Archive for the ‘Xian Attractions & Tips’ Category

How to visit Xiyue Temple (Tips, Photos & Map)

Sunday, February 20th, 2022
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If you are going to visit Huashan Mountain on your Xi’an tour, don’t miss Xiyue Temple ( or Xiyuemiao ), which is only 5km north of Huashan Mountain Visitor Centre. If you buy an entrance ticket for Mt.Huashan, you are entitled to to visit Xiyue Temple free of charge within 24 hours.

That said, I think, Xiyue Temple itself is really worth your time for a look, a big add-on to your knowledge of Chinese traditional culture.

ABCs of Xiyue Temple (Xiyuemiao)

As you know, Mt.Huashan is one of the five sacred Taoist mountains in China. Each of them has a temple to shrine the God of its mountain. As Dai Temple for the God of Mt.Taishan, Xiyue Temple is for the God of Mt.Huashan. “Xiyue” means the West Mountain, one of the five Taoist mountains ( east, west, north, south and central mountains).

Xiyue Temple was originally built by Wu Emperor (134BC) in West Han Dynasty (202BC-09AD). It was relocated to the present place in East Han Dynasty (25AD-220AD). The temple received great expansions in Sui and Tang dynasties (581AD-907AD). It further developed and reached its climax in Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368AD-1911AD). Unfortunately Xiyue Temple was heavily damaged during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

In 1979 with the establishment of Xiyue Temple Relics Administration, Xiyue Temple’s great restoration work started. In 1988, Xiyue Temple was listed as China’s National Key Protection Relics. Now Huashan Scenic Spot has become a AAAAA national scenic area, attracting huge number of tourists home and abroad each year.

Opening Hours:
07:00-19:00 (Mar-Nov)
08:00-18:00 (Dec-Feb)

Entrance Ticket
RMB15 per person
Note: if you have bought an entrance ticket to Huashan Mountain, then you are entitled to visit Xiyue Temple free of charge within 24 hours.

How to get to Xiyue Temple (Xiyuemiao)

Xiyue Temple is about 2.2km southeast of Huashan North Railway Station and 5km north of Mt.Huashan Visitor Centre.

With an entrance ticket for Huashan Mountain, you are able to use the free shuttle buses running between Xiyue Temple and Mt.Huashan Visitor Centre. From Huashan North Railway Station, you can easily have half an hour’s walk to get to Xiyue Temple.

Xiyue Temple and Mt.Huashan Road Map (Google)

As for how to get from Xi’an, Beijing, Luoyang or other cities to Xiyue Temple, please check out how to visit Huashan Mountain.

Xi’an and Huashan High Speed Railway

Note: During tourist low season ( Dec, Jan and Feb ), there will be probably no shuttle bus service connecting the north railway station, Xiyue Temple and the tourist center. If so, You need to take a local taxi from the train station to the tourist center (where you purchase your entrance ticket). Taxi fare around 10 yuan or 20 yuan, you should haggle with your taxi driver.

Virtual Tour of Xiyue Temple (Xiyuemiao)

Xiyue Temple used to be an imperial worshipping place for the God of Mt.Huashan. So its buildings had higher level of architectures, quite different from the temples of the local communities or common people. It resembles the greatness of Forbidden City. See the photo below, does it look like Forbidden City? It is Xiyue Temple!

It is Xiyue Temple

Look like “Forbidden City“?. It is Xiyue Temple! Xiyue Temple faces Mt.Huanshan. Its basic layout goes along the axis from south to north through 6 courtyards including Haoling Gate, Lingxing Gate, Jincheng Gate, Imperial Garden, Wanshou Pavilion etc. The present temple is mainly based on the remnants of Ming and Qing dynasties.

A huge colored glazed screen wall

A huge colored glazed screen wall, 30m long and 6m wide, stands in front of the Xiyue Temple Gate.

Haoling Gate (灏灵门)

This is the first gate of Xiyue Temple, named “Haoling Gate”, also called “Three Gates”. It was first built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is brick-stone city wall architecture with coloured glazed tiles in single-eave saddle roof style.

Haoling Gate,also known as “Three Gates”

It is the main building of Xiyue Temple with nine rooms in width and five rooms in depth. It was a place for emperors or imperial officials to offer sacrifices to the God of Mt.Huashan.

Lingxing Gate (棂星门)

Lingxing Gate is the third gate of the Xiyue Temple, and an archway-style gate building with three tall gates.

Lingxing Gate

The gate gets its name from Ling Star, in ancient time, people sacrifice the star to pray for good harvest. The gate door shape is like window lattice. so it was renamed as the present one. It was a group of Ming-Qing architectures.

Jincheng Gate (金城门)

Jincheng Gate is in front of the main building in Xiyue Temple – Haoling Palace. When originally built in Ming Dynasty, it was named Jintian Gate.

Jincheng Gate

After Zuo Zhongtang, the general of Qing Dynasty suppressed the rebellion, the gate was renamed “Jincheng Gate”, meaning the golden city gate, solid and firm for the area.

Golden River Bridge (金水桥)

Known as Watching Immortal Bridge, it is a stone arch bridge of three-bridge and 4-ponds structure.

Haoling Palace (灏灵殿)

Haoling Palace is the master palace in Xiyue Temple, a leading place to sacrifice the God of Mt.Huanshan, which in the past was done by the numerous emperors in successive dynasties.

The pavilions in front of Haoling Palace

In the palace, the statue of Huashan God and other gods are worshipped here. 

Haoling Palace

Sleep Palace

Behind Haoling Palace is the sleep palace for the God of Huashan and his wife. It is a single-eave saddle roof style. It is a place for God to settle down.

Sleep Palace

Yushu Lou (Imperial Calligraphy Building) 御书楼

The building houses a stele engraved with the characters written by Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty. The imperial calligraphy was used to pray for rain.

Yushu Lou (Imperial Calligraphy Building)

Longevity Tower (万寿阁)

Longevity Tower is the last and the highest building in Xiyue Temple. It is a 3-storey structure built on a high platform. Unfortunately it was destroyed in war. The present tower was rebuilt in 2000.

Longevity Tower

Xiyue Temple City Wall and Corner Towers 城墙和角楼

The Xiyue Temple is laid out like a Ming-Qing Palace. It is rectangle in shape with 525m long(north-south) and 225m wide (east-west). Each of its four corners has a corner tower similar to those of Forbidden City.

Climb up the city wall of Xiyue Temple
One of the corner Towers on the wall
On the city wall of 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:

Xi’an Tour
Xi’an Day Tour
Xi’an Tour Packages
Beijing Xi’an Tour

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Best Time to Visit Xian
How to Visit Xian in Two Days?
Xian Airport Transportation
Xian Railway Station Transportation
Xian Taxi: Xian Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Xian City Layout

Xian’s Top 7 Iconic Landmarks
Where to Stay in Xian
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Top Things to Do for Kids in Xian
How to Visit Xian on a Budget
The Starbucks in Xian
Top Markets in Xian
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Xian
Top 10 Best Restaurants in Xian
Top 10 Souvenirs in Xian
Xian Tourist Traps, Xian Tourist Scams

How to Visit Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an
How to Visit Huaqing Hot Springs in Xi’an
How to visit Muslim Quarter in Xi’an
How to Visit Xi’an City Wall
The Ramparts of Quebec City and Xian City
How to Visit Shaanxi History Museum
How to Visit Xi’an Bell Tower
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xi’an
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
How to Visit Hanyang Tombs Xi’an
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
How to Visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Yaodong Cave Dwellings in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Mt.Huashan Snow Scenes Photos
How to visit Xiyue Temple
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Top 10 Xian Luxury & Boutique Hotels
Xi’an: An Exotic City with an Undeniable Historical Depth

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves around Xian
Muslim Streets in Muslim Quarter in Xian
Hua Jue Xiang, Huajue Lane at Xian Muslim Quarter
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Xian City Wall Night View
What to do in Xian after dark
Xian’s Best Street Food
Xian Muslim Quarter Exotic Food
Xian Bar Street
Spring Festival Lantern Exhibit in Xian
Xian Terracotta Army Pictures

How to Visit Maijishan Grottoes from Xian by Train
How to Visit Hukou Waterfall
How to Visit Huangdi Mausoleum
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience (Tips, Photos & Map)
Beijing Xian Flight Experience
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Reviews on Beijing Xian Luoyang Tour

Visit Xian in January (Weather, Wear, & Tips)
Visit Xian in February
How to Visit Xian in March
Visit Xian in October
How to Visit Xian in November
Visit Xian in December

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Xi’an City Wall (Tips, Photos & Map)

Saturday, February 12th, 2022
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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 Xi’an 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 Xi’an 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 Xi’an 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 Xi’an 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:

Xi’an Tour
Xi’an Day Tour
Xi’an Tour Packages
Beijing Xi’an Tour

Further Readings


Beijing Xi’an High Speed Train Experience
Best Time to Visit Xian
How to Visit Xian in Two Days?
Xian Airport Transportation
Xian Railway Station Transportation
Xian Taxi: Xian Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Xian City Layout
Xian’s Top 7 Iconic Landmarks
Where to Stay in Xian
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Top Things to Do for Kids in Xian
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Xian on a Budget
The Starbucks in Xian
Top Markets in Xian
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Xian
Best Local Flavour in Xi’an
Top 10 Souvenirs in Xian
Xian Tourist Traps, Xian Tourist Scams

How to visit Muslim Quarter in Xi’an
How to Visit Xi’an City Wall
The Ramparts of Quebec City and Xian City
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
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
Yaodong Cave Dwellings in Xian
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Mt.Huashan Snow Scenes Photos
How to visit Xiyue Temple
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Top 10 Xian Luxury & Boutique Hotels
Xi’an: An Exotic City with an Undeniable Historical Depth

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves around Xian
Muslim Streets in Muslim Quarter in Xian
Hua Jue Xiang, Huajue Lane at Xian Muslim Quarter
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Xian City Wall Night View
What to do in Xian after dark
Xian’s Best Street Food
Xian Muslim Quarter Exotic Food
Xian Bar Street
Spring Festival Lantern Exhibit in Xian
Xian Terracotta Army Pictures

How to Visit Maijishan Grottoes from Xian by Train
How to Visit Hukou Waterfall
How to Visit Huangdi Mausoleum
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience (Tips, Photos & Map)
Beijing Xian Flight Experience
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Reviews on Beijing Xian Luoyang Tour

Visit Xian in January (Weather, Wear, & Tips)
Visit Xian in February
How to Visit Xian in March
Visit Xian in October
How to Visit Xian in November
Visit Xian in December

Any questions, just drop a line.

Xi’an Tourist Traps, Xian Tourist Scams

Saturday, February 12th, 2022
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Plan your Xi’an tour? Xian is the capital of Shaanxi Province, located in the southern part of Guanzhong Plain. As one of the ancient capitals of China, Xian is now a popular destination for both domestic and international travellers.

There are several tourist scams that visitors should be aware of. Always be careful with what you do and with who you can trust.

Xian “Black” Taxis

“Black” taxis don’t mean that the colours of the taxis are black, but refer to the illegal taxis or cars that can be found Xian. It is not strange that Black Taxis are popular in some places like train stations and the airport in Xi’an.

They will not only overcharge you but there have been reports of tourists taken out into the middle of nowhere where several of the black taxi drivers friend showed up and took all of the tourists belongings. Your personal safety should be put at the first. You are kindly reminded not to use “black cars” though sometimes they are convenient.

Xi’an “Black” Tour Guide

You can find “Black” Tour Guide almost everywhere of Xi’an City. An attractive male or female will approach the tourist and offer to be a free or a very cheap tour guide.

They take visitors to some stores on the way to the attractions and force them to shop. The products in the stores are expensive with poor quality. The visitors are all cheated by the “Black” tour guide. Just remember, there is no free lunch in the world, so leave them far away from you.

“Antiques” Traps along the Street

Xian is an ancient cultural city, visitors like to buy some antiques here. If you are not an expert, you’d better not buy the antiques. What’s more, when you are walking around the street, remember don’t touch the things on the stalls.

Sometimes the vendors put the goods into triangular on purpose. As long as you touch them, the goods will fall down, so that the vendors can have an excuse to ask for money from you. In fact these good are worthless. Don’t be deluded.

“Flake” Emperor Underground Palace

In Xian, there are many Flake Man-made Attractions, Emperor Underground Palace, for example. Some black tour guide will introduce the Emperor Underground Palace to you. The entrance fee is CNY 20. In fact, it is a man-made attraction with no historical value. It has nothing do to with “Emperor”. You should make it clear before you plan your visit.

Pickpockets

Pickpockets always can be found in the major tourist sites of China, Xian is not an exception Always keep your eyes on your bags, and carry your wallets in a front pocket or a pocket inside your coat when you are walking on the street or taking the bus.

Beware of these young men and also of the ladies in whose interests they ply their trade. If you are stolen, or you find other being stolen, or you have pickpocket clues, you are encouraged to call the anti-pickpocket hotline 110.

Book Signature in Terracotta Army

The honorary Director of the museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses signs books in the museum. Some guides will cheat you that it is your fate to meet the old director.

If you can meet the old man, you should buy a book and get a signature from him. This is not true. The old man is there every day. If you like the book, buy one; if you don’t like, just don’t buy it. It is a waste of money.

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
Best Time to Visit Xian
How to Visit Xian in Two Days?
Xian Airport Transportation
Xian Railway Station Transportation
Xian Taxi: Xian Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Xian City Layout
Xian’s Top 7 Iconic Landmarks
Where to Stay in Xian
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Top Things to Do for Kids in Xian
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Xian on a Budget
The Starbucks in Xian
Top Markets in Xian
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Xian
Best Local Flavour in Xi’an
Top 10 Souvenirs in Xian
Xian Tourist Traps, Xian Tourist Scams

Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
The Ramparts of Quebec City and Xian City
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
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
Yaodong Cave Dwellings in Xian
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Mt.Huashan Snow Scenes Photos
How to visit Xiyue Temple
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Top 10 Xian Luxury & Boutique Hotels
Xi’an: An Exotic City with an Undeniable Historical Depth

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves around Xian
Muslim Streets in Muslim Quarter in Xian
Hua Jue Xiang, Huajue Lane at Xian Muslim Quarter
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Xian City Wall Night View
What to do in Xian after dark
Xian’s Best Street Food
Xian Muslim Quarter Exotic Food
Xian Bar Street
Spring Festival Lantern Exhibit in Xian
Xian Terracotta Army Pictures

How to Visit Maijishan Grottoes from Xian by Train
How to Visit Hukou Waterfall
How to Visit Huangdi Mausoleum
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience (Tips, Photos & Map)
Beijing Xian Flight Experience
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Reviews on Beijing Xian Luoyang Tour

Visit Xian in January (Weather, Wear, & Tips)
Visit Xian in February
How to Visit Xian in March
Visit Xian in October
How to Visit Xian in November
Visit Xian in December

Any questions, just drop a line.