Laoniuwan (Old Ox Bay)
Laoniuwan is a landmark in Shanxi, not only because it is the beginning of the grand gorge but because it is the intersection of the Yellow River and the Great Wall. [Photo by Liu Liangliang for China Daily]
As the Yellow River flows about 3,500 kilometers from its source in Qinghai province through Togtoh county in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, it enters Shanxi province in the village of Laoniuwan in Pianguan county.
From Laoniuwan, which means "Old Ox Bay", the Yellow River has left its most gorgeous feature, the Shanxi-Shaanxi Grand Gorge, which serves as the border of the two provinces.
The gorge was formed by the Yellow River cutting through the Loess Plateau over millions of years.
Laoniuwan is a landmark in Shanxi, not only because it is the beginning of the grand gorge but because it is the intersection of the Yellow River and the Great Wall.
It is the only spot where the mighty Yellow River shakes hands with the Great Wall. Regarded as one of the 10 most beautiful canyons in China, the area has been made into a national-level geological park.
According to He Jiao, an official at the administrative center of Laoniuwan Scenic Area, the river and the wall offer unique historic significance to the scenic spot.
"The Yellow River is the mother river of China as it has nurtured the culture and economy of the nation for thousands of years. And the Great Wall was the greatest defense project in ancient China," He said.
He said a tour of Laoniuwan is a trip back in history and there are mysteries waiting to be explored.
"The mysteries are hidden in the ancient watchtowers, ancient buildings, ancient temples, ancient roads and ancient residences," He said.
Address: Laoniuwan village, Pianguan county, Xinzhou city, Shanxi province
Best travel period: summer, autumn and winter
Opening hours: 8:00-18:00
Admission ticket price: 96 yuan ($14.74) per person; 50 yuan per person for students with student cards; free of charge for senior citizens aged above 75, children under 1.2 meters, people with disabilities and officers (both with related identification documents)