The Terracotta Warriors is the most impressive attraction in Xian. Every year, millions of travelers fly to the former capital just to set eyes on the subterranean army, But what’s next? The answer is plenty, and here are some of the best.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
The top of the pagoda provides a grand view of the old town — busy roads stretch out neatly like the grid on a chessboard, lined by a mix of ancient architecture and modern high-rises.
The pagoda was said to have been dedicated to Xuanzang, a master monk during the Tang Dynasty who traveled to India to learn Buddhism and later brought back the sutras. His experience was featured in the Chinese novel “Journey to the West.”
The 110,000-square-meter plaza at the foot of the pagoda is where the locals go for free public entertainment.
Elderly and young Xi’anese practice calligraphy with oversize brushes during the summer evenings.
The plaza hosts a half-hour musical fountain performance at 12:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and every two hours between noon and 9 p.m. at the weekend.
It was built more than 600 years ago in the Ming Dynasty, the City Wall of Xi’an is one of the best preserved fortifications in China. And the best way to see the Wall is by bike.
Visitors are allowed to cycle on the wall, which is 15 meters wide. Cyclists will be able to view the city from a unique angle — on one side stands the Xi’an from the past; on the other hand erects soaring high-rises of the present and future.
You can see people playing Mahjong, singing and dancing under the wall.
The Wall stretches 13.74 kilometers in length, 12 meters in height and was built with earth, quicklime, and glutinous rice extract.
Four watchtowers are located at each point of the compass. The Southern Watch Tower, aka the Southern Gate, is the main grand gate through which important guests entered the town in ancient times.
Bicycles can be rented at the Southern Water Tower. RMB 40 for a single bike and RMB 80 for a tandem, both for 100 minutes.
This is a great day trip from Xi’an.
Located 120 kilometers east of the city, Huashan is one of the five greatest mountains in China — and it’s certainly the most dangerous.
The 2,155-meter mountain is best-known for its steep slopes and hair-raising walkways.
Thrill-seekers should venture onto Chang Kong Plank Road (长空栈道), a wooden trail built alongside a vertical cliff more than 1,000 meters above the ground. The 50-meter-long plank walk is only 50 centimeters wide.
All tourists are required to pay RMB 30 for a protection harness while walking the path — money very well-spent.
Once I reached the planks, I started concentrating on the precipice directly under me and it was beginning to wig me out enough to have to consciously not look down for more than a few seconds at a time.
The plank path was laid out more than 700 years ago by He Zhizhen (贺志真), a Taoist priest in the Yuan Dynasty.
Cable cars are available at the entrance gate.
Daily train to Mount Huashan is available from Xi’an Train Station. Journey takes about 90 minutes. Fare for a seat ranges from RMB 18-45. Or take a shuttle bus at the train station for RMB 10.
Mount Huashan; +86 913 4365 086; admission: RMB 100 (March-November), RMB 60 (December-February). Cable car costs RMB 80 for a one-way ride and RMB 150 for return per person
You may be interested in the following lines:
Beijing Weekend Trip to Xian
Xian day trip to Huashan Mountain3 Days Cultural Xian Package
Xian:Terracotta Warriors Museum, Huaqing Hot Spring, Great Mosque
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