Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda

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Big Wild Goose Pagoda is located inside Daci’en Temple, a holy place in the middle of a vibrant and modern growing city of Xian. It is a good place to learn about the influence of China’s Buddhism and culture.

It is an active Buddhist temple with monks chanting, working and living.  Local Chinese visit the place to worship and burn joss sticks.

The temple and its surrounding area are full of life, people-watch. Its north square is home to the largest musical fountain in Asia; its south square leading to the Great Tang All Day Mall, a 1500-meter sightseeing avenue where you immersed in Tang Dynasty culture while enjoying  shopping, dining, entertaining, sightseeing and business travel.

The temple and the pagoda itself takes 1 or 2 hours to visit while the whole area ( squares, gardens ,etc.) takes much longer time, providing people with wonderful free leisure and entertainment.


1. Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Daci’en Temple
Actually the pagoda is part of Daci’en Temple, which were both originally built in Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the temple precedes the pagoda.

When we are talking about Big Wild Goose Pagoda, we are in fact talking about the temple as a whole. If you want to see the pagoda at a close distance or even climb up to the top of the pagoda, you first need to enter the temple with its entrance facing the south.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Daci'en Temple
Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Daci’en Temple

Entry fee for Daci’en Temple: RMB 50
Entry fee for Ascending Big Wild Goose Pagoda: RMB 30 ( First pay RMB 50 to enter the temple)
Opening Hours:  Summer (March 16 – December 4): 08:00~17:30
Winter (December 04 – March 15 ): 08:00~17:00
Add: The southern end of Yanta Road, Hepingmenwai, Xian 西安市和平门外雁塔路南端
Tel: 029-85527958

2. Visiting the Pagoda
It is okay to just have an outside look at the pagoda when you enter Daci’en Temple. A distant glimpse gives you a good angle to see the seven-story pagoda.

Paying 30 yuan and you are allowed to walk to the top of the Pagoda for a wonderful view of the city.  The stairs are well organized with banisters.

A close look at Big Goose Pagoda
A close look at Big Goose Pagoda

If you are not interested in entering Daci’en Temple, you are also able to view the Pagoda while standing on the south square outside the temple, and the Pagoda is seen above the buildings in the temple, still a good photogenic spot.

3. The Gardens and Buildings on the Ground Inside the Temple
The 50 yuan entry fee doesn’t only allow to you to see the pagoda, it also gives you the chance to visit the beautiful gardens, valuable artifacts and magnificent buildings on the ground in the temple.

The Bell Tower inside the Temple
The Bell Tower inside the Temple

It is an active temple and many local Chinese visit the place to worship. The Buddhist Monks are chanting and working. Some of the halls displays the artifacts, telling  how Buddhism was brought to China. All this gives you a feel for how life was here in the ancient time. English Signage is seen to guide you in a clear direction.

3. The North Square ( Musical Fountain )
The north square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda ( North of Daci’en Temple ) has the largest music fountain in the world. It is better to come here in the evening when the whole place is lit up.

The construction of the huge cultural square features the Tang culture elements of Big Goose Pagoda and Daci’en Temple, combining the elements of the traditional and the modern.

The Music Fountain

Musical Fountain Opening Hours:
Weekday: 12:00,  20:00
Weekend and Public Holiday:10:00,  12:00,  14:00,  16:00,  18:00,  20:00
Entry fee: 30 RMB ( but actually few people will pay since it is located in an open place)

4. South Square ( the statue of Monk Xuanzang )
The South Square of Big Goose Pagoda is also known as Xuanzhuang Square. Xuanzang (602 – 664) was a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller, and translator who described the interaction between China and India in the early Tang dynasty.

South Square ( the statue of Monk Xuanzang )
South Square ( the statue of Monk Xuanzang )

In 652 A.D. Xuan Zang made a proposal to the court for a pagoda to be constructed inside the temple, to put the scriptures and statues he had brought back from India. The Emperor happily agreed, and also collected the funds for the building. Xuan Zang was so happy that he took part in the manual labor in the construction of the pagoda. He also took part in the design of the pagoda.

Visit the south square in the evening when the statue and the square are all lit up.  Free entry.

5. Great Tang All Day Mall (a 1500-meter sightseeing avenue)
South of the South Square of Big Goose Pagoda (Xuanzhuang Square) is Great Tang All Day Mall. The Great Tang All Day Mall is the key project to rejuvenate the great Tang Dynasty.

It is more than just a traditional mall, but a sightseeing traffic-free avenue along a 1500-meter axis from the Big Wild Goose Pagoda down to the south, linking three themed squares – Xuan Zhuang Square, Zhenuan Cultural Square and Kaiyuan Ceremony Square based the Tang Dynasty cultural backgrounds and elements.

The illuminated 1500-meters long avenue
The illuminated 1500-meters long avenue

They includes the buildings of Tang architectural style and sculptures devoted to great leaders, monks, artists, writers, poets, scientists and mathematicians of the Tang Dynasty.

Free entry and visit here in the evening when the place is illuminated.

5. Visit in the early Morning and in the Evening
Early in the morning you will see lots of activities like dancing, playing tai chi, etc. a nice taste of the local Xian. Come here in the evening when the whole area is illuminated.

6. Children Friendly
This is a huge complex of squares, temple, parks, pedestrian streets and a lively souvenir market as well. It’s all marvelously illuminated at night and full of local people,  walking, dancing, etc. It has a fantastic atmosphere. Your kids definitely will like the fountain show which is truly spectacular.

7. How to get there
Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the whole area are just located about 6 km south of Bell Tower in the center of the walled Xian city.

By Taxi: About RMB 16 taking a taxi from Bell Tower
By Subway: Taking the subway line 2 and get off at the station of Xiaozhai and exit from Exit C. The walk in the east direction and get to the place ( about 470 meters walking ).
By Bus: Taking Bus 606 and 609 from Bell Tower and get off at the stop of Dayanta ( Big Wild Goose Pagoda).

8. Combo Tour of Shaanxi History Museum
After your visit to Big Wild Goose Pagoda and you still have the time and energy, you can walk to the nearby Shaanxi History Museum, about 15 minutes away. You can cover both of these attractions together in a half day.

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.

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