Archive for the ‘Xian Attractions & Tips’ Category

What to do in Xian after dark

Sunday, October 24th, 2021
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I’m much impressed by the beautifully illuminated night views in Xian  during my short Xian Tour.  My pleasant surprise comes from my stereotyped impression that Xian is bare and grey after dark, a seeming match for its position as an ancient capital city.

Now Xian after dark feels like a paradise on earth with everything looking surreal, neon lit shops and streets, bright Bell Tower, fairy tale City Wall  and music fountain square etc.

If you are planning a Xian Tour  right now, please do add a night tour to your Xian travel list. Well,  follow me to touch the fairyland Xian after dark.

The lit Bell Tower

Don’t give a miss to the brightly lit Bell Tower after dark. Unlike a solemn landmark in daytime, it resembles a Tang dynasty beauty after dark.

Bell Tower after dark

The lit Bell Tower

The City Wall and its South Gate

I ambled along the neon lit South Street and looked at the surreal South Gate and the city wall. The beautifully lit South Gate

The beautifully lit South Gate

People are dancing by the South Gate

People are dancing inside the South Gate

Outside the lit South Gate

Outside the lit South Gate

The bright city wall and the city moat

The bright city wall and the city moat

North Square of Big Goose Pagoda

I went to the north square of the Big Goose Pagoda. It was said that the north square has the world’s largest music fountain in the world which starts at 8:00pm everyday. It was a shame that I had missed the music fountain performance since I arrived there at 8:30pm.

But I still got some feeling of the huge music fountain with the Big Goose Pagoda as the backdrop. It is really worth going there for a look. The just finished music fountain on the north square of Big Goose Pagoda.

The just finished music fountain on the north square of Big Goose Pagoda.

Beautifully lit Big Goose Pagoda

Beautifully lit Big Goose Pagoda

South Square of Big Goose Pagoda

The south square of the Big Goose pagoda has a large sculpture park depicting the 5000-year Chinese history. The entrance to the sculpture park to the south of Big  Goose Pagoda.

The entrance to the sculpture park to the south of Big Goose Pagoda

More sculptures in the park

More sculptures in the park

The sculpture park is to the south of Big Goose Pagoda

The sculpture park is to the south of Big Goose Pagoda

Still some people gathered before the statue Xuanzhuang for phot taking.

Still some people gathered before the statue Xuanzhuang for photo taking

Defu Xiang Cafe and Bar Street

If you like pubs, cafes, charming young ladies, go to Defu Xiang (Defu Lane). The old impassioned lane boasts the great attractions. To seek love, to make new friends, to relax themselves.., people flood in the Defu Lane when nights fall on. Defu Xiang Bar Street

Defu Xiang Bar Street

Defu Lou Coffee Shop

Defu Lou Coffee Shop

Xian Tang Dynasty Dinner Show

If you prefer a night performance to kill your night time, Tang Dynasty Show is your best choice. Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is an outstanding element of this ancient rich and prosperous society, giving an insight into the peaceful life style of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907).

There are two major venues to put on the performance – Shaanxi Song & Dance Theatre and Tang Dynasty Palace, which both offer two choices – performance including dinner or excluding dinner.

Where and When to See: 1. Shaanxi Song & Dance Theatre
Showing Hours 20:00 – 21:00
No. 165, Wenyi Road, Xi’an (outside the east gate )
2. Tang Dynasty Palace
20:30 – 21:40
No. 75, Chang’an Road, Xi’an (outside the south gate )

Tang Dynasty Show 1
Tang Dyasty Show 2
Tang Dyasty Show 3
Tang Dyasty Show 4
Tang Dyasty Show 5
Tang Dyasty Show 6
Tang Dyasty Show 7
Tang Dynasty Show 8
Tang Dyansty Show 9
Tang Dynasty Show 10

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.

How to visit Terracotta Army in Xian (Tips, Photos and Maps)

Wednesday, October 20th, 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 (Google)

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 (Google)

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.

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 Visit Xian City Wall (Tips, Photos & Map)

Friday, October 15th, 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 Xian City Wall. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

_________

Xian is home to the most complete and well-preserved ancient city wall in China and one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world as well.

Xian City Wall was initially built in Tang Dynasty (618 -907), based on which, the existing wall was rebuilt in Ming Dynasty during the period between 1374 and 1378. Now the remaining Xian City Wall is 12 meters tall, 18 meters wide at the base, 12-14 meters wide on the top with a perimeter of 13.74 km in length and a deep moat surrounding it.

You can stroll, even cycle or take a buggy around the Wall. Plan your Xian tour? Xian City Wall, not to be missed! The city wall itself is very impressive and ascending the wall allows you to  look out on the new city from an ancient structure, avoiding the crowds and traffic with a better feel of the historical changes in the ancient capital of Xi’an with the fast development in the modern times.

How to get there

Though there are totally 18 gates to the present city wall of Xian, only the four major gates are open to the public, namely South Gate, West Gate, North Gate and East Gate. You may choose any of the four gates to ascend the wall.

Xian City Wall and Xi’an City Attractions

Just find out which gate is closer to your hotel and start up your trip to the wall. Many people would like to choose the South Gate, the largest gates of the four. It’s a 10-minute walk down south along the South Avenue from the Bell Tower to the South Gate.

The South Gate
The South Gate to Xian City Wall

Alternatively you can take subway line 2 from Bell Tower in the south direction and get off at the next station of Yongning Gate and exit either from Exit A1 or D1.

2. Entry Fees and Opening Hours

Entrance fee: 40 RMB
Ticketing Offices: at any of the four gates to the Wall
Opening Hour: 08:00 – 20:00
Suggested Travel Time: 1-3 Hours
Tel: 029-87283602, 87286373

Ascending Xian City Wall
Ascending Xian City Wall

3. Best time to visit Xian City Wall

1) Best Months to Visit: March – June, and September – November.  If you visit in July and August, the hottest months in Xian, you’d better choose to visit Wall either in the morning or after sunset to avoid the scorching sun.

2) Best Time in a Day to Ascend the Wall: Morning or later afternoon.  There are parks at the base, below the wall and you can see people doing morning exercise or dancing in the evening. Ascending the Wall in the early morning to control the crowd or come to the Wall late in the evening so that you can see the wall to be lit up or enjoy the sunset over the Wall.

4. Strolling on Xian City Wall

The top surface of the wall is a wonderful promenade. Walking all the way around the wall takes about 2 – 3 hours, depending on how fast you are. Don’t forget bring your hate, bottled water, sunglasses and have sunblock for the stroll.

If you have no time to walk all the wall or you have no fancy for the long walk, you can choose to have a shorter stroll starting from, let’s say the South Gate  and get off from the West or East Gates.

5. Riding Xian City Wall

Renting a bike or return your bike at any of the four gates. Basically you are required to return your bike at 6:00pm. If your riding has surpassed the designated 6:00pm, you can return your bike at 8:00pm at the South Gate.

There are plenty of bikes, single and tandem, that can save a lot of time from your walk. You can rent a single bike at 45 RMB or a tandem  at 90 RMB for 2 hours. The hire stations are located at the access points of the four gates. the bike ride takes about 1 hour.

Biking on Xian City Wall
Biking on Xian City Wall

The bike ride is a little uncomfortable with the surface a bit bumpy due to the cobble stone paved surface, hurting your hands, wrists or buttocks a bit.

6. Taking a buggy around Xian City Wall

As a third choice to go around the wall surface, you can take a battery buggy driven around the entire perimeter. For an ordinary buggy for one circle,  you need to pay RMB 80 or 120 for a luxury buggy.

Taking a buggy around Xian City Wall
Taking a buggy around Xian City Wall

You also can take the buggy section by section, which costs you 20 RMB for an ordinary buggy and RMB 30 for a luxury buggy between two stops.

7. English Signage

There are English signs pointing to the directions and many signs also give you the history of the wall.

8. Toilet

Use the toilets at the entrance, and there are no restrooms once you get onto the surface.

9. Little shops on the Wall

There are small shops on the surface of the wall for drinks, some refreshments or small souvenirs.

10. Vendors below the Wall

There some souvenirs stalls from vendors near the gates.

11. Local Activities below the Wall

Take your camera or iPhone to have some interesting candid photos of the local activities near the gates – dancing, singing, playing chess, etc.

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
How to Visit 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.