You will arrive in Xian before noon. Check in your hotel in Xian and do sightseeing.
Suggested Tour Attractions in Xian:
What to see and When to go largely depends on ones vacation time, weather preference, personal budget, and the tourist seasons in Xian.
There are tens of attractions in Xian, and something for everyone. But at least, the following 6 places are the must for every tourist: Terracotta Army and Bronze Carriage of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Da Cien Temple (Temple of Kindness and Grace) around it, ancient Xian City Wall, Shaanxi History Museum, Muslim Corner (well-protected old Xian streets, include the out view of Bell Tower and Drum Tower), Banpo Neolithic Village Museum.
If you have more time, you can also visit the Stele Forest (enjoy precious ancient Mandarin calligraphy steles) in downtown Xian if you are interested at the Mandarin calligraphy, Hanyangling Museum (mausoleum for Han dynasty emperor Liu Qi, completed in 126 BC) which is on the way to Xian Airport,
The above attractions will be full for two days tour in Xian. If you have two more days, you can take the Western Xian One Day Tour and Eastern Xian One Day Tour as follows,
The Western Itinerary of Xian Tour include Famen Temple (with the true finger bone sarira of the Buddha Sakyamuni), Qianling Mausoleum (built by 684 AD, the tombs complex for Gaozong (r. 649–83), the 2nd emperor of Tang dynasty and his wife Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in China, and some member of the imperial family of the Tang dynasty, include Prince Yide),
The Eastern Itinerary of Xian Tour to visit Mt.Hua (or Huashan Mountain, the western mountain of the Five Great Holy Mountains of China).
Of all these, going to Terracotta Army and Bronze Carriage of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is commonly considered as the No. 1 thing to do in Xian.
Located at the northern foot of Lishan Mountain, 45 kilometers east of Xian, the Terracotta Army is the buried army of Qin Shi Huang, the emperor who united whole China and died in 210 BC. This army was made of clay and constructed to protect him in the afterlife. They are around life-size tall, with commanders in the army being the tallest. Although now looks in grey, in fact, they were decorated beautifully when they were made out. Now there are still some colorful pieces of terracotta army sculptures being discovered, but they should be immediately protected in advanced scientific means. The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well looking for underground water. Over a thousand terracotta warriors and horses have been uncovered since then. At least 6,000 more are thought to remain buried still at this archaeological site.
The sculptures are so detailed that it is possible to guess the age, rank and personality of each one. None of the soldiers are the same. Some carry weapons such as daggers, bows and arrows, swords, spears or axes.
The figures include warriors, generals, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the 3 pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huangs mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.
The Terracotta Army was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. "the tomb is the largest in Chinese history, with a unique standard and layout, and a large number of exquisite funeral objects. It testifies to the founding of ... the Qin Dynasty, which during the 3rd BCE, wielded unprecedented political, military and economic power and advanced the social, cultural and artistic level of the empire. ", valued by UNESCO.
The entrance ticket will be checked 2 time: the gate to the park before the Museum and the gate into the Museum yard. So keep the ticket carefully is very important.
It will take around 20 minutes walking from the 1st gate to 2nd gate. So there is battery car service between the 2 gates.
Normally your tour in the Museum can go like this:
from left to right,
1. Enjoy a Movie in the Movie Hall to know a rough idea of the Terracotta Warrior and the Mausoleum.
2. Pit 1, the biggest and first pit to be found
3. Pit 3, the commander team of the Army
4. Pit.4. Crossbowman，War Chariot and some fine statues
5. Exhibition Hall to enjoy the most precious ones, such as the Bronze Chariots and Horses, and some thematic exhibitions
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Da Cien Temple (Temple of Great Maternal Grace) around it
Standing in the middle of Da Cien Temple complex, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved Buddhist pagoda located in downtown Xian. It was built in 652 during the Tang dynasty. One of the pagodas many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Monk Xuanzang. He translated Sanskrit scriptures to Mandarin and developed Buddhism theories of consciousness, karma and rebirth that were adopted by some later popular schools of Buddhism. In 704, 5 new stories were added on the pagoda, but in around 1560 it was partially damaged in earthquake and immediately rebuilt to its current height of 7 stories, the style of the pagoda still exists as the original one in Tang Dynasty. Now it is 64 m (210 ft) tall and from the top it offers views over the city of Xian.
It was added to the World Heritage List on June 22, 2014, together with other sites along the ancient Silk Road.
This whole scenic area includes the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the Da cien Temple, and the various squares with the statue of Monk Xuanzang standing in the middle, gardens and other facilities around.
Pls Note: Tourist should pay additionally to get into the pagoda. Entrance ticket of the temple does not include the pagoda fee, although the pagoda is in the middle of the temple.
Built between 1374 and 1378, making it over 600 years old, the existing ancient Xian City Wall is the most well-preserved, most complete oldest city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Along the top of the wall is a walkway, which would typically take 4 hours to cover on foot.
Located in the center of Xian City, the ancient City Wall is rectangular in shape and has a total length of around 14 kilometers long. The wall encloses an area of about 14 square kilometres. The city wall measures 12 meters high, 15-18 meters wide at the base and 12-14 meters wide at the top. It has four main gates: Changle Gate in the east, Anding Gate in the west, Yongning Gate in the south and Anyuan Gate in the north.
There are 5948 battlements on the outer side of the city wall, once used by archers to defend against enemies. Ramparts are built at intervals of 120 metres (390 ft) , projecting from the main wall. About every 40 or 60 meters, there are water channels made of green bricks used for drainage. The channels were very important for long term protection of the wall. The Xian City Wall is a complete and perfected defense system including a moat, suspension bridge, draw bridge and turrets.
The Xian City Wall is on the tentative list of UNESCOs World Heritage Site under the title "City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties".
Pls Note: Tourists can rent and ride a bicycle on the Wall.
Shaanxi History Museum
Shaanxi Province is one of the important areas where Chinese nation lived and multiplied and also one of the cradles and development places of Chinese civilization. The rich cultural legacy and profound cultural heritage formed the Shaanxi unique historical cultural features. Built in 1983 and opened to the public on 20 June 1991, Shaanxi History Museum is China’s first large-scale modern national museum. The museum houses over 370,000 precious relics which were unearthed in Shaanxi Province, including bronze wares, pottery figures, and mural paintings in Tang tombs, as well as bronze, gold, and silver objects, dating from the simple stone that human used at the initial stage in ancient times down to all kinds implements in social life before 1840; the time span covers more than one million years. The cultural relics are rich in number and types and have high grade and wide value, among which Shang Dynasty bronze is exquisite; terracotta figurines of past dynasties are of varied types and postures; gold and silver ware of Han and Tang Dynasty is unique across the country; wall paintings of Tang tomb have no equals in this world. It is called a collection of variety of boutiques carnival.
The museum is with a building area of 55,600 square meters, exhibition halls of 11,000 square meters. The Museum has the style of Tang dynasty buildings of “central palace hall with four worship houses around” with orderly, harmonious, vigorous and grave construction, with a combination of traditional architecture and modern technology, which embodies folk tradition and local features.
Please note: The Museum is closed on every Monday.
Muslim Quarter in Xi’an
Covering many blocks and inhabitated by over 20,000 Muslims, Muslim quarter is a very large area of well-preserved old Xian streets, alleyways with some elaborate Mosques, ancient courtyards, local specialty stores, local food restaurants, a vegetable market, a bird and flower market (also sell goldfish and turtles) in the current middle west old Xian city, by the side of the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, the landmark of Xian. There are around ten mosques in the area, among which the Great Mosque in the Huajue Lane is the most famous and popular.
Muslim food and souvenir market is another feature of the area. The Beiyuanmen Muslim Market located just to the north of the Drum Tower is a great choice after the sightseeing in the city center. About 500 meters in length from south to north, this street is paved with dark colored stone and green trees providing heavy shade during summer. The buildings on both sides of the street are modeled on the styles of both the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Some of the constructions are restaurants; while others are stores. But here there is one thing in common: the owners are all Muslims.
It is stated that once you have been to the Beiyuanmen Muslim Street, you wont feel regretted for the snacks of Xian. Crumbled Unleavened Bread in Mutton Stew (Yangrou Paomo) is a very distinctive snack of Xian, and is extremely delicious. Fried rice with pickled Chinese cabbage and little capsicum is extremely savoury. And it is a real enjoyment for you to eat it on a hot summers day. Roast beef, mutton or lamb is another snack that can make your mouth water. After broiling on a charcoal fire with some flavorings on the meat, it is ready for you to enjoy. While the most famous snack on this street is the steamed stuffed bun of Jiasan. The main ingredients of the steamed stuffed bun here are beef or mutton mixed with the soup decocted from the bones of sheep or cattle.
There are also fruit pies made with persimmon here which are considered as the unique refreshment in Xian. These pies take the bright red, glittering and translucent persimmons from the Lintong District of Xian City as the basic ingredients. When making the pies, firstly people will get rid of the skin of the persimmons, pounding the flesh, mixing it with flour, then putting the sweet-scented osmanthus and white sugar inside as the stuffing, then frying them in oil until they are cooked. When eating them, you will feel savory, sweet and soft.
There are also a great many other snacks to be found along this street, such as preserved meat, casserole, various noodles, and so on. They are waiting for you to enjoy.
Walking along the twisted, narrow streets in this area which is aligned with stores on both sides, you can see that Muslim men with white hats sit inside the stores and talk leisurely with each other. In front of the doors of some stores, old men with white beards sit on the cane chairs enjoying the tender touch of the sun and having fun with the little children running along the street.
The area is well worth exploring, if not for all the sights, scents and noises, then for the intriguing window into Chinese culture it offers.
Banpo Neolithic Village Museum
Located around 18 km east from the center of Xian and discovered in 1953, the Neolithic Village of Banpo is a typical matriarchal community of the Yangshao Culture in the Neolithic Age. This archaeological site contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements carbon dated to 5600–6700 years ago. At that time, the Banpo people used tools made primarily of wood and stone. Women, the crucial labor force, were responsible for making pottery, spinning, and raising the family, while men fished.
The area of 5 to 6 hectares (12 to 15 acres) is surrounded by a ditch, probably a defensive moat, 5 to 6 meters (16 to 20 ft) wide. The houses were circular, built of mud, supported by timber poles and with steeply pitched thatched roofs. Many of the houses were semi-subterranean with the floor typically 1 meter (3 ft) below the ground surface. There appear to be communal burial areas. 5 excavations between 1953 and 1957 have unearthed about a fifth of the total village (about 10,000 square meters). As the first museum at the prehistoric sit, the onsite Banpo Museum was opened in 1958.
Banpo Museum is divided into two Exhibition Halls and a Site Hall.
The Stele Forest
Steles are huge stone slabs which depict important calligraphic writing, often dating back to ancient times. They are held in high regard in China and many people study the artistry of these mammoth pieces.
The Stele Forest is a museum for steles and stone sculptures. The museum is in the former Confucian Temple and the building was first built to preserve the Thirteen Classics of Filial Piety which were engraved during the Tang Dynasty. This Museum has housed a growing collection of Steles since 1087, altogether, there are 3,000 steles in the museum, which is divided into 7 exhibitions halls, mainly display works of calligraphy, painting and historical records. Most of its exhibits are steles of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) . Ink rubbings of the steles are available for sale.
Exhibition Hall One mainly displays the text of twelve Confucian classics carved on 14 steles. The twelve works including the Analects of Confucius, Books of Changes, Books of Songs and some others. These twelve classics are must-be readings for intellectuals of Chinas feudal society. The stones were engraved over thousands of years ago when the printing was not yet invented. In order to well preserve these works and pass down to the later generations, the rulers ordered to carved them down on these stones.
It is a professional art museum which collects, studies and displays various Steles and stone sculptures. If you are interested in Chinese art and calligraphy, there are some interesting objects on display here. If not, possibly give this one a miss!
An ink rubbing of one of the calligraphy stela at the Museum, called the "God of Literature Pointing the Dipper." It depicts the figure, made up of the characters describing the four Confucian virtues, "pointing the dipper" (an expression for coming first in the imperial civil service examinations).
Hanyangling Museum (mausoleum for Han dynasty emperor Liu Qi, completed in 126 BC)
Situated near Wei River in the northern suburb of Xi`an city, Han Yang Ling Mausoleum is the historical site designated for state protection. This mausoleum which combines modern technology, ancient civilization, historical culture and garden scenery, is built at the base of the joint tomb of Emperor Jindi and his Empress. It is the largest museum in China.
Emperor Jindi (188BC—141BC), named Liu Qi, was the fourth Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty. Emperor Jindi, together with his father Emperor Wendi, started a golden era of harmony in the early feudal society, which was later regarded as “the Great Reign of Wen and Jin”. 30 odd years of excavation shows that the Yangling Mausoleum is mainly composed of the Emperor and Empress` graveyards, southern and northern burial pits, ritual building, the satellite and criminal`s graveyards, and Yangling town. The emperor`s tomb is surrounded by 81 burial pits radiating from the central mound. A 110-meter wide Sacred Road, flanked by 10000 odd satellite tombs of ancient high officials, leads directly to Yangling Town. This scene is similar to ancient morning court held by the emperor. Objects unearthed from the 200 odd burial pits include armored warrior figures with weapons, elegant palace maids with Han costumes, countless animals with vivid expressions. This mausoleum is considered to represent the ancient burial custom, “ to attend to the dead as if to attend to the living”. It is the most intact royal mausoleum and the most important tangible document in the research of burial customs and civilization of the Han Dynasty.
Anyway, We suggest you can take our Join-in Pick-up Bus Tour in Xian. This kind of Tour means we have a van to pick up every tourist at their address in downtown Xian, and become a tour group to tour in or around the city. In this way, it can be cheap and convenient for the individual tourists.
* For more detail about the Join-in Pick-up Bus Tour,
At computer, please kindly view our website at http://www.tripww.com/bigxl/JoinIinTour.html
At Mobile Phone, please kindly view our website at http://www.tripww.com/phone/trip/biglist.aspx?hname=JoinIinTour
* For the hotel in Xian, we suggest you can stay at the 3-star or the express business Hotel. Although they are not as luxurious as the high grade hotel, some of them may have no breakfast service or only have the simple breakfast service, they are clean, convenient and comfortable, many of them are located in the downtown.
If you have any questions/requirements, please kindly feel free to contact us.