Archive for the ‘Shaanxi Travel’ Category

Xian Lhasa Flight Experience (Tips, Photos & Map)

Thursday, August 26th, 2021
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Plan your Lhasa Tour from Xian? At the time of writing, three daily flights connect Xian and Lhasa which are operated by Eastern China Airlines and Sichuan Airlines respectively.

The two daily flights by Eastern China Airlines are direct flights taking 3 hours and five minutes while the only daily flight by Sichuan Airlines is an indirect flight with one stopover at Xining ( the capital city of Qinghai Province) taking 4 hours and 50 minutes.

Flying from Xian to Lhasa

Timetable for the daily three Xian – Lhasa flights

Xian Lhasa  MU2333  07:45 – 10:55 ( Eastern China Airlines )
Xian Lhasa  3U8687 7:50 – 12:40  ( Sichuan Airlines )
Xian Lhasa  MU2335  11:35 – 14:40 ( Eastern China Airlines )

For various reasons, we were unable to get the direct flight by Eastern China Airlines from Xian to Lhasa for today’s flight. We use Sichuan Airlines’s flight 3U8687 taking off at 7:50 am.

Early this morning we have to get up around 4:30 am and leave our lodging hotel in Xian at 5:30am to catch the early 7:50 am flight since Xian Xianyang International Airport is approxi. 50km from the city of Xian, which take one hours’ driving.

Xian Airport has two terminals – T1 and T2. The airlines at T1 include China Southern Airlines (CZ), Xiamen Airlines (MF), Sichuan Airlines (3U) and Chongqing Airlines (OQ). The airlines at T2 include Air China (CA), Hainan Airlines (HU), Shenzhen Airlines (ZH), Shanghai Airlines (FM), Shandong Airlines (SC), East Star Airlines (8C), Lucky Air (8L), Kunpeng Air (VD) and Grand China Express (GS).

Make sure you have the right terminal when you use Xian Airport. So we go to the Terminal 1 for the flight by Sichuan Airlines, which is just next to the Terminal 2.

We first fly from Xian to Xining ( the capital city of Qinghai Province ). The 770km Xian to Xining flight takes takes us 1 hours and 10 minutes. At Xining Airport, we have to take all our carry-on bags, disembark, get temporarily boarding passes for the transit flight and wait in the lounge of Xining Airport. The whole flight transit at Xining takes about one hour. Then we board the same plane with the same seats again for the flight from Xining to Lhasa.

The 1238km flight from Xining to Lhasa takes us 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is the highlight of the flight experience from Xian to Lhasa. The 1238km flight route covers the Qinghai Tibet Plateau from northeast (Xining) to southwest (Lhasa), unfolding us the beautiful geographical landforms – snow mountains, desert, rivers and alpine meadows…

We arrive at Lhasa at 12:40 as scheduled. This is my second visit to Lhasa. Seeing the familiar Lhasa Airport reminds me of the my first Tibet Trip eascorting a tour group from Romania.

This time we are very lucky to use the just completed Lhasa Airport Expressway from the airport to the city of Lhasa. The newly finished Lhasa airport expressway shortens the old airport highway from 90km to 65km, taking us just one hour from the airport to Lhasa city.

See below some of the photos I take on my flight from Xian to Lhasa vis Xining crossing the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau:

The boarding gate for 3U8687 Xian Xining Lhasa Flight. Boarding the plane Airbus A319

Boarding the plane Airbus A319
Flying High in the sky on the way from Xian to Xining
Landing at Xining Airport
In the Lounge of Xining Airport waiting for the transit flight from Xining to Lhasa
Taking off from Xining Airport
Fying high over Qinghai Tibet Plateau
Qaidam Basin in Qinghai Province
Snow capped mountains
Cotton flower like white clounds floating in the sky
Alpine Meadows
Yalu Tsangpo River
Landing at Lhasa Airport
Lhasa Airport
Lhasa Airport Expressway
Potala Palace in sight

Hassle-free Lhasa 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 guided tours to Lhasa:

Lhasa Tour
Lhasa Tibet Group Tour
Lhasa Tibet Private Tour
Beijing Lhasa Tour
Lhasa China Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Lhasa
Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa
Lhasa Tourist Traps, Tourist Scams Lhasa
Where to stay in Lhasa
Makye Ame Lhasa Restaurant – Your Kitchen in Lhasa
Lhasa Airport, Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience, Xian Lhasa Flight
Lhasa Railway Station Transportation, Taxi, Public Bus
Get around in Lhasa with Pedicab or Trishaw
lhasa Taxi
Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

4-Wheel Drive Trip from Lhasa to Ranwu
Drak Yerpa, My trip to Drak Yerpa Monastery
The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa, Lhasa Pilgrim circuits
Monks at Sera Je College at Sera Monastery in Lhasa
Beijing Road in Lhasa
A Fun to Walk along Lhasa River in the City of Lhasa
Lhasa Great Mosque, the Mosques in Lhasa
Lhasa Yamdrok-Tso Lake Road Trip

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Mt.Huashan (Tips, Photos & Map)

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021
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Dear Travelers,

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

Five sacred mountains in China

Mt.Huashan, or Mount Hua is one of the five sacred mountains in China. The other four are Taishan in Shandong, Songshan in Henan, Hengshan in Shanxi and Hengshan in Hunan. Don’t be confused with Huangshan or Yellow Mountain,  another world famous mountain in China. For more information on Huangshan, check out Huangshan tour.

Mt. Huashan is reputed as the most precipitous of the five. Then how to visit Mt. Huashan?

Mount Hua is located about 150km east of Xian (Google)

Travel to Huashan by Train

Mt.Huashan is easily accessible by high-speed trains from the  five cities – Beijing ( 5 hours),  Xian ( 35 minutes),  Luoyang (one and half  hours ) and Shanghai ( 10 hours) .

With Beijing Xian Zhengzhou Luoyang high-speed trains completed, it is faster and more comfortable to travel from Beijing,  Xian or Zhenzghou (Luoyang) to Mt.Huashan by high-speed trains. Of course, you may take a long distance bus or rent a private vehicle from Xian to Mount Hua, but visiting Mount Hua by train is the best choice for individual tourists who prefer to travel on their own.

Huashan North Railway Station and Huashan Railway Station.

The Huayin City (where Mt.Huashan is located) has two train station, namely Huashan North Railway Station and Huashan Railway Station. Huashan North Railway Station is a new station used for bullet trains and high speed trains.

If you go to Huashan by high speed or bullet trains from Beijing, Xian and Zhengzhou (Luoyang), you will arrive at Huashan North Railway Station. For taking other trains, you will arrive at Huashan Railway Station.

Huashan North Railway Station is located in the north of Huayin City and Mt.Huashan.

Follow me to Mt. Huashan by train

Today I make an excursion from Xian to Mt.Huashan by train, Please follow me into the sacred mountain – Mount Hua. Last night I bought the train ticket for Train G672 for Huashan from the ticket office at Xian Railway Station though the train starts from Xian North Railway Station instead Xian Railway Station.

Xian North Railway Station is located about 15km from Bell Tower in the north of Xian, taxi fare RMB 35, or you may take the newly opened Subway Line 2 from Bell Tower to Xian North Railway Station, ticket price RMB 3.

My bullet train leaves Xian North Railway Station at 09:06am  

My bullet train No.2005 leaves Xian North Railway Station at 0815am

Still a tourist low season, there are not many passengers on the train.

Not a tourist high season, there are not many passengers on the train

Within 40 minutes, we arrive at Huashan North Railway Station which is located in the north of Huayin City.

Arriving at Huashan Railway Station

I take a clichéd picture of the exterior Huashan North Train Station 

The exterior Huashan North Train Station

How to get from the north station to Huashan Service Center

In tourist high season ( April – October ), there are two public bus lines – Bus Line 1 ( 华阴1路) and Bus Line 2 ( 华阴2路) offering free shuttle service taking tourists from Huashan North Railway Station to Huashan Tourist Dispatch Center.

The two bus lines start from the square in front of Huashan North Railway Station and ends at Huashan Eco-Square, namely Huashan Tourist Dispatch Center where you line up to purchase the entrance tickets, the ticket for shuttle buses up to the cable station and the tickets for taking cable car up or down.

There are no shuttle buses on the square in front of Huashan North Railway Station since it is still a low tourist season.  You can take a taxi at the price of about 15 -20 yuan from the train station to the ticketing office ( Huashan Tourist Dispatch Center).

Mt.Huashan Tourist  Dispatch Center

Today I have to take a taxi from Huashan North Railway Station to the Tourist  Dispatch Center for Mt. Huashan Scenic Spot ( Tourist Service Center ) which is located about 5km to the south of Huashan North Railway Station.

the Dispatch Center for Mt. Huashan Scenic Spot

Local taxi drivers don’t use the meter to calculate the taxi fare since Huayin is a small city. The taxi ride costs RMB 15 – 20 from Huashan North  Train Station to the Dispatch Center for Mt. Huashan Scenic Spot.

Mt.Huashan is a well organized scenic spot and rated as a 5-star attraction at the national level in terms of safety, cleanness and convenience. All passengers are supposed to go to the Dispatch Center for Mt. Huashan Scenic Spot where people buy entrance tickets and bus tickets.

Each entrance ticket for Mt.Huashan is valid in two days which also covers the admission for other three attractions – Xiyue Temple, Yuquan Temple and Xianyu Valley.

Price Information about Mt.Huashan

Entrance ticket fee ( valid with 48 hours ) :

RMB 180 (April – November);
RMB100 (December – next March).
Shuttle Buses going from the tourist center to the cable car station: RMB 40 (two ways)
Cable car ticket: RMB 80 (two ways Dec – Feb); RMB150 (two ways March – November)

ATMs

In the Ticket Hall there is a China Bank ATM with English, and it works well. If you are  in dire need of cash, you can process your credit  get the cash you need.

Enquiry:

0913 – 4361979
Complaint: 0913 – 462692
SOS: 0913 – 4625088

Note:   The ticket is valid within 48 hours. You don’t have to stay overnight on the mountain and you can stay elsewhere and return to the mountain next day.

The entrance ticket also allows you to visit other three attractions: Xiyue Temple, Yuquan Temple and Xianyu Valley. Xiyue Temple, in particular, is worth visiting! See my blog: How to Visit Xiyue Temple.

Five Peaks at Huashan

Mt.Huashan Scenic Spot is mainly composed of 5 peaks – North Peak (1614.pm), the Central Peak(2037.8m), East Peak(2096.m), West Peak(2086.2m) and South Peak (2154.9m).

Hiking Trails

Basically people with strong legs would climb up to the North Peak before reaching other four peaks.

There are two walking trails leading to the North Peak. The most popular is the traditional route in Huashan Yu (Huashan Gorge) starting from Yuquanyuan Temple (west gate); the second trail is the Huangpu Yu (Huangpu Gorge) starting from Huashan East Gate.

Sketch Map of the Five Peaks at Mt.Huashan

A cable car is set over the Huangpu Yu (Huangpu Gorge) trail where you can take the cable up to the North Peak. On the top of the North Peak, people would climb from North Peak respectively to Mid-Peak, East Peak, South Peak and West Peak, then take cable car down from West Peak.

Of course, it is difficult for you to hike all the five peaks in a day. If you don’t have strong legs, you may retrace to the north peak,  take cable car down. Basically it takes about 4 hours walking from the North Peak to the West Peak.

Shuttle Bus and Cable Car Stations

There are two cable car stations – one at the North Peak and the other at the West Peak. You may take the cable up to the north peak, then hike to the West Peak and take the West Peak’s cable car down (about 4 hours’ walk).

You don’t have to retrace to the North Peak. Of course, you need strong legs hiking from the north peak to the west peak. . If you don’t have strong legs, you may retrace to the north peak,  take cable car down.

Note: The last cable car starts at 19:00 ( high season: March – November ); 17:00 ( low season: December – February ).

I first take the shuttle bus (RMB40 two ways) from the Dispatch Center to Huangpu Yu, the starting point for cable car up to the North Peak.

The shuttle bus from the Dispatch Center to the cable car up to the North Peak.

Cable car ticket: RMB 80 (two ways Dec – Feb); RMB150 (two ways March – November). The cable car ticket is separated from the entrance tickets and people have to buy at the cable car station. Each cable car accommodates 6 passengers.

Cable car

It takes about 6 minutes up to the North Peak.

It takes about 6 minutes up to the North Peak

We get off the cable car and continue to walk up for 15 minutes before we reach the North Peak.  Now we are on the platform of the North Peak with the West Peak and East Peak as the back drop. 

On the platform of the North Peak

Looking at the East Peak and West Peak from the North Peak where I stand. To climb all the peaks take about 5 hours.  

Looking at the East Peak and West Peak from the North Peak 1

If you don’t have strong legs, you may just stop on the north peak and enjoy the beautiful surrounding views. If you’d  like to continue your climb, you may do as the two gentlemen. 

Even more dangerous  – the Wipe Ear Precipice 

Passengers have hung thousands of locks along the safety chain at various places along the trail for good wishes.

Locks along the safety chain at various places along the trail for good wishes.

Hotels and Eating on Mt.Huashan

If you want to see the sunrise or sunset, you need to stay overnight on the mountains. there are some hotels with basic facilities. In high season you need to book in advance.

Wuyunfeng Hotel (华山五云峰饭店)
Tel:  15319160066
Location: about 30minutes walking distance to the East Peak
Over 100 twin and triple rooms, a good choice for a short stay to catch a sunrise at the East Peak.

Dongfeng Hotel ( East Peak Hotel)  东峰饭店
The best choice for viewing the sunrise from the East Peak
Tel: 0913 – 4301312

Xifeng Hotel ( West Peak Hostel )
It is a basic and friendly place for your overnight stay  西峰饭店
0913 – 4301310

Beifeng Hotel ( North Peak Hotel )  北峰饭店
The busiest hotel on the mountain.
Tel:  15719136466 ( mobile)

Hotel at the foot of Mt.Huashan
Jingyuan Hotel Tel:  +86-(0)913-4368688
Lianhua Hotel Tel:  +86-(0)913-4368888
Huashan Hotel Tel:  +86-(0)913-4658111

Huashan Sunrise and Sunset Time in a year 

Months                 Sunrise                Sunset
Jan-Feb:               7:42-7:47          17:45-18:03
Mar-Apr               6:35-7:10          18:35-18:56
May-June             5:29-5:44           19:08-19:28
July-Aug              5:31-5:44            19:44-19:57
Sept-Oct               6:15-6:29             18:04-19:10
Nov-Dec               6:03-6:24             17:35-18:47

More Travel Information on Huashan

Best Time to Hike Huashan

The best time to visit Huashan is from April to October, a high tourist season in Huashan. Each 15th day of March ( Chinese lunar calendar ) is the “Mountain Praying” Day when there are a number of grand temple activities and celebrations.

Quick Guide for Hiking Mt.Huashan

Just pay attention to environmental protection. Please do not litter. It is recommended to take your trash back and don’t leave it on the mountains. In addition, bonfire and smoking are forbidden in Huashan.

Also follow the safety tips in the scenic area, do not make big actions, and do not climb the areas that are not allowed.

Hospitals

For an emergency, you may go to the following hospitals:
(1) Shaanxi Hornored Soldiers’ Hospital
TEL:0913-4365777
Add:Kangfu Road, Huayin, Weinan(2)Hospital of Huayin City
TEL: 0913 – 4612337,  0913 – 4612249
Add: 47 Taihua Road, Huayin(3) Mount Hua Xiehe Hospital
TEL: 0913 – 4362815
Add: Huayin

Bank services

You can use ATMs service at the Huashan Tourist Service Center:
China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Contact Information for the Mt. Huashan Administration

Hotline: 0913-4361979 ( Mon to Sun, from 8am to 6pm)
Suggestions or complain bad services:  0913-4362692 (Mon to Sun, from 8am to 6pm)
For emergency or first aid dial: 0913-4365088 (24 hours)
Travel Bureau of Huayin City: 0913-4613358
E-mail at webmaster@huashanly.com
Fax: +86-(0)913-4362691

Add on:

How to visit Xiyue Temple

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 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.

Where to Stay in Xian

Sunday, August 1st, 2021
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Plan your Xian tour? The city center of Xian is a very compact and walkable, and most of the places of interests are just a breeze from where you stay in the walled city.

As an ancient capital in China, Xian now still keeps the fortifications built in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. You may stay within the city wall or outside the city wall. But most traveler prefer to stay inside the old city wall. The wall measures 14 km in circumference, 12m in height, and 15–18m in width at the base.

The city layout within Xian City Wall is based on a grid pattern centrally denoted by the grand Bell Tower (钟楼), which levels out four main avenues clockwise: East avenue (Dong Dajie 东大街), South Avenue ( Nan Dajie 南大街), West Avenue  (Xi Dajie 西大街) and North Aevenue (Bei Dajie 北大街).  Xian Railway Station  is just located on the northeast corner of Xian city wall while Xian Airport is located 40km northwest of Xian.

Best for Romance and City Core: Bell Tower Area

Bell Tower Area is the most central part of Xian with four main streets merged here. Under the Bell Tower, a newly completed Subway line 02 takes you to Xian North Railway Station  ( 10 km north of the city center) or the exhibition center in the south.

To the northwest of Bell Tower, there is a Starbucks (Bell Tower Shop).  Walk westward from the Starbucks, you will see some local famous restaurants providing Xian dumplings and Yangrou Paomo (Bread and Mutton Soup).

Further west, you come across Drum Tower. North of Drum Tower is the famous Muslim Quarter.

Suggested hotels around Bell Tower:

Melody Hotel Xian,
Citadines Xi’an CentralBell Tower Hotel XianIbis Hotel Xi’an.
Xi’an Century Landscape Hotel
Ramada Bells Tower
Skytel Xi’an

Best for Mixing with the Common People in Xian: East Avenue Area

The East Avenue used to the most commercial street in Xian. Now its popularity is fading with its position having graduated taken by South Avenue and West Avenue. Outside the east gate of Xian City Wall is Shaanxi Song & Dance Theatre which puts on Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show every day.

Suggested hotels around East Avenue: Grand Metro Park Xian Grand Metropark Hotel Xi’an Grand Noble Hotel Xi’an Canaan International Hotel
Super 8 Hotel Xi’an He Ping GateS

Best for Designer Shopping:  South Avenue Area.

The South Avenue is the shortest avenues of the four with its southern tip meets the South Gate of Xian City Wall. The South Avenue is lined with high end and upstart shopping malls.Its city wall south gate is often used as a tourist spot where people start to work. Forest of Stone Tablets is also located to the east of the south gate.

Union Alliance Atravis Executive Hotel
Skytel Xi’an (Formerly Prince International Hotel)

Best for Renovated Charming Streets: West Avenue Area


The West Street is rebuilt in a Tang Dynasty architecture style. This is the most beautiful street, especially sparkling in the evening.

Suggested hotels around West Avenue: West Capital International Hotel Rongmin International Hotel Xi’an
Meihua-Goldentang International Hotel

Best for Business Travel: North Avenue Area
The North Avenue is the least commercial street of the four streets where Xian’s office buildings and government buildings are dotted here and there around the North Avenue.

Suggested hotels around north avenue: Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square Mercure on Renmin Square Xian Huashan Mountain International Hotel Aurum International Hotel Xian colorful hotel apartment

Days Inn City Centre Xian

Xian Railway Station Area

Xian Railway Station is located on the northeast corner of the city wall. It is a very bustling and commecial area. On the east square of the train station, there are directly buses going to Terra-cotta Army and Huaqing Hotspring.  Suggested hotels around Xian Railway Station: Grand Soluxe International Hotel Xi’An Hilton Xi’an
Jinjiang Inn (Xi’an Jiefang Road)

South of Xian City Wall Area

The area outside the City Wall in the south is quite with some walkable attractions like Big Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi Museum.

Suggested hotels: Tangcheng Hotel Xian and Shangri-la Hotel Xian

Useful Xian Hotel Links

Top 10 Xian Luxury & Boutique Hotels

Top 10 Xian Budget Hotels,

Top 10 Hostels in Xian, Xian Youth Hostels

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 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.