Top 10 Attractions in Shaanxi

If Shaanxi Province sounds unfamiliar to you, then you must have some knowledge of Terra-cotta Warriors in Xian which is the capital city of Shaanxi Province.

Don’t be confused with its east neighboring province of Shanxi. Shaanxi’s domain is north-south long (approx.880km) and east-west narrow (approx.160~490km). Its north-south span roughly falls into three geographic formations – the Loess Plateau in the north, the Plain in the middle and mountainous region in the south.

Shaanxi is one of the cradles of China’s civilization. It is the start pointing and ending of the ancien Silk Road. Its archaeological excavations makes it an important destination in China. Among them are the army of Terra-cotta Warriors, Banpo Neolithic Village and numerous imperial tombs and graves.

Planning for Shaanxi tour? Looking for top things to do in Shaanxi?  So here is our list of top 10 Attractions in Shaanxi.

1. Army of Terracotta Warriors
This subterranean life-size army of terracotta soldiers were designed to protect China’s first emperor – Qinshihuang who unified China for the first time in 221BC. The original site was found by 4 local farmers digging a well in 1974. Now it has turned into the most important attraction in Xian and one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world.

Take a public bus is a good choice to visit Terracotta Army. It is very easy to find the special Tourism Bus 5 (Bus no. 306) runing between Xian Raiway Station to Terracotta Army Museum. If you stand in front of Xian Railway Station, The Bus 5(306) parks at the parking lot on your right or east direction. 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 collec the money – RMB 7 per person.

Check out the link  Terracotta Army Travel Tips for more information.

Opening Hours: 8:30AM – 5:30PM
Entrance Fee: RMB 150 (March 1-November 30);
RMB 120 (December 1-the end of February)
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

A Terra-Cotta Warrior
A Terra-Cotta Warrior

2. Hanyang Tombs (Mausoleum of Western Han Emperor Liu Qi)
It is the forth emperor – Jing Emperor’s tomb in Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) which was opened in 2001 and is famous for its rich collecion of the terra-cotta figurines and animals. Actually his tomb is not opened yet. What we see on the exhibition hall are artifacts from his main tomb’s surrounding burial sites.

This site is a relic site under State protection and one of the hot tourism destinations in the region. It comprises the emperor’s tomb, empress’s tomb, the south and north burial pits, ceremonial site, human sacrifice graveyard and criminals’cemetery. The Outside Pits Exhibition Hall was opened in 2006 and is the first underground museum in China.

Tomb is about 20 Km away from Xian airport, 30km north of the downtown Xian. For many tourists, Hanyang Tombs are more like a hidden gem!

Check out the link – Hanyang Tombs Xian  for more information.

Entrance Fee: RMB 90
Underground Palace: RMB 35
Opening Hours: 8:30-17:30
Bus: Tourist Bus 4 and 10

3. Muslim Quarter
The Xian Muslim Quarter is just located behind ( north of ) the Drum Tower, a delightful place you will never miss! The famous Great Mosque is located in the Muslim Area. The bazaar in the Muslim area is most attractive with a wide area of stalls selling everything. The streets and walkways are full of life.

The streets and walkways are full of life. The shopping is great, very cheap and some unusual items we will seldom see anywhere else in China. The Great Mosque in Xian is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xian is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations.

Check out the link:  Xian Muslim Quarter for more information.

Entrance Fee: RMB 25
Bus Lines: Take bus no.4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 26, 29, 32, 43, 118 and get off at Drum Tower Station

Muslim Quarter
Muslim Quarter

4. Xian City Wall
The City Wall is one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. It was enlarged in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) from the city wall initially built in Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). Now it is 12 meters tall, 12-14 meters wide overing 14 kilometers in length with a deep moat surrounding it. You can walk, even cycle on the wall. Its south gate is the most largest with a suspension bridge.

After consistent repair and protection, the Xian City Wall now offers a good combination of the city wall, city moats, forest belt and city ring-routes. In early years, those ancient walls regarded as the obstacle to the modernization of the city, but now it is the pride, which offers great honor to the old city.

Check out the link: Xian City Wall for more information.

Entrance Fee: RMB 40
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 21:30 (Spring and Summer)
08:00 to 19:00 (Fall and Winter)

Xian City Wall
Xian City Wall

5. Big Goose Pagoda
The Big Goose Pagoda is situated in the Da Ci’en Temple, four kilometers south away from the center of the city. It is one of the city’s most distinctive and outstanding landmarks, the centerpiece for sound and light show in the evening.

Big Goose Pagoda is one of the oldest structures in China. Originally Big Big Goose PagodaGoose Pagoda consisted of a brick structure of five storeys and was about 60 meters high. First built in the Sui Dynasty.

Between AD 701 and AD 704 during the reign of the Empress Wu Zetian five more storeys were added to the pagoda making ten in all. Unfortunately it was damaged during World War II and reduced to seven storeys, which is as it remains today.

Check out the link: Big Goose Pagoda for more information.

Transport: Bus 5, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 34, 41
Opening time: Daily 9:00am to 5:00pm;
Admission Fee: RMB 25

Big Goose Pagoda
Big Goose Pagoda

6. Mt.Huashan
Mt.Huashan, or Mount Hua is one of the five sacred mountains in China. Mt.Huashan Scenic Spot is mainly composed of 5 peaks – North Peak (, the Central Peak(207.8m), East Peak(2096.m), West Peak(2086.2m) and South Peak(2154.9m).

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

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.

Check out Huashan Travel Tips for more information.

Climbing Huashan
Climbing Huashan

7. Hukou Waterfall
Hukou Falls at Yellow River is one of the most beautiful wayerfalls in China and the largest yellow waterfalls in the world. It is located in the middle reaches of Yellow River in the Loess Plateau hinterlands between Shaanxi Province and Shanxi Province.

Xian, Taiyuan and Yanan are the three best cities to start up your trip to Hukou Waterfalls. Hukou Waterfalls is located about 400km to the northeast of Xian. Take an early morning long-distance bus from Xian Long-distance bus station and get to Hukou Waterfalls at noon and the return bus will bring you back to Xian city.

The visitors viewing on the Hukou Waterfalls Shaanxi side has outnumbered those on Shanxi side. The viewing place on Shaanxi side is lower than Shanxi side, which makes the waterfalls looks much more magnificent than viewed from Shanxi side.

Check out the link: How to visit Hukou Waterfall for more information.

Hukou Waterfall
Hukou Waterfall

Located about 230km to the northeast of Xian, the old town of Hancheng is home to a few historic sites ( numerous historic mansions and streets) left by Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The must see unique Ming-era village of Dangjiacun is about 9km northeast of Hancheng City. Dangjiacun Village is still home to over 100 grey-brick courtyard houses with delicate carvings and mix of different architectural styles.

Ancient Hancheng Town
Ancient Hancheng Town

9. Yan’an
Yan’an served as the headquarters of CCP for 12 years from 1935 to 1947, the birthplace of the Chinese revolution and the establishment of New China.

Interesting sites include Yan’an Revolution Museum, Wangjiaping Revolution Headquarter Site, Yangjiaping Revolution Site, Zaoyuan Revolution Headquarters Site, Fenghuangshan Revolution Headquarters Site, and Treasure Pagoda.

Check out the link: Top 10 Attractions in Yan’an for more information.

Mao's living earth cave house in Zaoyuan of Yan'an
Mao’s living earth cave house in Zaoyuan of Yan’an

10. Huangdi Mausoleum
If you travel from Xian to Hukou Waterfalls (400km), or Yan’an (also 400km), you may spend 2 or 3 hours for a extended trip to Huangdi Mausoleum, which is located in between, just 200km north of Xian.

There are many direct and indirect buses either from Xian Long-distance Bus Station or from Yan’an Long-distance Bus Station to Huangling County where Huangdi Mausoelum is located. The National Highway 210 passes along the foot of Mt.Qiaoshan where Huangdi’s tomb is nestled, from north, down the south and to the east.

Huangdi, or Yellow Emperor is the legendary ancestor for all Chinese. His ancestral name is Gongsun and his given name Xuanyuan. It is said that He reigned from 2696–2598 BC.

He is considered as the initiator of Chinese civilization – invented weapons, the wells and fields system; upper and lower garments, established palaces and houses, early Chinese astronomy, the Chinese calendar, math calculations, code of sound laws…

Check out the link:  Huangdi Mausoleum for more information.

Entrance Fee
RMB 91 (April – Nov)
RMB 51 (December – March)
Opening hours
08:00 – 17:30
National Offering: each April 5

Huangdi Mausoleum
Huangdi Mausoleum

Any questions,  just drop a line.

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