Northern Shaanxi

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Shaanbei (simplified Chinese: 陕北; traditional Chinese: 陝北; pinyin: Shǎnběi) is the northern portion of Shaanxi province in Northwest China, and is a natural as well as cultural area, forming part of the Loess Plateau. As it includes Yan'an, it is known as the birthplace of the Chinese Communist revolution.


Shaanbei is located in the center of the Loess Plateau with a general elevation range of 800 to 1300 metres, occupying approximately 45% of the area of Shaanxi Province. Elevation tends to increase from southeast to northwest. The northern portions degrade into desert, while the southern portions slope down to hills.


The region is known for its distinctive forms of folk singing.

The predominant language of Shaanbei is Jin Chinese, with the southern areas being a transition zone into Guanzhong dialect.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Shaanbei is generally perceived to include all of Yulin and most of Yan'an prefectures, excluding the southern portions.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 37°24′N 109°36′E / 37.4°N 109.6°E / 37.4; 109.6