Located in the northern part of China, North China is a vast region from the yellow river valley, all the way south to the Yangtze River. It is separated from the south region by the Qin Mountains-Huai River. The majority of the region lies on the north of the Qinling-Huaihe line, while its heartland and core lie in the North China plain.
This region is considered to be the cradle of China’s civilization and a majority of the Chinese emperors are said to have been born from here. Additionally, North China also houses the capital city of the country, Beijing.
To further understand what this region entails, we are going to have an in-depth look into North China. In this post, we will look at North China, the provinces included within the region, and the major cities within those provinces.
North China Provinces
Also known as Huabei, the northern part of China is divided into different provinces each subdivided into counties, cities/townships. These provinces are as follows:
The name Beijing means Northern Capital. It’s mainly surrounded by Hebei province while to the southeast it is neighbored by Tianjin. The three joins together to form the national capital region of China, Jingjinji megalopolis. Although Beijing is not technically a province, it is a vast region that equals one. It is under the direct council of the State Council as a municipality.
It is made up of over 16 districts, some urban, suburban, and rural. The city districts include Dongcheng (east city), Xicheng (west city), Fengtai, Hadian, and Chaoyang. The suburbs include Shunyi and Changping districts in the northern suburbs and Daxing, Mentougou, and Fangshan districts in the southern and western suburbs. As for the rural districts, some of them include Miyun, Yanqing, Pinggu, and Huairou districts.
Also called Yu, in short, is a landlocked province in the northern central part of China. It is located in China’s Yellow River valley and is surrounded by six provinces. Hebei is to the north, Hubei is to its south, Shaanxi is to its West, Anhui is to its east, to its northeast is Shandong and to the northwest is Shanxi. It is considered the birthplace of China’s 5,000-year civilization and where most of the Chinese family names originated from. It is also said that throughout the 20 dynasties, over 200 of the emperors either moved their capital to or set their capital in Henan Region.
The province is divided based on the north, south, west, and east regions. The northern Henan is north of the Yellow River and is considered a very industrialized area, and the central region hosts one of the main transportation hubs of China. The western part of the province is popular for its mountains and breathtaking sceneries. The eastern region is the agricultural part of the province and the southern region is known for having a milder rainier climate than the rest of the province. The cities in the province include Jiyuan, Hebi, Xuchang, Luohe Luoyang, Sanmenxia, Kaifeng, and Shangqiu.
It is also called a Tientsin. It’s mostly surrounded by Beijing and Hubei with the Bohai Gulf of the Yellow Sea to its east. Like Beijing, it is not quite a province but a vast region governed as a municipality. In the past, it was said to be a trading center and today it is divided into two. The old city and the new area Binhai which is the base of China’s advanced industry, innovation, and financial reform. The area has fast-growing international companies constantly introducing new branches.
The municipality of Tianjin is divided into 13 districts and 3 counties made up of 16 county-level divisions. The urban districts include Hedong, Nankai, Heping, Hexi, Hebei, Binhai, and Hongqiao. The rural districts on the other hand include Dongli, Beichen, Jinnan, and Xiqing among others.
In the past, Shanxi used to be referred to as Shansi. The name Shanxi means Western Mountain, derived from its location which is west of the Taihang Mountains. It is a landlocked plateau province in northern China. The province is bordered by inner Mongolia to the north, to the east is Hebei, to its west is Shaanxi and to its south is Henan. It is popularly known as the home for the famous Terracotta soldiers and one of the popular ancient sites, an old persevered town called Pingyao, that dates back to the Ming dynasty. Withing China, the province is also known for a special type of hand-pulled noodle called biang biang mian.
The province is made up of many great cities including Taiyuan, it’s the capital city, Pingyao, the old city, and Yuncheng, home to the Guan Di temple and Yongle Palace. Other cities include Dating, Linfen, Jincheng, Changzhi. Jinzhong, and Yangquan.
Also known as the autonomous Mongol region in the northern part of China. It’s different from the outer Mongolian region which is a country on its own. Inner Mongolia makes up most of the northern edge of North China. It’s bordered by Russia and other Chinese provinces including, Liaoning, Shanxi, Hebei, Shaanxi, Jilin, Gansu, Heilongjiang, and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The province entails arid deserts, green steppe, Hulunbuir grasslands, popular fishing lakes, and hundreds of rivers.
It’s divided into the eastern, central, and western regions. The western region includes cities like Bayan Nur, Wuhai, Hohhot, Baotou, and Ordos City. The Eastern region includes regions like Hinggan and Hulunbuir. The central region on the other hand is made up of cities like Xilin Gol, Chifeng, Ulanqab, and Tongliao.
This province is also called Chiloo or the Giant state because people living within that region are believed to be the tallest in the world. It is a coastal province in the north of China with the Yellow River running from its south through it and the Bohai sea located at its north. It is believed to be the birthplace of Taoist and Confucian heritage.
The province is divided into three main regions, including the lowlands in the northwest, southwest, and west of the province. Also, the highlands in the hilly central parts of the province and the coastal region encompasses the coastal region in the eastern parts of the province. The three regions are further subdivided into 17 districts, 140 counties, and 1941townships. The cities found within the province include Jinan, its capital, Weifang, Linyi, Yantai, and Zibo among others.
This is a modern city established in 1911 and was initially called Chihili Province. It’s one of the coastal provinces in the north of China forming most of the North China plain. It’s also the only province in the country known to have mountains, hills, plateaus, lakes, and shorelines. Its bordered by Inner Mongolia to its north, Henan to its south, Shanxi to its west, to its southeast is Shandong and to the northwest is Lianoning.
The province is made up of the following cities, Shijiazhuang, its capital, and Chengde, home to the Mountain Resort a favorite tourist destination. Other cities include Baoding, Handan, Changzhou, and Tangshan among others.
North China Cities
The Northern part of China encompasses, hundreds of cities. Two of the cities are among the four in the country that is large enough to be governed as municipalities, are Beijing and Tianjin. The following are some of the other major cities in North China:
Jinan – the capital city of Shandong province located in the northeastern part of the province. The Yellow River passes through it from the north and the Tai ‘Massif hills can be seen from the south. Although it’s not the most popular tourist destination, it is home to the most sacred Mount Tai and the Confucius heritage. It is also popularly known as the City of Springs because of its famous 72 artesian springs.
Qingdao – this city is the largest city of the Shandong province, considered to be the most beautiful and cleanest in the country. It is characterized by parks, skyscrapers, ports, and beaches along the Yellow Sea. It’s known for the International Beer Festival and Tsingtao beer. The city is also a popular tourist destination in the province for its German architecture and coastal sceneries.
Hohhot – this is the capital city of Inner Mongolia and was previously called Kweisui. It is one of the major industrial cities of the province and is popular for its rich cultural background. One thing to note is that the population of the city is mostly Muslim. As a result, you’ll find some restaurants with the colors yellow and green to indicate that they do not serve pork. It’s also worth visiting the city during spring and summer when the city is green and pleasant.
Taiyuan – this is both the largest and capital city of Shanxi province. It is one of the main manufacturing cities in the country, especially for mining. It is also the main hub for high-speed railway systems in North China. The city is home to 3 notable tourist sites including, The twin Pagodas, Shanxi Museum, and the famous Congshan Temple carvings.
Zhengzhou – this is the capital city of Henan and the major hub for national transportation networks in the country, with railway systems and international airports. The city is also noted for being the birthplace of the Yellow Emperor and once the capital of the Shang dynasty. It is also home to the famous pyramid-shaped Henan Museum that carries a lot of cultural artifacts from pre-historic times.
Shijiazhuang – formerly called Shimen, this city is the capital city of Hebei and its main economic center. It is also one of the major pharmaceutical bases in the country and home to important industries like IT, textile, and chemicals. It’s a modern city characterized by skyscrapers with a few ancient architectures like the Zhaozhou bridge built centuries ago.
North China is considered one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting the country. There is a lot to love about this region, from their rich and delicious cuisine to the beautiful sceneries and tourist spots. It has many historic architectural sites, including the great wall of China and the terracotta warriors of Xi’an. It’s a perfect place to start from if you’re thinking of touring China.