Huaqing Hot Springs
The Huaqing Hot Springs, 30 km east of Xi'an, was once the playground of Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) emperors, though there have been buildings as early as the Western Zhou (11th century BC - 771 BC), with later additions built during the Qin (221 BC - 206 BC) and Sui (581 - 618 AD) dynasties. The hot springs are famous because of Yang Guifei, a regular guest and the central character in one of China's most enduring legends of ill-fated love.
Yang Guifei, also known as the fat concubine, as well-proportioned women were considered the epitome of beauty during the Tang Dynasty, was a girl of humble origins but of exceptional beauty. She attracted the attention of Tang Dynasty emperor Xuanzong, who became so enamored by her beauty, he ignored his imperial duties. As the empire began to crumble from rebellion, the emperor was forced to flee Xi'an. While on the run, the emperor's courtiers, blaming Yang Guifei for the ruin of the empire, forced the emperor to order her to hang herself. The emperor, literally sick with grief, abdicated the throne to one of his sons.
The natural springs are considered to have beneficial minerals and there are several places to bathe. The Hot Springs Bathhouse offers private baths, but communal bath-houses have more of the local atmosphere and are inexpensive.