China Provinces & Regions
Chinese Provinces, Autonomous Regions, Municipalities and Special Administrative Regions
China has 23 provinces or sheng - the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province - 5 autonomous regions or zizhiqu, 4 municipalities or shi and the Special Administractive Regions (SAR) of Hong Kong and Macau.
China's 22 provinces under the control of the PRC are: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and Zhejiang.
China's 5 autonomous regions are: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet).
Anhui, in eastern China, may be one of the country's poorer provinces but has much to offer the visitor. The UNESCO World Heritage listed mountain peaks of Huang Shan are a noted highlight. Hefei is the provincial capital.
The eastern coastal province of Fujian (previously known in English as Fukien or Hokkien) is now a booming economic zone in the "new China". Places to visit in Fujian include the provincial capital Fuzhou at the mouth of the Min River, the historic trading port of Xiamen (Amoy) and the former colonial enclave of Gulang Yu - tree-lined and car-free.
Gansu Province in north central China is best known for its location on the ancient Silk Road linking central China to the deserts of the north west. One of China's poorest regions, the area is riding a tourism boom. The provincial capital is Lanzhou with a population of 2.8 million.
Guangdong Province situated in south central China on the Pearl River Delta is one of China's fastest growing regions. Guangzhou (Canton), with a population of over 7 million inhabitants is the provincial capital and the historic gateway to China with Shenzhen, China's richest city, another major metropolis in the area.
Located in southwest China, Guizhou Province is an off-the-beaten-track travel destination for many visitors to China, but offers spectacular scenery and a vibrant ethnic culture of Dong, Hmong (Miao) Hui, Yao and Zhuang minorities. Guiyang is the provincial capital.
Hainan is China's smallest province and Haikou the provincial capital is no longer a place of exile for disgraced imperial officials. A sub-tropical climate and China's best beaches are attracting a growing number of sun-seekers from Europe and Japan to the island province.
Hebei Province straddles Beijing and Tianjin municipalities in north eastern China. Hebei's capital is Shijiazhuang and highlights include the imperial resort town of Chengde and stretches of the Great Wall of China.
Harbin, with a population of 4.8 million people, is the provincial capital and famous for its winter Ice Festival when temperatures can drop to minus 30 degrees Centigrade.
Located in east central China, Henan Province is largely rural but with some unforgettable sights including the birthplace of gongfu (kung fu) at Shaolin Monastery and the historic walled city of Kaifeng. Zhengzhou is Henan's provincial capital.
Hubei Province is situated in the heart of China intersected by the Yangzi, Qing and Han Rivers. The Three Gorges Dam, the Taoist mountains of Wudang Shan and the provincial capital of Wuhan are the mainly rural province's chief attractions.
Birthplace of Chairman Mao at Shaoshan, largely agricultural Hunan Province in south central China, offers fiery cuisine, the provincial capital of Changsha and the beautiful mountain scenery of Wulingyuan.
Jiangsu Province, known as the "land of fish and rice" for its fertile topography on China's east coast, is famous for its historic waterways on the Grand Canal and the Yangzi River. Highlights include the provincial capital is Nanjing, birthplace of Sun Yatsen and the relaxing gardens of Suzhou.
Located in south east China, Jiangxi Province is home to Poyang Hu - China's largest freshwater lake - and the starting point of Mao's Long March. Nanchang is the provincial capital and Lushan and Jinggangshan offer stunning mountain scenery.
Located to the north of the Korean Peninsula, Jilin Province is home to approximately one million ethnic Koreans. Changbaishan is China's largest nature reserve and famous for its alpine lakes. Changchun, the provincial capital, was the HQ of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo during the Second World War.
Located along the coast of north eastern China and bordering North Korea, Liaoning, formerly Manchuria, offers the the resort city of Dalian and the provincial capital, historic Shenyang.
Located in west central China, the high grassland of Qinghai is now crossed by the railway to Tibet. The population includes Tibetans, Goloks, Mongols and other ethnic groups. Xining is the provincial capital.
Shaanxi Province is situated in the heart of China and steeped in history. The provincial capital, Xian, formerly known as Chang'an, was a key city on the Silk Route connecting Asia with Europe and capital city to thirteen imperial dynasties.
Shandong Province, in the north east of China, has much to recommend it. Confucius' birthplace at Qufu, Qingdao, previously known as Tsingtao and the Taoist peaks at Tai Shan. Ji'nan is the provincial capital.
Shanxi in north east central China offers much for the China visitor: Datong near the border with Inner Mongolia has some fascinating and picturesque ancient sites at Yugang Caves, Pingyao with its preserved city walls and the buddhist mountains of Wutai Shan. Taiyuan is the provincial capital of Shanxi.
Sichuan in south west China is defined by water, the name means "Four Rivers". The provincial capital of Chengdu is China's fourth largest city, one of the world's largest Buddhist statues is at Leshan and don't forget the stunning scenery of Jiuzhaigou and Songpan and that fiery Sichuan cuisine.
West Lake, Hangzhou, China
Black Dragon Pool Park, Lijiang