Archive for the ‘Xian Attractions & Tips’ Category

Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian

Friday, May 27th, 2016
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Plan your side trip to Huaqing Hot Springs after visiting Terracotta Warriors? You may wonder if the site of the “Hot Springs”is worth your visit or whether you need to bring your bathing suits.

Well, “hot spring” is really a misnomer in this case. Generally speaking Huaqing Hot Springs refer to a huge park sitting below the northern slope of Lishan Mountain, 32km east of Xian Bell Tower, and 8 km west of Terracotta Warriors Museum.

The park is rebuilt on the royal palace in Tang Dynasty ( 618 -907 ), which mainly comprises the royal gardens and the royal hot springs. The royal hot springs are an excavated site, kept original, an artefact without actual springs running and housed in a museum in the park.

Tips
tips-11. Why Visit Huaqing Hot Springs
So why the bother to visit a big park since there are tons of parks in China. Before deciding whether to visit the park,  you may consider the following factors relative to the park:

1) Romantic Love Story
This is the actual site of romance of Emperor Xuanzang (685-762) and Lady Yang (719-756 ) at the Pear gardens in Tang Dynasty ( 618 – 907 ).

The Marble Statue of Lady Yang

The Marble Statue of Lady Yang

There were hot spring pools built for the emperor , concubine for leisure and recreation. It is an interesting insight and perspective into Chinese history and culture.

Crabapple Pool built 747 for Lady Yang

Crabapple Pool built 747 for Lady Yang

2) A Park with Nice Landscape Gardens and Buildings
The park is a history repackage of the former royal gardens with traditional Chinese architectures.

There is a peaceful Nine Dragon Lake, pavilions, palaces, fruit gardens and hot springs with the backdrop of the picturesque Lishan Mountain.

Gardening and Landscaping in Huaqing Hot Springs

Gardening and Landscaping in Huaqing Hot Springs

3 ) Xian Incident
Nationalist Chiang Kai-shek (1887 – 1975) once also frequented this imperial palace. Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975.

This was the place where he was “kidnapped” in the famous Xi’an incident of 1936. He was forced to forge the alliance between the KMT and the Communist Party against the Japanese. The incident greatly increased the status of the Communist Party at the time.

Chiang Kai-shek‘s Temporarily Office in Huaqing Hot Springs

Chiang Kai-shek‘s Temporarily Office in Huaqing Hot Springs

4) The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Evening Show
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show is presented on the real-scene in Huaqing Hot Springs with the backdrop of Lishan Mountain and the ponds, pavilions, corridors and palaces in the background.

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show

The performance is adapted on the same name poem written by the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772-846) retelling the lament of the court concubine Yang  Yuhuan and  Emperor Xuanzong.

If you are interested in Chinese history, especially Tang Dynasty,  and Chinese landscaping, Huaqing Hot Springs are worth your visit.

2. How to Get There
The park of Huaqing Hot Springs is located about 32 km to the east of Xian Bell Tower and 8 km west of Terracotta Warriors Museum. Basically, people would combine Terracotta Army and Huaqing Hot Spring on the same travel route.

1) Take Tourism Bus No.5 (306) directly from Xian Railway Station to Huaqing Hot Springs Station; or take Tourism Bus No.5 (306) from Terracotta Army.
Bus fare: RMB6
Estimated  Bus Ride Time: 45 minutes ( Railway Station to Huaqing Hot Springs)

2) Take a free shuttle bus from Xian North Railway Station to Huaqing Hot Springs; or from Terracotta Army to Huaqing Hot Springs.

3. Entrance Fees & Opening Hours.
Entrance Fee:
RMB 150 (Mar 1 – Nov 30)
RMB 120 (Dec 01 –  Feb)
Children below 1.2 meters: free of Charge
Opening Hours:
07:00 – 18:00 (Mar 01 – Nov 30)
07:30 – 18:30 (Dec 01 – Feb )
Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours

4. Everlasting Song of Sorrow Evening Show
The performance is presented on the real-scene in Huaqing Hot Springs. It is adapted on the same name poem written by the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772-846) retelling the lament of the court concubine Yang  Yuhuan (719-756) and  Emperor Xuanzong (685-762) .

In the story,  Emperor Xuanzong fell deeply in love with his beautiful concubine Yang Yuhuan ( Yang Guifei ). His love diverted his focus on his ruling duties and caused much trouble to his country that led to a military coup. The ministers and the soldiers around Emperor Xuanzong thought that it was  the concubine Yang  Yuhuan who had caused the chaos. Later under the pressure,  Emperor Xuanzong had his favorite concubine Yang Yuhuan killed to save the country.

The poem-turned drama is presented in four parts with a preclude and 10 scenes. The four parts include “Fall in Love”, “A Sweet Couple”, “Goodbye to Love” and “Meet again on Fairyland”.

Show Time:
Twice performances a day ( Valid from April through October )
20:00 – 21:10; 21:40 – 22:50
Entrance Fees:
RMB 220 ( east or west side area):
RMB 260 ( central area);
VIP area: RMB 988/888/588

5. Combo Tour of Terracotta Army
Both Huaqing Hot Springs and Terracotta Army are on the same eastern travel route from Xian’s city center, which can be combined to have a day trip.

6. Stay Overnight in Lintong
Lintong District is one of nine districts of Xi’an. The Terracotta Army and Huaqing Hot Springs are both located in Lintong. If you have enough  time in Xian, you may stay overnight in Lintong after a heavily scheduled combo tour of Terracotta Army and Huqing Hot Springs.

Alternatively you can separate the comb day tour into two days – first day on Terracotta Army and the second day on Huaqing Hot Spring with the first night on the Everlasting Song of Sorrow Evening Show.

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.

Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower

Monday, May 23rd, 2016
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Each ancient city in China used to have a bell tower and a drum tower, telling the citizens the upcoming alerts and the time. The 36-meter high Xian Bell Tower is the largest and most well-preserved bell tower in China today.

If you have a two-day visit time in Xian, it is worthwhile to ascend the centrally located tower for a glimpse. The main reason to visit the tower is two-fold: the tower itself – the charming traditional Chinese architecture and the wonderful view from the tower.

Tips
tips-11. How to Get There
The walled city of Xian is based on a grid pattern centrally denoted by the Bell Tower, which now stands in a roundabout leading up to the four main streets – North, East, South and West. The four major streets extend to the four gates of the Xian city wall respectively.

Xian Bell Tower is easily accessible by subway line 2, getting off at the station of Bell Tower where an underground passage guides you up to the bell tower. Or you may take a bus or walk to the Bell Tower Subway Station for the underground tunnel leading up to the tower. Basically you are unable to cross the roundabout from the nearby streets due to the hectic traffic going around the tower.

2. Entrance Fee and Opening Hours
Entrance Fee: 35 yuan ( Bell Tower ) and 50 yuan ( A combo ticket of Drum Tower )
Ticketing Booth: at the underground Bell Tower subway tunnel
Opening Hours
Peak Season (April 01 – October 25):  08:30 -21:30 )
Low Season (October 26 – March 31 ): 08:30 -18:00)
Inquiry Tel: 029-87274580

3. Having an Outside Look
If you have limited time for your Xian tour with no intention of going up the tower, you are  still encouraged to come her for an outside look at the massive bell tower. It is a three-layer and two-story wooden tower built on a square brick base.

The giant Ming-style Bell on the northwest corner of the tower

The giant Ming-style Bell on the northwest corner of the tower

The tower has the dark green glazed tiles on the eaves, gold-coating on the roof, a fantastic masterpiece of Ming-style architecture.

Basically Xian Museum Quarter will be on your bucket list. Walking from Museum Quarter ( just north of Drum Tower ) is just a breeze. So don’t miss it.

4. Ascending the Bell Tower
Enter the underground Bell Tower Subway Station and walk up the tower.  The bell tower has a brick base, a three-layer and two-story wooden tower. You need to ascend the outside stone steps up to the first floor of the tower.

Ascending the tower

Ascending the tower

Three things to do on the bell tower:
1. Have a panoramic view of the four main streets leading to the four gates of Xian city and the surrounding buildings like Drum Tower and some shopping centers, a mixed old and new world.

2. Appreciating the delicate engravings on the wooden windows on the four sides of the tower and a close look at the traditional Chinese architecture.

3. Watching and listening to a bell music performance, beautiful music and amazing costumes. The music show is included on your entry ticket. The 15-minute show is done hourly, 8 times a day.

5. Night View of the Bell Tower
Just drop by the bell tower when night falls and the tower is illuminated. The lit-up bell tower stands peacefully on a roundabout circled by the blaring traffic and mess, a wave of lights – a magnificent scene!

The lit-up Bell Tower at night

The lit-up Bell Tower at night

6. Shopping and Dining around the Tower
The visit to the bell tower allows you an easy access to the shopping – the vendors in the underground tunnel, the shopping malls like Kaiyuan department store; Starbucks, the famous dumpling restaurant and the list could be longer.

Starbucks at Bell Tower

Starbucks at Bell Tower

7. A Combo Tour of Drum Tower and Museum Quarter
A trip to the bell tower can be combined with your combo tour of Drum Tower and Muslim Quarter. The combo ticket of Bell Tower and Drum Tower is 50 yuan. The entry into the Muslin Quarter is free.

The illuminated Xian Drum Tower in the rain

The illuminated Xian Drum Tower in the rain

8. Best Angle to Take Pictures of the Bell Tower
You may to go to the second floor of the nearby Kaiyuan department store and have a wonderful photo of the bell tower from there. Bell Tower Hotel is also a perfect place to shoot a beautiful picture of the tower.

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.

.

Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian

Friday, May 20th, 2016
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When you are planning your Xian tour, your focus will be definitely on Terracotta Warriors Museum. But the other equally interesting and important subterranean archaeological museum may slip under your radar, namely, Hanyang Tombs (Hanyangling), the Tomb of Tomb of Emperor Jingdi Jindi (188BC—141BC), the fourth emperor of Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.) which follows Qin Dynasty ( 221–206 BC).

This is a wonderful cultural site, more interesting and engaging than the Terracotta Warriors. The well-structured site comprises the emperor’s tomb, empress’ tomb, the south and north accompanying burial pits, and human sacrifice graveyard.

With the emperor’s tomb laid out in the center, the site tells the strict hierarchical social structure. A must see!
Note: The Emperor’s Tomb is still intact, not excavated yet.

Tips
tips-11. How to Get There
Han Yang Ling Mausoleum (Hanyang Tomb) is located about 25 km north of Bell Tower in the city center of Xian and about 24 km to the east of Xian Xianyang International Airport.

To get there is a little bit tricky. You may take Tourism Bus No.04 starting from Xian Library to Hanyang Tomb.
Bus Timetable:
Xian Library to Hanyang Tomb: 09:30, 10:30; 13:30 and 13:30
Hanyang Tomb to Xian Library: 15: 00, 16:00,17:00 and 18:00

Or you may take a taxi either from Xian city center or Xian Xianyang International Airport. Taxi fare about 80-100 yuan.

2. Entry Fee and Opening Hours
Admission: 90 yuan ( March – November ) and 65 yuan ( December – February )

Opening Hours: 08: 30 – 19:00 ( March – November ) and 08:30 – 18:00 yuan ( December – February )

Tel:029-86031470

3. Visiting the Protection Hall of Burial Pits
The Protection Hall of Burial Pits is popularly known as the underground museum or onsite subterranean museum. This is the place worth most of your visit time in Hanyang Tomb.

It is awesome to walk on the glass floors to view the terracotta smaller scale people, more engaging and interesting than Terracotta Warrior Museum,

The Protection Hall of Burial Pits

The Protection Hall of Burial Pits

The underground museum is built on the excavation sites above which glass floors are built for people to have a close look at the artifacts underneath. You will see small-sized terracotta figures. Not only terracotta soldiers, but various animals and household items were buried as well.

It gives you a feel of  the Emperor’s attempt to create his daily life in miniature in the tomb accompanying him for eternity.

4. Visiting Hanyang Tomb Archaeological Exhibition Hall
The above-ground museum is a bit far from the underground museum mentioned above. There are buggies shuttling between the two sites.

Visiting Hanyang Tomb Archaeological Exhibition Hall

Visiting Hanyang Tomb Archaeological Exhibition Hall

Han Yang Ling Archaeological Exhibition Hall is a modern comprehensive museum. It has a unique style and advanced exhibition area. About 1700 exquisite artifacts unearthed in the past 30 years are on display in the two-storey building.

5. How to Schedule Your Visit
A side trip to Hanyang Tomb can be arranged either after you arrive at Xian Airport or before you go to Xian airport since the site is easily accessible on the highway linking the airport, the tomb and the downtown of Xian.

Alternatively, you may visit Hanyang Tomb for one or two hours before you are heading to the Terracotta Army Museum.

6. A Nice Gift Store
A nice store to buy art crafts.

A Nice Gift Store

A Nice Gift Store

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.