Ya'an

Ya'an

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Ya'an is a prefecture-level city
Prefecture-level city
A prefectural level city , prefectural city or prefectural level municipality is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China, ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative...

 in the western part of Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 province of Southwest China
Southwest China
Southwest China is a region of the People's Republic of China defined by governmental bureaus that includes the municipality of Chongqing, the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, and the Tibet Autonomous Region.-Provinces:-Municipalities:...

, located just below the Tibetan Plateau
Tibetan Plateau
The Tibetan Plateau , also known as the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is a vast, elevated plateau in Central Asia covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai, in addition to smaller portions of western Sichuan, southwestern Gansu, and northern Yunnan in Western China and Ladakh in...

.

History



Previously known as Yazhou-fu, the city is first mentioned during the Zhou Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

 (1122-255 BCE). It served as a county seat during the Qin
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

 and Han
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 Dynasties, but was subsequently taken by nomadic tribes. After being reintegrated into the Chinese Empire in the late 5th century, it was made the seat of the Ya Prefecture in 604. The modern Ya'an county was established in 1912. It became the provincial capital of Xikang
Xikang
Xikang or Sikang , is a defunct province of the Republic of China , comprising most of the Kham region of traditional Tibet, where Khampas, a subgroup of the Tibetan ethnicity, live. The area is also home to a small minority of Mongol ethnicity...

 province in 1951,
but has been a municipality under the administration of Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 province since 1955, when Xikang
Xikang
Xikang or Sikang , is a defunct province of the Republic of China , comprising most of the Kham region of traditional Tibet, where Khampas, a subgroup of the Tibetan ethnicity, live. The area is also home to a small minority of Mongol ethnicity...

 province was merged and became a part of Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 province.

The first giant panda
Giant Panda
The giant panda, or panda is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo...

 was found in Baoxing County
Baoxing County
Baoxing County is one of the seven counties under the administration of Ya'an city, Sichuan Province, China. It is a vital geopolitical crossroad, transportation hub, and most importantly, a biodiversity hotspot and type locality for many endangered species, including Giant Panda,Dove tree,Chinese...

 of Ya'an; Ya'an is also the origin of Artificial planting tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 of the world; Mengding Mountain in Mingshan County
Mingshan County
Mingshan 名山 County is a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city....

, has been keeping seven tea trees, which are believed to be the origins of tea, for more than 1,000 years.
"The busy little town [of Yaan] was full of life, for its market is the only trading centre for the Chinese and Tibetans from Kangting. Accompanied by two coolies, I crossed the long suspension bridge which oscillates alarmingly over the Ya Ho. I got separated from my coolies in the dense crowd which swarmed along the main street, but in the end found them, and my luggage, at the Catholic mission, where two venerable fathers welcomed me with the flowery courtesy of mandarins...
Yaan is the main market for a special kind of tea which is grown in this part of the country and exported in very large quantities to Tibet via Kangting and over the caravan routes through Batang
Batang
-Places in Southeast Asia:* Batang Regency, regency in Central Java province, Indonesia* Batang, Batang, capital of Batang Regency* Batang, Irosin, Sorsogon, one of the 28 barangays of Irosin, Sorsogon, Philippines-Places in China:...

 (Paan) and Teko. Although the Chinese regard it as an inferior product, it is greatly esteemed by the Tibetans for its powerful flavor, which harmonizes particularly well with that of yak butter and salt which Tibetans often mix with their tea. Brick tea comprises not only what we call tea leaves, but also the coarser leaves and some of the twigs of the shrub, as well as the leaves and fruit of other plants and trees (the alder, for instance). This amalgam is steamed, weighed, and compressed into hard bricks, which are packed up in coarse matting in subunits of four. These rectangular parcels weigh between twenty-two and twenty-six pounds—the quality of the tea makes a slight difference to the weight—and are carried to Kangting by coolies. A long string of them, moving slowly under their monstrous burdens of tea, was a familiar sight along the road I followed."


Geography


Ya'an is located at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin
Sichuan basin
The Sichuan Basin is a lowland region in southwestern China. Despite its historical name, it is not only synonymous to Sichuan province, comprising its central and eastern portions as well as part of Chongqing Municipality...

 and on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, covering the transition between the Chengdu Plain
Chengdu Plain
The Chengdu Plain , known as Cuanxi Bazi in Sichuanese, is an alluvial plain located in the western part of Sichuan Basin in Sichuan, China. Chengdu is located on it....

 and the Tibetan Plateau. Its latitude ranges from 28° 51′ 10″ — 30° 56′ 40″ N and its longitude from 101° 56′ 26″—103° 23′ 28″ E. Neighbouring prefectures are, starting from the northeast and moving counter-clockwise, Chengdu
Chengdu
Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

 (NE), Meishan
Meishan
Meishan , formerly known as Meizhou or Qingzhou , is a prefecture-level city with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Sichuan province of the People's Republic of China. Meishan is in the southwest of Sichuan Basin....

 (E), Leshan
Leshan
-Administrative divisions:-Transport:There is a passenger rail line that serves the Mianyang–Chengdu–Leshan inter-city area.The Chengdu-Leshan Highway with a total length of 160 kilometers, was finished on January 14th, 2000...

 (SE), Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Liangshan , officially the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, is an autonomous prefecture in Sichuan, south central China whose capital is Xichang. Liangshan has an area of 60,423 km² and over 4.5 million inhabitants...

 (S), Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous prefecture in Sichuan whose capital is Kangding . It is sometimes spelled as "Kardze" by non-government sources....

 (W), and Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture
Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture
The Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous prefecture in Sichuan, whose capital is Barkam town . It has an area of 83,201 km²....

 (N). With an area of 15300 sqkm and
a population of 1,530,000,
The city is encircled by mountains, and four rivers flow through it.

Climate


Ya'an has a monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

-influenced humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Cwa) and is largely mild and humid. The presence of the mountains to the northwest greatly affects the city's climate. In the short winters, they help shield the city from cold Siberian winds
Siberian High
The Siberian High is a massive collection of cold or very cold dry air that accumulates on the Eurasian terrain for much of the year. It reaches its greatest size and strength in the winter, when the air temperature near the center of the high-pressure cell or anticyclone is often lower than...

. January averages 6.3 °C (43.3 °F), and while frost may occur, snow is rare. Summers are hot and humid, with highs often reaching 30 °C (86 °F), yet extended heat waves, as can be seen in eastern and central China, are rare; the daily average in July and August is around 25 °C (77 °F). Rainfall is common year-round, though in winter it tends to be light, and is particularly heavy in summer, when warm, humid southerly or southeasterly winds blow against the mountains, causing orographic lift
Orographic lift
Orographic lift occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude it quickly cools down adiabatically, which can raise the relative humidity to 100% and create clouds and, under the right conditions,...

 to occur, enhancing rainfall. With nearly 1700 millimetres (67 in) of rainfall occurring on 213 days per year, Ya'an is also known as the "Rain City". In addition, rain often falls at night, so fog is not a common occurrence.

Administrative Subdivisions

Map # Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2004 est.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
1 Yucheng District
Yucheng District
Yucheng District is a district of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city.thumb|left|Town east at night...

雨城区 Yǔchéng Qū 340,000 1,060 321
2 Mingshan County
Mingshan County
Mingshan 名山 County is a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city....

名山县 Míngshān Xiàn 260,000 614 423
3 Yingjing County
Yingjing County
Yingjing County is a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city....

荥经县 Yíngjīng Xiàn 140,000 1,781 79
4 Hanyuan County
Hanyuan County
Hanyuan County is a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city....

汉源县 Hànyuán Xiàn 350,000 2,349 149
5 Shimian County
Shimian County
Shimian County is a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city....

石棉县 Shímián Xiàn 120,000 2,678 45
6 Tianquan County
Tianquan County
Tianquan County is a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city....

天全县 Tiānquán Xiàn 150,000 2,394 63
7 Lushan County
Lushan County, Sichuan
Lushan County, Sichuan is a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of Ya'an city.-Historical Monuments:An ancient monument, located in Lushan County and dating to 205 AD of the Eastern Han Dynasty, is the remains of the mausoleum of Fan Min...

芦山县 Lúshān Xiàn 120,000 1,364 88
8 Baoxing County
Baoxing County
Baoxing County is one of the seven counties under the administration of Ya'an city, Sichuan Province, China. It is a vital geopolitical crossroad, transportation hub, and most importantly, a biodiversity hotspot and type locality for many endangered species, including Giant Panda,Dove tree,Chinese...

宝兴县 Bǎoxīng Xiàn 60,000 3,114 19

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