Posts Tagged ‘Beijing Xian’

Xi’an: An Exotic City with an Undeniable Historical Depth

Friday, March 9th, 2012
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Xi’an’s Marvelous History Takes the Lead 

Xi’an is a city that is close to Beijing. This city has a history that is more than 3000 years old. It has been the capital city for some of the biggest dynasties in China for more than 1100 years and has been the eastern end of the great silk route which connected it to the ancient world. It has seen a revival in the past two decades and has once again become one of the most important cities in the country. Xi’an today is the seat of very important activities including research and development, national security and the Chinese space program–among others.  

The Attractions of Xi’an: 

Most of the student internship and summer programs have been designed to include places on the itinerary that have a direct bearing on the visitors’ minds and help them learn about the culture of a country. This is true for all forms of study abroad programs whose destination is Europe or Asia.  

When it comes to Asia, gap year programs are becoming immensely popular in China. More and more students are learning Mandarin and hence China has become a hot destination for all programs including summer internship and summer programs for highs school students. Such programs invariably take one to Beijing, which is a perfect place to witness the rise of a nation shrouded in mystery. The city comprises of buildings and high-rises that are at par with the tallest buildings in the world. At the same time, there is the presence of the rich Chinese heritage and culture in the form of historical monuments.  

Beijing gives access to the Great Wall of China which is one of the best known historical artifacts in the world and one of the few manmade structures that are visible from the Earth’s orbit. But there are a lot of interesting historical places in the vicinity of this great city – Xian.  

 Xi’an is the birthplace of the Chinese civilization in bygone eras. This city was a place of great importance in the ancient world. For one, it marks the eastern end of the silk route which connected the country to the world. The city was called Chang’an in the ancient times. The name, when translated in Chinese meant ‘eternal city’. Even though the name has changed since, Xi’an has indeed become eternal in Chinese history, bearing a legacy that is more than three thousand years old. It has been the capital city of various dynasties for over a period of one thousand one hundred years.  

As a historical site, Xi’an is best known for the legendary Terracotta Warriors. The Terracotta Warriors are a part of an assemblage that includes both warriors and horses made out of clay. These sculptures depict the army of the first king of China, Qin Shi Huang and are a form of a funerary art that was buried along with the emperor who ruled the country more than two thousand years ago. This was buried with the emperor in the years 210-209 BC. Then there is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum 

Pit 1: Terra-cotta Warriors in the largest of the three pits on exhibition in a huge hangar vault 

Pit 1 Terra-cotta Warriors in the largest of the three pits on exhibition in a huge hangar vault

Part of the Pit 1 is still under restoration. 

Part of the Pit 1 is still under restoration.

Terra cotta Warriors are stuck together from hundreds of broken pieces. 

Terra-cotta Warriors are stuck together from hundreds of broken pieces.

So restoration wok is still going on in Pit 1 

So restoration wok is still going on in Pit 1

The unearthed color-painted Bronze  Chariots and horses 

The unearthed color-painted Bronze Chariots and horses

Making of replica statues of the Terra Cotta Army soldiers  

Making of replica statues of the Terra Cotta Army soldiers

A big shop for selling replica statues of the Terra Cotta Army soldiers  

A big shop for selling replica statues of the Terra Cotta Army soldiers

Buy a terra-cotta soldier to protect yourself?

Buy a terra cotta soldier to pretect yourself

But Xi’an is not only historically important. Since the 1990s the city has been at the helm of the development drive in the western part of the country. It has re-emerged as one of the most important cities in the country, reliving its historical glory. It has, in the past two decades, become a hub of cultural, industrial and educational development of the country. Some of the most important facilities for development located here include areas of research, national security and the Chinese space program.

Beijing Xian Flight Experience

Saturday, August 20th, 2011
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Plan a Xian Tour? Take a morning flight from Beijing to Xian is mostly sought after by time-strapped travelers who either fly back to Beijing again on the same day or stay a bit longer in Xian.

Approxi 20 daily flights going between Beijing and Xian, mainly operated by three domestic airline giants – Air China, Eastern China Airline, Hainan Airline. The one and half flight makes it possible for foreign travelers to plan a doable Beijing Xian day trip.

Each airline will change its aircraft type operating according to the actual number of passengers and its flight operations status as well. This morning I take the early morning flight HU1737 set to take off at 7:50am and arrive at Xian at 9:50am if the flight is on time. This Beijing Xian flight HU1737 takes withing 2 hours and operated by Hainan Airlines.

I went to Hainan Airlines’ official web site and had my Beijing Xian flight checked online to fix my seatinng and got my boarding card. Haihan Airline usese the Terminal 1 of Beijing Capital Airport. So most of the airplanes run by Hainan Airlines take off and land at Terminal 1.

People are waiting for boarding at the Gate A17 for the Beijing Xian flight HU1737.

Some passengers are still seated, chatting and joking…

Some passengers are still seated

 

Major Beijing to Xian Early Morning Flight Timetable
Airline Flight No. Plane Depart Arrival
1Air China CA1231 Boeing 737 800 PEK 07:40 XIY  9:10
3Hainan Airlines HU7137 Air Bus 330-100 PEK 07:05 XIY 10:10
2China Eastern Airlines MU2102 Air Bus A321 PEK 07:50 XIY 10:10
Major Xian to Beijing Later Afternoon Flight Timetable
Airline Flight No. Plane Depart Arrival
3Hainan Airlines HU7338 Air Bus A300-200 XIY 22:40 PEK 00:40
1Air China CA1236 Boeing 738 XIY 20:25 PEK 22:25
2China Eastern Airlines MU2119 Air Bus A321 XIY 21:55 PEK 00:05
There is a store on the floor where Gate A17 is located. The stores mainly offer various kinds of stuff with snacks, water, books and etc.

There is a store on the floor where Gate A17 is located

The airport shuttle bus takes us from the Gate A17 to somewhere below the plane. 

The airport shuttle bus takes us from the Gate A17 to somewhere below the plane

To my pleasant surprise, Today’s pick from Hainan Airlines is Air Bus 340 – 600, a huge passenger plane for the mid-rang domestic flight Beijing for Xian.

uge passenger plane for the mid-rang domestic flight

On the plane

 

on the place

Comfortable seating

Comfortable seating

Taking off

Take off

Flying over the clouds

Flying over the clouds

Simple Chinese and Western breakfast on board

Simple Chinese and Western breakfast on board

Landing

Landing

People disembarking from 340 – 600

 

People disembarking from 340 – 600

Xian Xianyang International Airport

Xian Xianyang International Airport

People are waiting for their checked luggage

People are waiting for their checked luggage

The planes take off at Beijing International Capital Airport and land at Xian Xianyang International Airport.  The one and half hour flight doesn’t include the time and hassle getting to and from the airport.

06611Tip: 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

Terracotta Army  Join-in Escorted Bus Tour RMB 480 p/p
Terracotta Army  Escorted Private Tour  US$ $125 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.