BIT World Travel Service
Escorted Tour - Xi'an Overview

Surrounded by rich loess farmland, Xi'an (Western Peace), the present capital of Shanxi Province, was home to the ruling houses of the Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang dynasties, when it was known as Chang'an (Eternal Peace). The city reached a peak during the Tang dynasty (618-907), when it was the military and trading base for China's shaky control of the Silk Routes. During the Xuanzong reign of the Tang (712-55), Chang'an swelled with two million taxable inhabitants and was the largest, most cosmopolitan settlement in the world.

Surviving monuments open a window onto the imperial power and cosmopolitan style of the old capital. The short-lived totalitarian state of the firstemperor of Qin dynasty which reflected the awe-inspiring massed the terracotta warriors. The influence of Buddhism is clear from the majestic spire of the Da Yan Ta (Great Goose Pagoda), constructed under the supervision of Xuanzang (d. 664), who returned to China in 645 after 15 years of travel across India and central Asia. Evidence of the flourishing trade along the Silk Routes may be found in the Shanxi History Museum and Famen Si.

Today, in spite of ever expanding city limits, pollution, searing summer heat, and freezing winters, Xi'an is a joy to visit. Central Xi'an is pleasantly compact and its grid layout within the city walls makes it easy to navigate. There is enough to see in and around Xi'an to keep even the most energetic visitor busy for a week. It's the most-visited town on the Silk Routes, which brings the usual annoyances. Nevertheless, locals are easygoing and disparaging of their ancient capital, shaking their heads in regret that their ancestors "fell behind" their richer cousins in Beijing. However, the armies of Chinese tourists and foreign visitors, along with the legion of upscale new malls full of well-dressed shoppers let you know Xi'an's not that far behind.

Renowned Xi’an Tourist Attractions
Terra-Cotta Warriors

This is the reason most visitors come to Xi'an, and unlike many big sights in China, it does not disappoint. Amazingly, the warriors are just one piece of Qin Shi Huang's attempt to reconstruct his empire for the afterlife. The tomb to the west is supposedly booby-trapped and is still to be fully excavated, but it is said to include a full reconstruction of the ancient capital, complete with rivers and lakes of mercury. According to historian SimaQian, over 700,000 workers were drafted for the project, and those involved in the construction of the tomb were rewarded with graves beside their emperor. Tourism officials pray that the warriors are "just the tip of the iceberg," but it is just as likely that the tomb was plundered during the Tang or Song dynasties. Tip: To fully appreciate the majesty of the warriors, try to get to the site as early as possible and race to Pit 1; if you get here ahead of the crowds, you should manage a few minutes of solitude with the one of the world's greatest historical finds.

Ancient City Wall

The first landmark visitors will encounter in Xi'an is the ancient city wall, which stretches round the old city. The northern side runs parallel to the railway. Xi'an was originally a walled city, and even today the wall is considered a landmark dividing the city into the inner part and the outer part. The city wall is massive - tall, long and thick. The South Gate and North Gate are the two main entrances to the inner city. The city itself is neatly arranged along the city wall.

The largest and best-preserved city wall in China is definitely worth a visit. The pieces of the wall have recently been reconnected so that you can do the 14km (8 3/4-mile) loop around it by foot, bicycle, or a golf cart. The walls were built during the early Ming dynasty, on the remains of Tang palace walls. The original city walls were much farther out, well past Da Yan Ta. The surrounding moat has recently undergone an extensive clean-up and is fringed by a narrow strip of parkland popular with tai chi practitioners, dog-walkers, and young couples. The South Gate (Nan Men) is the best place to start your exploration. Individual (¥20) and tandem bicycles (¥30) may be rented (per 100 min.) from here, or just east of Heping Men. A ride on a golf cart around the wall costs (¥50). To do the entire loop takes 3 to 4 hours by foot, less than 2 hours by bicycle, or 1 hour by cart. The wall provides little protection from sun or wind, so dress accordingly.

Huashan Mountain

Mount. Hua is located some 240 kilometers away from Xi'an, approximately a two and half hours drive. It is one of the five sacred mountains in China. Mount. Hua is well-known for its sheer cliffs and plunging ravines. It is the most dangerous mountain in China for climbers.

There are five peaks in the mountain, among which the most famous three are Sunrise Peak( East Peak), Lotus Flower Peak( West Peak), Falling Goose Peak( South Peak). The Sunrise Peak is a fine place to enjoy the sunrise view in early morning, which is frequented by travelers. Mount. Hua means flower mountain and it got the name from the Lotus Peak, which resemble a beautifully blooming lotus flower. The falling Goose Peak is the highest among the five. The two other less visited are Jade Maiden( Middle Peak, legend goes that a jade maiden once saw riding a white horse among the mountains hence the name) and Cloud Stand Peak( North peak). The path to the 2158 summit is nearly vertical, which now is equipped with iron chains to protect climbers. The climb to its summit makes it clear how the impenetrable mountain repelled those invaders over centuries.

Renewed as a sacred mountain, Mount.Hua boasts a lot of religious heritages. Buddhism and Daoism temples, pavilions, buildings and scriptures scatter around everywhere. The most famous historical sites include Yuquan Courtyard, Zhenwu Palace, Jintian Palace and much more.

Cable cars are available and take tourists to the northern summit of the mountain. If you want to challenge your endurance and physical strength then choose to climb the mountain. However, you are kindly advised to begin your arduous journey early in the morning, even before the sunrises, this way during your trek you can be lucky enough to nourish your aching body with the breath-taking sunrise which dances over the horizon when you reach the summit at morning.

Recommended Tours:

Tour Lines Tentative Duration Rate (USD)
Terracotta Warriors,
Big Wild Goose Pagoda,
Ancient City Wall,
Bell Tower,
Huaqing Hot Spring,
Drum Tower,
Banpo Neolithic Village.
Two days
Service include:
2 night accommodations, one way air ticket, admission fee, English speaking tour guide and meals.


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