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Shaanxi Cities

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Baoji is a prefecture-level city in Shaanxi province, China.

It has a population of 3,670,000 according to the 2001 Chinese census, making it the 25th largest city in China, and a surface area of 18172 km². The city itself has a population of approximately 800,000. Surrounded on three sides by hills, Baoji is in a valley opening out to the east. Its location is strategic, controlling a pass on the Qinling Mountains between the Wei Valley and the upper Han River,or named Chia-ling River. Passing through Baoji is the ancient North Silk Road, the northernmost route of about 2600 kilometres in length, which connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xian to the West over the Wushao Ling Pass to Wuwei and emerging in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia.

Thriving early in the Tang dynasty, it has roots to 2000 BC, but is now a large industrial center. Railways first reached Baoji in 1937 and have been key to its modern growth. Baoji is also considered the gateway between western and eastern China since most trains from Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an pass through here on their way to Gansu, Sichuan, Xinjiang and Tibet (Lhasa). Fa Men Si (Famen temple), home to one of Buddha's finger bones, is also located in Baoji County. The Baoji area was home to the legendary Yangdi, one of the Han Chinese forefathers. His tomb is located in the southern part of the city and his temple is located in the North.

People who are interested in the Three Kingdoms of ancient China can visit Zhuge Liang's Memorial Temple, about 20 km from Baoji. To get to the temple, take the bus from Baoji XinJianLu Bus Terminal to Gaodian, then transfer to taxi. Taxi fare to the temple from Gaodian is about 20-30 renminbi varying with seasons.

Ancient trackways
Tai Bai Shan (Taibai mountain) has some still-remaining traces of roadways built during the 3 kingdoms period, all generally unusable due to decay, but amazing to see because they were built by making wood plank bridges into the side of the mountain.

To the South of the of Baoji is the beginning of the plank road in the Qinling Mountains, there are also several natural sites, like the Jialing Jiang Fountainhead with it small waterfalls and forests. To the north is Bei Puo, a giant hill made of loess with a great view of the city and dotted with small farming villages that one can get some delicious local cuisine from.

A number of Longshan archaeological sites have been found north of the Wei River near the North Silk Road.

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