Beijing Time (GMT+8)
11:56 pm Nov 03
One can't claim to have visited China unless one has seen these Terracotta Warriors.”
The very reason that every year millions of travellers fly to the former capital of China, this UNESCO World Heritage site displays more than 8,000 terracotta warriors, horses and chariots, which were painstakingly created over 2,000 years ago to guard the mausoleum of the First Emperor Qin (260-210 BC). Most strikingly, each clay figure differs in facial expression, gesture, stature, hairstyle and armour. Standing in front of the vast subterranean army, you get the awe-inspiring feeling of stepping into a battlefield where the emperor’s real-life army triumphed over other warring states and unifying China in 221 BC.
Built more than 600 years ago during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Xian City Wall is the most immaculately preserved wall extant in China. The best way to see its majesty is by riding a bike. It feels awesome to catch a bird’s view of both ancient and modern Xian as you glide past battlements and towers at leisure. As the sun sets, the wall is lit up by mesmerizing lights and lanterns and makes for a more pleasant cycling experience.
The landscaped park below the wall is where locals play badminton, fly sites, do exercise, sing and dance. Make sure you get off your bike to take a look at the lively life scene.
Xian is renowned for its mouth-watering array of snacks and the Muslim Street is where you can try out the most representative traditional eats in Xian. Gobble down a bowl of crumbled pancake in mutton soup (羊肉泡馍), size up a sizzling lamb kebab or wolf down the Chinese-style hamburger Roujiamo (肉夹馍) with Liangpi (凉皮). You can also grab the chance to sample an authentic Dumpling Banquet in the time-honored Defachang Dumpling Restaurant.
The narrow alleys are packed with tiny restaurants and street food vendors buzzing late into night. One will definitely return with stimulated taste buds.
Discover more Xian food and restaurants
Known as the former capital of thirteen influential dynasties of China, Xian is always defined by its rich historical heritages, which are best manifested through the staggering collection of artefacts displayed in museums.
Shaanxi History Museum is the best place to trace glorious Chinese history. The 65,000-squre-meter building houses over 370,000 precious pieces of relics from the Stone Age down to 1840. Highlights include bronze wares from Zhou Dynasty, terracotta figures and Tang Dynasty tomb murals. Xian Museum is an excellent alternative for history buffs. As many as 130,000 cultural artefacts, most of which were evacuated from ancient tombs around Xian, are exhibited in state-of-the-art galleries in aesthetically beautiful layout.
If you are a thrill-seeker or daredevil climber, this could be for you! Often dubbed as the 'most precipitous mountain under heaven', Mount Hua offers an exhilarating day trip from Xian, be it, the breathtaking cliff faces, the steep ‘heavenly stairs’ or the vertigo-inducing narrow plank path alongside a vertical cliff. Adrenaline-pumping feeling overwhelms you as you stand and glance down the dramatic mountain scenery.
The mountain is a sacred Taoist Mountain and has been a sanctuary of pilgrims, monks or spiritual seekers for centuries. Several historical monasteries are still dotted around the valleys and mountain top.
Enjoying an epic Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is a can’t-missed experience to relive the dynastic gloriousness of Xian. One highly-praised performance is the Song of Everlasting Sorrow that sets in the backdrop of Huaqing Hot Springs. Through the perfect blending of high-tech light, classic orchestra and exquisite performances involving over 300 professionals, it vividly reproduces the touching, romantic and soul-stirring love story between Lady Yang and Emperor Ming happened here in Tang Dynasty Area.
Impressive Tang Dynasty show is also staged in Tang Paradise. Beautiful songs and dance along with unforgettable folktales definitely bring a visual and auditory feast, transferring you to the heyday of Tang Dynasty of over one thousand years ago.
Travelling to Xian, don’t forget to drop by the Big Wild Goose Pagoda Northern Square and witness the great spectacle staged by the world’s largest musical fountain sitting in the center.
Covering an area of 20,000 square meters, with a length of 346 meters, the fountain puts on a daily choreographed water show by incorporating sound, light and color and 22 different styles of water jets which are capable of shooting water up to 10 meters high. The most spectacular moment happens at night, when it is illuminated with dazzling lights, with the classical pagoda as the backdrop. Do get there early to grab a good viewing spot. The square will get really crowded!
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