Pagoda: Xuanwenta Pagoda was created and built during Wanli Period from 36th - 40th in Ming Dynasty ( A.D 1608-1612) with plane octagon style. It has 54.78 meters height (13 stories) with one standing brick pagoda with air pavilion and is one religious building to consecrate Buddhist relic, collect Buddhist Scriptures, pay servile obeisance to the Buddha, and contains the ladder every floor so as to be spiral up the pagoda.
Wenfengta Pagoda: Wenfengda Pagoda was created and built the Wanli Period from 27th-30th in Ming Dynasty (A.D 1599-1602). It has 54.76 meters height (13 stories), and was completely built by brick in accordance with plane octagon style and imitating wood construction and ancient Chinese traditional special carved mode, and is one kind of remarkable structural building with superstition color established by the ancient local capitalists to make up the local topographic defect so as to re-energize the local culture.
You can go up to one of the towers, but you can't see much from the top because all the windows are closed up. The stairs are steep and dark with limited space to walk. If there are crowd during your visit, I advise you not to go up. It is very dangerous to have people cram inside the Pagoda.
There is a garden next to Pagodas with collection of steles that contain the handwriting of famous ancient Chinese calligraphers from various dynasties. On the east side of the Pagodas is the ancient Daxiong Baodian Temple.
Opening Hours: 8:00 to 17:00
In Chinese: 双塔寺 (Shuang Ta Si)
This temple is located beside the Twin Pagoda Temple in the south-west of the city. It was built at the same time as the Twin Pagodas, during the Wanli period in 1612. The temple features five halls which are home to three bronze and iron statues of Amitabha, Sakyamuni and Oriental Senior Pharmacist.
This temple is located in the south-west of the city and is named after two famous pagodas. The pagodas are the tallest set of twin pagodas in China. They are both octagonal with the lowest floor being comparatively taller than the rest, the size of the upper floors progressively decreasing. The West Pagoda, built in 1612, is 54.78 meters tall, with the lowest floor’s circumference being 4.16 meters. The pagoda’s eaves are painted with emerald green glaze. The East Pagoda, built in 1602, is 54.76 meters high, and the lowest floor’s circumference is 4.36 meters.
Initially built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), the Chongshan Temple (Temple for Appreciating Kindliness) was once called White Horse Monastery. In 1383, in memory of his mother, Zhu Gang, third son of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), had the temple rebuilt and extended, and renamed it Chongshan Temple. However, during the reign of Emperor Tongzhi (1856-1875) of the Qing Dynasty, the temple was almost reduced to ashes in 1864. Today only one-fortieth of the temple survives, including the Bell Tower, the Dabei Hall, and the east and west wing rooms.
The temple is famous for the original edition of its Buddhist sutras of the Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties kept here. The oldest sutra has a history of over 1000 years. There are also some wonderful frescos that still retain their bright colours after 500 years. Another treasure are three gilded Ming Dynasty statues of Samantabhadra (the Bodhisattva of Truth), Guanyin (the Goddess of Mercy with 1000 arms) and Manjusri (the Bodhisattva of Wisdom with 1000 alms bowls), all about 8 meters (26.2 feet) high.
Open: 8am-5pm. Admission: RMB2
This wonderful museum is located in the west of the city, over the river. The modern main building is shaped in a combination of a Dou (a kind of measuring implement in ancient China) and a Ding (an ancient cooking vessel). The museum exhibits the largest number of cultural relics with over 200,000 on display in sections such as The Cradle of Civilisation, The Traces of the Xia and Shang Dynasties, The Achievements of the Vassal State Jin, The Melting Pot of Different Nationalities and The Relics of Buddhism. On display are many bronzeware exhibits plus paintings, calligraphy, Chinaware, currency, jadeware and ancient architecture. I spent about an hour-and-a-half here and it's best reached by taking a taxi.
Open: 9am-5pm. Admission: Free.
If your time is limited and you can only spare a couple hours, there is one place you should visit to make your Taiyuan trip worthwhile. That's Shanxi Museum. Don't confuse this with Shanxi Provincial Museum, they are two different museum. Don't bother catching a bus and walk as recommended by Lonely Planet. Taxi is cheap, meter starts at 8Y and it will probably cost around 15Y to get to the Museum if you get on at the Train Station. If the taxi driver doesn't have a clue how to get there, just tell him to cross the Yingze Qiao (ÓÔó´óÇÅ£©and immediately take a right turn and then take the ram up, then you should be able to see the inverted pyramid to your left side. If you go that way, the taxi have to make a U Turn a way up after passing the Museum on the left. Other taxi drivers know to take another way to get you to another entrance. Also, Museum is closed every Monday and not every 15th and 30th of each month as stated in LP. This is a museum worth visiting and it's FREE! (at time of writing) The exhibition was nicely organized and the technology was up to date. Everything was immaculate there, but don't expect the bathrooms to be also.
Just south of the Chongshan Temple lies this Confucian Temple which is home to the second part of the Shanxi Museum, founded in 1919.