Six Must-visit Sights in Xian

First-time visitors to China should never miss Xian – used to be the capital city of 13 dynasties in ancient China, and now becomes one of the country’s most popular tourism cities. Xian offers much to discover, most of which are time-honored historical and cultural relics. Listed here are six must-visit sights in Xian, including world-famous Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum and amazing Mt. Huashan.

Find More about Xian, China

Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum

The 2200-year-old Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum in the tomb of Emperor Qin was first discovered in 1974, with about 8,000 terracotta warriors, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses were unearthed in three pits. The soldiers vary in height according to age, experience and social status. And each of them has special features and different facial expressions. This great legacy entered World Heritages sites In 1987.

Xian Old City Wall

Xian Old City Wall was built 600 year ago during Ming Dynasty, and now separates the city’s old parts which keep quaint atmosphere and the “new world” teeming with high modern buildings. I would highly recommend this old city wall by riding a bicycle (there are bicycle rent on the wall). It may cost one and half hour to drive around the wall.

Shaanxi Provincial Museum

china

The museum has a superior collection of about 370,000 exhibits displayed mainly in five halls: introductory hall, permanent exhibitions, special exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, and National Painting Hall, vividly showing the long history of China’s Shaanxi province from prehistoric times (1,150,000 years ago – 21st Century BC) to about 1840 AD. By visiting the museum, you’ll be deeply impressed by China’s tortuous development and splendid ancient culture.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China. It was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty (618—907) to protect the scriptures and statues brought back from India by Monk Xuan Zang (602-664). The pagoda now has becomes an symbol of old Xian city, and a should-not-miss attraction when touring the city.

Small Goose Pagoda

Small Goose Pagoda area includes the Xian Museum and Jianfu Temple (Buddhist Temple), and is actually a tranquil park. The 43.38-meter-tall Small Wild Goose Pagoda was  built in 707 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and is a real wonder for having overcome more than seventy earthquakes. And the museum with its exhibits shows us the glorious history of Xian.

Mt. Huashan

Mt. Huashan finds itself 120 kilometers east of downtown Xi’an. It is the Western Mountain of the Five Holy Mountains in China, and famous for Taoism culture. it’s highly recommended to take the breathtaking planked road to feel the mountain’s “danger” with steep cliffs and precipitous drops.

Immerse in the Tranquility of Small Goose Pagoda &Xian Museum

At the end of the year, I was received a reward with a delightful tour to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Xian. Ancient capital City Xian was my first stop. It gripped me soon after I set foot on the land. Many places there retained their ancient names, like Hanzhong (汉中), Xianyang (咸阳), Lintong (临潼)… which were very important military, cultural or political towns during China’s Qin Dynasty ((770-476 BC).

A visit to Xian surely focused on museums such as Terra-Cotta Warriors and Shaanxi Provincial Museum, and the old architectural structures, such as the Old City Wall. And the Small Goose Pagoda & Xian Museum standing in the same place offered both museum and old buildings.

1300-year-old Small Goose Pagoda was thirteen stories tall (originally 15 stories), reaching 43.3 meters (142 feet). it was smaller than the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, so the name was given to it. Look closer, I found the outer appearance has been slightly damaged. It was due to more than 70 great or small earthquakes. However, the multi-eave brick pagoda still stood steadily, showing ancient craftsmen’s superb architectural skill!

  

Today, small Goose Pagoda area was built into an elegant park, a perfect mix of history, Buddhism and peace. Dozens of Chinese scholar trees were planted accompanying Small Goose Pagoda and Jianfu Temple in Tang dynasty (618-907). I also noticed the “Yanta Tower Morning Bell”, which was made by iron weighing at 8000 kilograms, 3.55 meters high, with edge diameter of 2.5 meters. I was told that it was one of the eight major cultural sites of Shaanxi province and the sound it made that could be heard over three miles away. While Xian Museum was a historical and cultural site with a collection of 130,000 pieces of relics from different historical periods to help us learn the history of Xian, when enjoying the peaceful and relaxed time.

  

Plank Road – Cliffside Path on Mt. Hua

Mountain Huashan, also called Mt.Hua, is located about 120 kilometers away from ancient city Xi’an. It is known as the most precipitous mountain on the global, famed for the narrow paths, precipitous crags and breathtaking mountain scenery. The ancient Proverb “From time immemorial the Mt. Huashan has been only one way to climb atop” testify this.

the iron ladder

(The starting point of a sky walk on Mountain Hua, below is the iron ladder; see the scenery around or at the bottom)

The plank Road on the South Peak of Mt.Hua is said to be the most dangerous place on the mountain range; it is Cliffside plank path built along the side of a vertical cliff. Below is the bottomless gulf which makes travelers shake with fear. So somebody who had walked on this road said it was more frightening than skydiving and bungee jumping.

footholds(See the footholds carved on the mountain; a man is on its journey)

Before starting the walk, travelers can rent out a harness (for security purpose, and travelers can attach the harness to the chain along the plank road). Come to the vertical “ladder” then go down for around 20 meters, which is consisted of some iron bolts that drilled into a narrow chute on the peak.

wooden plank

(The wooden plank road, the harness can attach on the chain along the road for safty use; see the seas of clouds under your foot)

The ladder lead the travelers to the short passage were a few footholds carved into the mountain face; “Don’t look down, you will feel dizzy”, this is the high recommendation from hero who had conquered the Cliffside Walk on Hushan Mountain.

Finished the stone steps, then come to the wooden planks which actually called Changkong Zhdnao, with English name aptly being “floating in Air Road”. It is around 20 meters in length and 0.3 (1 feet) in width. The half-rotten planks lay on some iron bolts that were drilled into the mountain every several meters and were held together by a few rusty nails. Most travelers hold on the iron chains along tightly and face the mountain instead of looking around for grand scenery.

cliff road(The narrow wooden path)

The plank eventually lead to a small cliff and a shrine where hero can have a little rest and check how much they are still shaking :0.

The same challenge comes when traveler need to finish the journey, take the original way back, the plank road first, then footholds, then ascending the iron ladder at the last. Avoid those travelers who are on their way of descending!

But anyway, the plank road of Mountain Huashan is not highly recommended for travelers. From point of Easy Tour China, we would highly recommend other hiking routes in Huashan instead of walking the plank road.

way back

(Ascending the iron ladder, the last part of the journey)