Archive for the ‘Shaanxi Travel’ Category

How to visit Terracotta Army in Xian (updated 2021)

Thursday, July 29th, 2021
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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 first-time international visitors, having a glympse of the excavated Terracotta Warriors is a must. These Terracotta Warriors were supposed to safeguard China’s 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 to some extent.

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 ticket 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.

Tip 1: How to get to Terracotta Warriors from Xian airport

1. Using Airport Shuttle Lintong Line (机场客运临潼线) + Lintong Bus 602
At Xian Xianyang International Airport, take the airport special shuttle bus (runnng between airport and Lintong) and get off to Xi ‘an University of Science and Technology Lintong Campus (西安科技大学临潼校区), then change for Lintong Bus No. 602 (临潼602路), get off at “Terracotta Warriors Station”, and walk 330 m to the Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. This public transport takes about 3 hours.

Airport Special Shuttle Lintong Line (机场客运临潼线)
Departure:Terminal T3 at Xian Xianyang Airport
Business Hours: 9:30-19:30 (return service: 7:00-18:30)
Ticket price: 32 yuan ( the airport shuttle fare doesn’t include the 5 yuan for Lintong Bus 602 )
The one way transfer ( airport shuttle + Lintong Bus 602 ) takes about 3 hours

2. Using the metro system in Xian
First take the Metro Line 14 at Xian Xianyang International Airport and alight at Xian North Railway Station, then interchange for Metro Line 2. Get off at Beidajie Station, then interchange for Metro Line 1, and get off at the station of Fangzhicheng ( 纺织城站), again interchange for Metro Line 9.

At Metro Line 9, you alight at Huaqing Hot Spring Station and exit from Exit C, then change for Lintong Bus 613 or Tourism Bus 5 ( Bus 306) and reach the Terracotta Warriors Museum. It takes about 3 hours.

3. By Taxi
Arriving at Xian Xianyang Airport, line up at the official taxi stand and take taxi for Terracotta Warriors
Taxi Ride: about one hour and 66 km
Taxi fare: approx. 190 yuan, plus toll fee: 30 yuan

About one hour by taxi from Xian airport to Terracotta Army

4. Private Transfer
Before getting to Xian Xianyang Airport, you can book a hassle-free private transfer from the airport to Terracotta Warriors. Check out Xian Car Rental with Driver for more information.

Tip 2: How to get to Terracotta Warriors from Xian North Railway Station

If you take high speed train to Xian, you will arrive at Xian North Railway Station. Choose the following ways to reach Terracotta Warriors.

1.By Subway + Bus
First take subway line 2 at Xian North Railway Station and get off at the subway station of Beidajie (北大街), then interchange for subway line 1 and get off at the station of Fangzhicheng (纺织城站) , then again interchange for Metro Line 9. At Metro Line 9, you alight at Huaqing Hot Spring Station and exit from Exit C, then change for Lintong Bus 613 or Tourism Bus 5 ( Bus 306) and reach the Terracotta Warriors Museum. It takes about 3 hours.

2.By Taxi
Arriving at Xian North Railway Station, line up at the official taxi stand and take taxi for Terracotta Army:
Taxi Ride: about one hour and 50 km
Taxi fare: approx. 150 yuan, plus toll fee: 20 yuan

3. Private Transfer
Before getting to Xian North Railway Station, you can book a hassle-free private transfer from the airport to Terracotta Army. Check out Xian Car Rental with Driver for more information.

Tip 3: How to get to Terracotta Warriors from Xian Railway Station

If you arrive at Xian Railway Station and want to go to the Terracotta Army, you may take Bus 914. So should you find the bus terminal? Well, when you walk out of Xian Railway Station, you will enter the spacious railway square, and the Bus 914 is on the east side of the square ( on your lest side).

Walk to the east side of the railway square and take the bus 914 for Terracotta Army.

Bus 914: ticket fare 7 yuan and takes about 2 hours ( 40 km with 25 stops)

Tip 4 : How to get to Terracotta Warriors from Downtown

1. Metro Line 2 + Metro Line 1 + Metro Line 9 + Lintong Bus 613

If you stay downtown Xian, or let’s say, in the Bell Tower area, you may first take Metro Line 2 and get off at the subway station of Beidajie (北大街), then interchange for subway line 1 and get off at the station of Fangzhicheng (纺织城站) , then again interchange for Metro Line 9. At Metro Line 9, you alight at Huaqing Hot Spring Station and exit from Exit C, then change for Lintong Bus 613 or Tourism Bus 5 ( Bus 306) and reach the Terracotta Warriors Museum. It takes about 3 hours.

2. Metro Line 2 + Metro Line 1 + Tourism Bus 5 ( Bus No.306)

You may first take Metro Line 2 and get off at the subway station of Beidajie (北大街), then interchange for Metro Line 1 and get off at the station of Fangzhicheng (纺织城站) . Then take the special bus Tourism Bus 5 (Bus 306) going to Terracotta Warriors . The bus station is about 200 m from exit A of Fangzhicheng (Metro line 1).

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.

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.

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.

3. By Taxi
Take taxi starting from the Bell Tower area for Terracotta Army Museum
Taxi Ride: about one hour and 43 km
Taxi fare: approx. 150 yuan, plus toll fee: 20 yuan

Go to the Terracotta Army by Taxi from Downtown Xian

Tip 5: Basic information about Terracotta Warriors 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 6: Opening time and entrance fees

Ticket Selling Hours:
8:30 – 17:00 (March 16 – Nov 15)
8:30 – 16:30 (Nov 16 – March 15)

Opening Time
8:30 – 18:00 (March 16 – Nov 15)
8:30 – 17:30 (Nov 16 – March 15)

Entrance Fee:
RMB 120 ( all year round) per person
The ticket also includes the entrance to Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum.
Note: 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.

Ticket Booking:
Book your ticket through the museum’s official website: www.bmy.com.cn ( in Chinese )
Booking Phone Number: 029-81399127
On-site Ticket booking has been cancelled at present during the covid-19 period. So please prebook your tickets.

Note: There is a cap for the number of visitors ( limited to daily 8000 visitors due to covid-19 period). But  basically  you won’t have any problem buying your tickets if you avoid visiting the site during National Holiday ( Oct 01 -07 ).

Tip 7: Free luggage storage service

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

Tip 8: How to visit the Terracotta Army Museum?

Rent an audio guide? Hire a tour guide? or Using a guidebook?

Rent an audio guide
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.

Using a tour guide service on the spot
When you are going to buy your tickets at the ticketing office, some tour guides on the spot 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.

Prebook a private tour from a local travel agent
Half-Day Private Tour of Terracotta Warriors
Full-Day Private Tour of Terracotta Warriors

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

Tip 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: Terracotta Army, not Qin Shihuang Mausoleum

If you take Bus 5(306) 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.

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.

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Tip 15: 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 Tour
Xian Day Tour
Xian Tour Packages
Beijing Xian Tour

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.

How to recognise Chinese currency

Friday, June 25th, 2021
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If you are planning your China tour, before you depart for China it is advisable that you have some basic knowledge on how to recognize Chinese currency and identify fake money as well.

Basically there are five languages ​​on all China’s banknotes : Mandarin Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Zhuang.

Five languages ​​on all China’s banknotes (Photo from Travel in China 旅游中国 FB)

China’s legal tender is Renminbi ( Abbreviation: RMB), literally meaning “People’s Money”, issurred by the People’s Bank of China. Short official name: CNY (China Yuan), but the short name RMB is also often used. Its symbol: ¥; Monetary unit: Yuan (元) and Fractional units: Jiao (角) and Fen (分).

1 Yuan  = 10 Jiao ( also called “Mao”)

1 Jiao = 10 Fen

Remark: Colloquially in Chinese, the Yuan is often called kuai, and the Jiao is often called mao.

Currently China Money in use is China’s fifth edition of Chinese currency ( 1999 – 2005) circulating from 1999.

The paper money in is 100 Yuan, 50 Yuan, 20 Yuan, 10 Yuan, 5 Yuan, 1 Yuan, 5 Jiao and 1 Jiao.

The coin in is 1 Yuan, 5 Jiao, 1 Jiao, 5 Fen, 2 Fen and 1 Fen

Face Value: 100 Yuan (Kuai)
Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong
Main Color of the Face Side: Red

Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong: Main Color of the Face Side: Red

Reverse Side: Great Hall of the People
Main Color of the Reverse Side: Red

Reverse Side: Great Hall of the People; Main Color of the Reverse Side: Red

Face Value: 50 Yuan (Kuai)
Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong
Main Color of the Face Side: Green

Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong; Main Color of the Face Side: Green

Reverse Side: The Potala Palace
Main Color of the Reverse Side: Green

Reverse Side: The Potala Palace; Main Color of the Reverse Side: Green

Face Value: 20 Yuan (Kuai)
Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong
Main Color of the Face Side: Brown

Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong; Main Color of the Face Side: Brown

Reverse Side: Li River Guilin
Main Color of the Reverse Side: Brown

Reverse Side: Li River Guilin; Main Color of the Reverse Side: Brown

Face Value: 10 Yuan (Kuai)
Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong
Main Color of the Face Side: Bluish Black

Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong; Main Color of the Face Side: Bluish Black

Reverse Side: Three Gorges of Yangtze River
Main Color of the Reverse Side: Bluish Black

Reverse Side: Three Gorges of Yangtze River; Main Color of the Reverse Side: Bluish Black

Face Value: 5 Yuan (Kuai)
Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong
Main Color of the Face Side: Purple

Reverse Side: Mount Taishan
Main Color of the Reverse Side: Purple

Reverse Side: Mount Taishan; Main Color of the Reverse Side: Purple

Face Value: 1 Yuan (Kuai)
Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong
Main Color of the Face Side: Olive Green

Face side: Head Portrait of Figure of Mao Zedong; Main Color of the Face Side: Olive Green

Reverse Side: The West Lake in Hangzhou
Main Color of the Reverse Side: Olive Green

Reverse Side: The West Lake in Hangzhou; Main Color of the Reverse Side: Olive Green

Coins of Chinese Currency
1 Yuan, 5 Jiao, 1 Jiao, 5 Fen, 2 Fen and 1 Fen

coins

How to identify fake money

It is possible to receive counterfeit money while traveling China. So it is advisable to know to how to identify the fake money.
1. Check the watermark The fifth edition of Chinese currency has a watermark on the left front side. You can easily recognize it against the light.
2. Check the security line There is a golden security line in the middle of RMB100, RMB50, RMB20, RMB10 and RMB5.
3. Check the color and quality
The color of RMB notes is hard to imitate, and counterfeit bills are usually too fuzzy, that is, the images and colors are not so sharp.

Further Readings


Top China Tours
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
China Trip Planner
China City Maps
China Hotel Booking
China Travelogue
China Facts

Any questions, just drop a line!

Plugs and sockets in China

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021
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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 again:
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.

Further Readings


Top China Tours
Top 10 Places in China
10 Fascinating facts about 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.