Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, China

🇨🇳 Zhangjiakou (张家口) also known as Kalgan and by several other names, is a prefecture-level city in north-western Hebei province in Northern China, bordering Beijing to the south-east, Inner Mongolia to the north and west, and Shanxi to the southwest. It is divided into 17 Counties and Districts. The built-up (or metro) area made of Qiaoxi, Qiaodong, Chongli, Xuanhua, Xiahuayuan Districts largely being conurbated.

Since ancient times, Zhangjiakou has been a stronghold of military significance and vied for by multiple sides. Hence, Zhangjiakou is nicknamed the Northern Gate of Beijing. Due to its strategic position on several important transport arteries, it is a critical node for travel between Hebei and Inner Mongolia and connecting north-west China, Mongolia, and Beijing. Dajingmen, an important gate and junction of the Great Wall of China is located here.

In the south, Zhangjiakou is largely cultivated for agricultural use. In the north, Bashang is a part of the Mongolian plateau and dominated by grasslands. The forest coverage reaches 37%, earning Zhangjiakou the title of National Forest City. According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Zhangjiakou has the freshest air and the least PM 2.5 pollution of all Chinese cities north of the Yellow River. Zhangjiakou also possesses 4.6% of China's wind energy resources, and the city ranks second in solar energy use.: 25–30  Zhangjiakou was one of the host cities at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Transportation • The city lies in the north-western corner of the province and is linked to Datong in Shanxi by the Xuanda Expressway and to Beijing by means of the Jingzhang Expressway. • Zhangjiakou is further linked by a freeway to Inner Mongolia which opened on September 7, 2005. • China National Highway 207 • A heavy-haul railway is under construction, to transport coal from Zhangjiakou to Tangshan. Construction is expected to finish in 2015; the railway is planned to carry 200 million tons of coal per year. Another heavy-haul railway, Junggar-Zhangjiakou, is expected to connect to it. • Beijing-Zhangjiakou Intercity Railway opened in December 2019, shortening the traveling time from Beijing to Zhangjiakou from 3 hours 7 minutes to 47 minutes . • Flights to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, and Xiamen are available at Zhangjiakou Ningyuan Airport.

Economy The vicinity of Zhangjiakou is rich in coal and iron ore, making it an ideal location for developing iron and steel industry. Apart from metallurgy, the city is home to one of China's most important grape wine industries, with the Great Wall Wine Company being located in Shacheng, Huailai County.

Due to its comparatively late implementation Reform and Opening policies, the scale of foreign investment in Zhangjiakou is not quite large. Currently, there are approximately 130 foreign companies settled. The amount of investment reached 820 million US dollars. The largest one is Zhangjiakou Volvo Motor Company with investment amounting to 3.1 billion RMB, and value of output exceeding 1 billion RMB.: 168  Due to several factors including the hosting of 2022 Winter Olympic Games with its concomitant expansion of infrastructure, the opening of high-speed railway in December 2019, the national strategy of coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the ratification of building a national demonstration zone of renewable energy by State Council of the People's Republic of China, Zhangjiakou economy is expected to undergo unprecedented advance in the coming years.: 168 

Tourist Industry Lying in between the Mongolian Plateau and the North China Plain, Zhangjiakou has a somewhat rugged topography characterized by high mountains, deep valleys, and rocky pathways. As a result, it serves as a perfect natural screen for Beijing, which has made it a strategic priority militarily since ancient times. It is called "The Gateway to Beijing" and "The Mountain City beyond the Great Wall". The grand Yan Mountain, the towering Taihang Mountain, the vast grasslands, and the meandering Sangyang River converge here. The city government has regarded tourism as a major driving force of the city's economy and continues to develop the industry.

As a place where water resources for Beijing is located, ecological and sustainable development have been emphasized by local government. Due to its less impact on environment than heavy industry, tourism figures significantly in local policies of development. Possessing diverse landforms, such as plains, hills, mountains, basins and grasslands, Zhangjiakou is an ideal place for holidays, entertainment sightseeing for neighbour middle class and can provide tourists with a variety of experiences. In the area, there are significant differences in different seasons. In winter, tourists can ski in Chongli Mountains; in spring, they can visit historical sites; in summer, visitors can sleep in Mongolian yurts on Zhangbei Grassland, where annual musical events were held and taste fresh mutton; while in autumn, visitors can taste Huailai wine and take a bath in nearby hot springs.: 155 

In today's Zhangbei county a major attraction are the ruins and museum of the former Yuan capital Zhongdu.

Image: Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Zhangjiakou was ranked #879 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Zhangjiakou has a population of over 1,435,000 people. Zhangjiakou also forms the centre of the wider Zhangjiakou Prefecture which has a population of over 4,650,000 people.

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Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | Nomad

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