Archive for the ‘Xian Travel’ Category

How to visit Terracotta Army in Xian

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Terracotta Warriors. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

____________________________________________________________________

Plan your Xian tour? For many foreign visitors, visiting the excavated Terracotta Army is a must. These Army of Terra-Cotta Warriors were supposed to safeguard Chinese first emperor – Qin Shihuang in his afterlife.

He unified China in 221 BC for the first time in Chinese history and established Qin Dynasty (221–206 B.C.), thus starting China’s over 2000 years’ feudal society

You are kindly reminded that Qin Shihuang’s underground palace is still there and remains intact though some of the burial sites annexing to his mausoleum have been robbed.

Why his own burial site or his underground palace still intact? It is said that his tomb has solid and strict anti-gravedigging system including secret crossbows which may kill people once you are inside the tomb, and a large amount of mercury which will emit much toxic air within the tomb.

Now the entrance for Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum is also included in your ticket for Terracotta Army Museum – One ticket for two sites. The two sites are 2 km apart connected by free shuttle buses.

Terracotta Amy at Pit One

Terracotta Amy at Pit One

Located  2km east of Qin Shihuang Mausoleum, the Emperor’s afterlife army terracotta soldiers are only part of his mausoleum. These vivid over 2000-year-old soldiers of Terracotta Army were discovered March 24, 1974 by a group of local farmers when they were digging a well.

Now this site of Terracotta army has been turned into a world-famous attraction site, bombarded by tons of tourists visiting this museum. I’ve been to the Terracotta Army Museum for several times.

Below are some of the Terracotta Army travel tips for your reference if you are going to make your maiden trip to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum:

Tip # 1: Going there by bus is highly recommended
For money-saving trip to the Army of Terracotta Warriors, take a public bus is a good choice. You have two choices:

Choice One:
It is very easy to find the special Tourism Bus 5 (Bus no. 306) running between Xian Railway Station to Terracotta Army Museum. If you stand facing Xian Railway Station, The Bus 5(306) parks at the parking lot on your right or east side.

You don’t have to buy the bus ticket in advance. Just jump on the bus and later a bus guide will come to you and collect the money – RMB 7 per person.

Basic Information on the Bus
Bus Line: Tourism Bus 5 (306)
First Bus: 07:00; Last Bus 19:00
Line Length: 42 Km
Drive Time: 0ne Hour
Bus Stops: Totally 12 stop on route
Bus Stop No.01: Xian Railway Station
Bus Stop No 08: Huanqing Hots pring
Bus Stop No 12: Terracotta Army

Be sure to get off at the last destination – Terracotta Army Museum since the Bus 5 (306) is scheduled to stop at several tourist attractions including Huaqing  Hot spring, Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum.

You don’t need to get off at these stops. The very last stop ( the 12th stop ) of this bus is the Terracotta Warriors. Just stay on the bus until you get to the last stop. Remember where you get off the bus terminal.

After finishing your visiting the museum, come to the same parking lot and take the exact bus No 5 (306) since there are some other “fake” bus 306 which eagerly push you to take their buses.

Choice Two:
If you arrive at Xian North Railway Station in Xian, you can take the free shuttle bus from Xian North Railway Station to the Terracotta Army site provided that you have an arrival high-speed train ticket on the same day and you have bought the ticket for the Terra-cotta Army.

To get the free shuttle bus pass, you need to go to the information center in Xian North Railway Station to buy your entry ticket for Terracotta Army. The Information Center is located south of the entrance to Subway Line 2 on the B1 of Xian North Railway Station.

You use your arrival train ticket and the admission ticket for Terracotta Amy in exchange for  the free shuttle bus pass going to Terracotta Army. The free shuttle pass is valid for three days. That means if you arrive at Xian North Railway Station later in the evening, you can use the free shuttle pass for next day.

As  for where to take the free shuttle bus,  please turn to the information center for the details.

There are luggage deposit offices in the station. Please go to Information Center for more detailed information;

The shuttle buses leave hourly:

1. Shuttle Buses from Xian North Railway Station to Terracotta Warriors
First Bus at 8:00 am and last bus at 4:00 pm

2. Shuttle Buses from Terracotta Warriors back to Xian North Railway Station
First Bus at 10:00 am and last bus at 7:00 pm

3. Stops, travel time and operating time
There are four stops ( from the station to the terracotta Warriors ) : 1) Lintong National Tourism Resort 临潼国家旅游休闲度假区 2) Lishan Mountain 骊山 3) Huaqing Hot Spring 华清池 4) Terracotta Warriors 兵马俑
The shuttle buses take about one hour for single trip.

4.  The free shuttle pass is valid for three days.

Chinese: 西安北站乘坐免费大巴前往兵马俑
English: Free Shuttle Bus from Xian North Railway Station to Terra-cotta Army.

Tip # 2: Basic information about Terracotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum
Located 30km east of Xian, the Army of Terracotta Warriors are undoubtedly the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century. The museum is composed of three pits: Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit 3.

Pit 1 is most impressive and the highlight of the museum. Pits 2 and 3, though interesting, are not as impressive as the pit 1. If you don’t have sufficient time, PIT 2 and PIT 3 can be avoided.

The movie -360 degrees, the background film, is in English and very cool, which takes about 15 minutes long. It gives some background to what you see with your own eyes. It is worth the 15 minutes. The film ticket is included in your entrance fee.

Tip # 03: Don’t expect too much from the Museum
Before you visit the terracotta warriors, if you have already read a lot and seen tons of pictures of the Army of Terracotta warriors, you may feel a little disappointed. So there is much hype which causes your visit to be a letdown.

Tip # 04: Rent an audio guide? Hire a tour guide? or Using a guidebook?
How to visit the museum? You have three choices:
1) Rent an audio guide ( recorded guide ). You just pay RMB 40 an audio tour. The voice sounds like an American accent and it is easy to understand and informative.

2) Using a tour guide service. When you are going to buy your tickets at the ticketing office, tons of tour guides will come to you, eager to offer you the guide service.

If you haven’t done much homework before you came to Xian. You are advised to hire a local tour guide to guide or translate for you at the price of about RMB 100-150. You will get more knowledge than from a guidebook or the recordings. Just avoid the shopping sites your local guide may suggest you to go.

3) Using a guidebook to guide your tour in and around the museum.

Tip # 05: Walking from Ticketing office to Entrance Gate
It takes 5-10 minutes walking from the ticketing office to the entrance gate. If you pay RMB 5, you take a small tram ride to the entrance gate. In my opinion, if you are in good shape, just avoid using the small tram.

Free luggage storage service:
On the left side of the Ticketing Office is the Tourist Information Center which offers free luggage storage service.

Tip # 06: Exit from the museum
After you finish visiting the museum and leave for your bus terminal, or in a word, on the way back, you have to pass through an area with a lot of shops and restaurants. This obviously poses some pressure on you to buy some souvenirs or spend some money here.

If you are tender-hearted, and going to buy something to support China’s economy, please bargain!

Tip # 07: Some Restaurants Rip off
There are many restaurants leading up to the museum. Some of them just rip you off. So take great care of your money!

Tip # 08: Toilets in the museum are free
For the toilets outside the museum, you have to pay. But once you are inside the museum, you enjoy free toilets. They are the same squatting-style facility like everywhere else in china.

Tip # 09: Take a taxi to the Museum
It takes about 160 RMB by taxi from the downtown Xian to Army of Terra-Cotta Warriors. Very often you have to bargain with your taxi driver.

Tip # 10: Terracotta Army, not Qin Shihuang Mausoleum
If you take Bus 5(306) from Xian Railway Station to Terracotta Army Museum, don’t get off at Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum. Qin Shihuang’s Mausolem is not much worth visiting since it is just a mound, not excavated yet.

So don’t confuse Terracotta Army with Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum. The entrance for Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum is also included in your ticket for Terracotta Army Museum.

A closer look at soldiers and horses

A closer look at soldiers and horses

Tip # 11: Opening time and entrance fees
Opening Hours: 8:30AM – 5:30PM
Entrance Fee: RMB 150 (March 1-November 30); RMB 120 (December 1-the end of February)
The ticket also includes the entrance to Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum.

Note: There is a cap for the number of visitors ( limited to daily 65000 visitors ). But  basically  you won’t have any problem buying your tickets if you avoid visiting the site during National Holiday ( Oct 01 -07 ).

For booking the tickets online, you use the following two websites ( both in Chinese ):
1) piao.ctrip.com/ticket/dest/t1444.html
2) order.bmy.com.cn:88/ticket/index.htm

Free luggage storage service:
On the left side of the Ticketing Office is the Tourist Information Center which offers free luggage storage service.

The Terracotta Warriors Museum is open all year round – 365 days every year! Children under the height of 1.2m don’t have to pay.

06611Tip #12: Hassle-free Xian Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Xian guided tours:

Xian City Day Tour from US$69
Xian Terracotta Warriors Day Tour A from US$85
Terracotta Army and Song of Everlasting Performance from US$135

Xian 2 Day Tour Package from US$170 p/p
Xian 3 Day Tour Package from US$235 p/p

Terracotta Army  Join-in Escorted Bus Tour RMB 480 p/p
Terracotta Army  Escorted Private Tour  US$ $125 P/P

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.

When is the best time to visit Xian?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019
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When you are planning your Xian tour, one of the frequently asked questions likely to tantalize you is “When is the best time to visit Xian?”.  As one of the oldest cities in Chinese history, Xian is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.

Unlike other scenic cities in China, Xian is well known for its historical sites and relics which are little influence by seasons. As a matter of fact, Xian is a place which you can visit on all seasons.

Xian enjoys four distinct seasons with warm spring, hot summer, cool and rainy autumn and dry winter. The weather is generally pleasant all year round. Use this travel guide to help you make a smart decision about when to visit Xian. Check out below to have some information on each season:

Xian in Spring ( March – May )
Spring or autumn is considered as the best season to visit Xian, which is neither too hot nor to cold. But the sporadic sandstorm in spring has kept people on alert when they plan their spring trip to Xian.

In spring, you can visit the historical relics, such as Terra-cotta Warriors or Horses Big Wild Goose Pagoda; you can also go to climb Mount Hua.

With gentle breezes and warm sunshine, spring in Xian is really a good time of year for outdoor activities and traveling.

Xian in Spring

Xian in Spring

Xian in Summer ( June – August )
Summer in Xian, which usually lasts from June to August, becomes both hot and humid. The blooming flowers and colored leaves dot the mountains.You have to make full preparation from sunburn.

There is always rainstorm in summer, be sure to take the umbrella with you. Of course, if you are interested in Xian Snacks, go there in summer is a good choice for you. The night markets come alive as the sun went down in summer.

Xian in Autumn (September – November)
During autumn, Xian is filled colors as several species of trees change the color of their leaves. Autumn is the high season for people to visit Xian. Fall period are the months of September, October and November, and the weather is fine and pleasant.

You are kindly advised to skip over China National Holiday in October when you plan your Xian Tours, since there are so many people during that time.

Xian in Winter ( November – February )
Winter is an off-season for traveling in Xian. If you are more of a person who loves winter and would like to go skiing down some of the most breath-taking sites in Xian, Xian still welcomes you during the winter months.Winter lasts from December to February, dry and cold with a little snow.The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 0 C. The most advantage to visit Xian in winter is that you can save money and see fewer visitors, thus avoiding tourist crowds. Winter in Xian is cold, make sure to take enough thick clothes with you.

Crowd Information
Xian gets very crowded and busy during school vacations and public holidays. You are kindly advised to skip over the Official Chinese Holidays when you plan your Xian Tours. Please jot down the following public holidays:New Year’ Day ( 1st Jan, three-day holiday )
Chinese New Year ( later Jan and early Feb )
Tomb Sweeping Day ( Early April, 3-day holiday )
Mid-Autumn festival ( Aug-Sept, 3-day holiday )
May Day ( 1st May, three-day holiday)

Tip: Hassle-free Xian Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Xian guided tours:

Xian City Day Tour from US$69
Xian Terracotta Warriors Day Tour A from US$85
Terracotta Army and Song of Everlasting Performance from US$135

Xian 2 Day Tour Package from US$170 p/p
Xian 3 Day Tour Package from US$235 p/p

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.

Plugs and sockets in China

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Beijing and China. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
____________________________________________________________________

Before packing for your Beijing Tour or China Tour, it is necessary to have some basic knowledge of the electricity in China, its plug and socket system as well.

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two flat prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adapter while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two-pin sockets easily here in China with your two flat prong plugs.

Before leaving for China,  make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two flat prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three flat pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adapter at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

If you have some questions with your plugs, sockets, and Voltage while traveling China, please read the full article.

What Voltage is Used in China?
Basically there are two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world. One is the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz (mostly used in USA), and the other is the standard of 220–240 volts at 50 Hz (mostly used in Europe).

China uses generally 220V, 50HZ, AC (Hong Kong is 200V; Taiwan is 110V).

Just list some of the countries with different Voltage Frequencies:
Argentina 220 V 50 Hz
Armenia 220 V 50 Hz
Australia 240 V 50 Hz
Austria 230 V 50 Hz
Belgium 230 V 50 Hz
Brazil 110/220 V 60 Hz
Brunei 240 V 50 Hz
Bulgaria 230 V 50 Hz
Canada 120 V 60 Hz
China, People’s Rep. of 220 V 50 Hz
China (Hong Kong) 220 V 50 Hz
Czech Republic 230 V 50 Hz
Denmark 230 V 50 Hz
England (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Finland 230 V 50 Hz
France 230 V 50 Hz
French Guiana 220 V 50 Hz
Germany 230 V 50 Hz
Great Britain (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Greece 220 V 50 Hz
Holland (Netherlands) 230 V 50 Hz
Hong Kong (China) 220 V 50 Hz
Hungary 230 V 50 Hz
Iceland 220 V 50 Hz
India 230 V 50 Hz
Indonesia 127/230 V 50 Hz
Ireland (Eire) 230 50 Hz
Israel 220 V 50 Hz
Italy 230 V 50 Hz
Japan 100 V 50/60 Hz
Korea, South 220 V 60 Hz
Luxembourg 220 V 50 Hz
Macau 220 V 50 Hz
Malaysia 240 V 50 Hz
Mexico 127 V 60 Hz
Netherlands Antilles 127/220 V 50 Hz
New Zealand 230 V 50 Hz
Northern Ireland 230 V 50 Hz
Norway 230 V 50 Hz
Philippines 220 V 60 Hz
Poland 230 V 50 Hz
Portugal 230 V 50 Hz
Romania 230 V 50 Hz
Russia 220 V 50 Hz
Saudi Arabia 127/220 V 60 Hz
South Africa 220/230 V 50 Hz
Spain 230 V 50 Hz
Swaziland 230 V 50 Hz
Sweden 230 V 50 Hz
Switzerland 230 V 50 Hz
Taiwan 110 V 60 Hz
Thailand 220 V 50 Hz
Turkey 230 V 50 Hz
United Arab Emirates 220 V 50 Hz
UK (United Kingdom) 230 V 50 Hz
US (United States) 120 V 60 Hz
Venezuela 120 V 60 Hz
Vietnam 127/220 V 50 Hz

Converters (Most laptops have international converters without any problem)
If you are from the countries where the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz is available, you need to have converters for your domestic electric devices to be used on your trip to China. You may prepare yourself a converter with a socket of your home country’s standard.

A converter is an implement that converts the input from 220V to 110V or 120V for your device. Most laptops have international converters without any problem.

Power Plugs and Sockets in China
At present, there is no global standard for plugs and sockets. Traditionally the plugs and sockets are classified into several regional standards in the world like American standard, European standard, British standard, South African standard and Chinese standard.

The standard for Chinese plugs and sockets is set out in GB 2099.1–2008 and GB 1002–2008. Chinese power plugs and power sockets are similar to those in Australia.

A Chinese power plug may fit loosely in an Australian socket, but thick pins of an Australian plug may not fit easily in a Chinese power socket. In China, the sockets are installed upside-down compared to Australian ones.

A standard socket on a wall in China has two flat pins on the upper part and earthed three flat pins on the lower part.

 

 

Chinese Standard Socket on a wall – Two Pins and Three Pins

You may buy a portable power plug adapter at your home country or here in China. Most of your hotels in China offer free use of plug adapters.

 

A portable plug

A Chinese standard portable socket

A Chinese three flat prong Plug

A Chinese three flat prong Plug

A Chinese two-prong plug

A Chinese two flat prong plug

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Sockets and plugs in use

Sockets and plugs in use

As you see, in China, some locally made electric devices have two flat prong plugs and others three flat prong plugs. If your devices cannot fit into the two-prong or three-prong plugs, you need to prepare yourself for a plug adapter or a converter with a socket of your country’s standard.

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two flat prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adapter while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two flat pin sockets easily here in China with your two flat prong plugs.

Before leaving for China, make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three-pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adapter at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

Add On
How to recognise Chinese currency
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers
What to Bring for China Trip
Top 10 Places to Visit in China

06611Tip: Hassle-free China Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for China guided tours:

China Highlight Tourfrom US$1050 p/p
(Beijing Xian Shanghai)

China Splendid Tourfrom US$1365 p/p
(Beijing Xian Guilin Shanghai)

China Romantic Yangtze River Tourfrom US$1675 p/p
( Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Yichang and Shanghai)

China Mysterious Tibet Tourfrom US$ 2070 p/p
(Beijing Xian Lhasa Shanghai)

Further Readings


Top 10 Places in China
Chinese Phrases for Travellers
Plugs and sockets in China
What to Bring for China Trip
How to recognise Chinese currency
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
How to get a Chinese Visa

Any questions, just drop a line.