Zuoyun county, Shanxi province sits on the Saibei Plateau, with the city of Datong to the east, Youyu, in northern Shanxi to the west, Shuozhou to the south and Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, to the north. The county covers a 1,314-sq–km area, at an elevation of 1,000- 2,000 meters above sea level in a hilly loess region. It has nine towns and 228 villages and a population of 149,000.
The county has a wide land area with forests and plenty of mineral resources. Its coal reserves are estimated at 17.45 billion tons and spread across 31 mining areas, making the county a key national producer of quality coal. It has been working on greening and improving its ecology and environment and has a forest coverage of 45 percent, or 25 percentage points above the country's average. It is also an ecological demonstration county with one of China's 100 best afforestation and greening rates.
Zuoyun also has a long history and significant culture and is one of Shanxi's historical cities and an ideal summer resort, with ancient castles, part of the Great Wall, a green environment, charming nature, and an interesting frontier fortress sites.