Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum
Be discovered as the World’s Eighth Wonder, the Terra-cotta Warriors built in the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) is known for its large and splendid scale and the sophisticated art technology. It is the Terra-cotta Warriors that make the Xian City a popular resort where has appealed to an amazingly great number of visitors from home and overseas which is up to 40 millions in total.
Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had work begun on his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery figures fragments while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xi'an in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty.
The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries.
No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front; followed by war chariots at the back. It is 230 meters from east to west, 62 meters from south to north, and five meters deep. The pit houses 6,000 life-size painted terracotta warriors and horses. The warriors, arranged in battle formation, wear helmets and armor and carry weapons. They are dignified, and each has a different manner and facial expression.
No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994.
Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and 4 horses.
All together over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur. The Terracotta Warriors and Horses is a sensational archeological find of all times. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages.
It is one of the most marvelous feats and the most valuable historic relics of China. When take a closer view of the Terra-cotta Warriors, you will be surprised by the lifelike expressions and customs they are in as well as the life-size-big warriors. Let alone the various gestures and different looks, the hairstyles of them will make you amazed. Owing to the exquisite handicrafts, all the warriors can be told apart from one position to another, officer or soldier, infantry or cavalry.
Opening Hours: 9:00 -- 18:00
110 CNY from March 1 to November 30
70 CNY in January, February and December
35 CNY for the disabled, the kids below 1.2 m, the aged over 70 years, the students and the soldiers
Location: Qinling Road, Lintong Zone, Xian City
Transportation: Tour bus and public bus 306 and 307 will bring you here.
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
Together with the pyramids in Egypt, the Mausoleum of First Emperor of Qin shares the reputation of the world’s largest imperial tomb. The differences between them are the former is built above ground, while the latter under ground. It is a more splendid but luxurious mausoleum than any other mausoleum before, which takes a time as long as 38 years to complete. On entering in it, you will be shocked by the amazingly magnificent vision and the unprecedented huge scale.
Lies peacefully in the cuddle of the steaming mountains and roaring Weishui River, this giant imperial tomb embraces a great number of valuable art works. To be exact, the mausoleum, with a double-wall as defense, covers 56.25 square kilometers, which is 78 times large as the Imperial Palace in Beijing. When take a closer view of the Terra-cotta Warriors, you will be surprised by the lifelike expressions and customs they are in as well as the life-size-big warriors. Let alone the various gestures and different looks, the hairstyles of them will make you amazed. Owing to the exquisite handicrafts, all the warriors can be told apart from one position to another, officer or soldier, infantry or cavalry.
While the Terracotta Warriors forms only part of the tomb. Greater things are yet to come.
Thanks to Ssu-ma Ch'ien, a great historian in early Han dynasty, archeologists can learn from his works about the great insight on the mausoleum’s construction, such as the coffin was cast in bronze and the underground Palace was gem-studded replica of imperial housing above ground. Moreover, booby traps with automatic-shooting arrows were installed to deter would-be tomb robbers. Heaven and earth were represented in the central chamber of the tomb. Ceiling shaped into sun, moon and stars by inlaying pearls and gems symbolizes the sky and the ground was an accumulation point of rivers, lakes and seas, like Yellow River and Yangtze River, which stands for the earth.
The discovery of the marvelous terracotta warriors has indeed thrown the whole world into shock, but what is worth to be studied is the materials unexcavated. Qin bricks and tiles, engraved with decorative patterns, are strew everywhere around the tomb. There are many satellite tombs built as accompanying decorations of Qin Shihuang. Ministers, princesses and princes, the famous and the not were inhumed there. The burial pits for horses, rare birds and pottery figures were regarded as the sacrificial objects to the Emperor. Hence, the remains from these tombs and pits are beneficial for archaeologists to make further research.
Finally, let see who is living inside this splendid mausoleum. Qin Shi Huangdi (259-210 BC), the first emperor of China, ascended the throne at the age of 13, when the construction of his tomb began. On completion of his many conquests, he ordered 720,000 conscript laborers to hurry up on building his royal tomb. It was finished just-in-time in 210 BC for his use.
Opening Hours: 8:00 -- 17:30
40 CNY from March 16 to November 14
20 CNY from November 15 to March 15
Location: Lintong County, Xian City
Transportation: Tour bus and public bus 306 and 307 will bring you here.
Huaqing Hot Springs
For centuries, the Huaqing Hot Spring (huaqingchi) has been enjoying the reputation as the most wonderful spring for it has appealed to the emperors of the ancient China with its amazing pureness and miraculous healing promotion effect on the rheumatism and arthritis. The Huaqing Hot Spring is known as the Orient Sacred Spring, which means it is as famous as the Thermae of Caracalla in Ancient Rome and the Bath Spring in Britian.
During the Western Zhou, Li Palace was originally established a resort here. Later the First Emperor Qin built a stone pool and gave the name "Lishan Hot Springs," and it was extended by the Han Wudi, Martial Emperor. However, the strongest associations are with the Tang Dynasty, and most of the present buildings have a Tang style.
Later in the ancient China, Emperor Taizong built the Hot Springs Palace and Emperor Xuanzong added a walled palace in 747 A.D. Unfortunately it was damaged during the An Lushan Rebellion in the middle Tang period. The present site was rebuilt on the site of the Qing Dynasty structure
There are picturesque sceneries around the spring. Behind the west gate, Nine-Dragon Pool, the Lotus Flower Pool and the Frost Drifting Hall of the Tang architectural style are waiting for you. Emperor Xuanzong used to spend winter in the company of Yang Guifei (Lady Yang) - his favorite concubine in the Hall of Fluttering Frost. The hall gains its name due to the slightly milky mist and vapor over the pool year around. In winter, the snowflakes soon thaw immediately in front of the Hall because of the lukewarm vapor rising out of the hot spring.
Here is a combination of a miraculous hot spring, the beautiful landscapes and the marvelous historic relics, where will feast your eyes in your leisure time.
Opening Hours: 8:00 -- 16:00
40 CNY from March 1 to November 31
70 CNY from December 1 to February 28
Half fare for the student, the soldier, the disabled and the aged over 70
Location: No. 38 Huaqing Road, Lintong Zone, Xian City, Shanxi Province
Transportation: Bus No. 306, 914 and 915 and tour bus No. 5 will bring you here.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Dayan Pagoda was built in the year of 652 with a purpose of storing the precious Buddhist scriptures, figures of Buddha and Buddhist relics brought from India by a celebrated monk Xuan Zhang, which later became the symbolic architecture of Xian, the ancient capital of China. For centuries, the 64.5-meter-tall pagoda has appealed to a great number of visitors, among which a large part is the celebrities who left behind their inscriptions that make the pagoda more charming and holy.
During the early days, the pagoda boasted a brick structure of 5 storeys and about 60 meters (197 feet) high. Between AD 701 and AD 704, at the end of the reign of Empress Wu Zetian, 2 more storeys were added to the original pagoda. Damage by the war reduced it to seven storeys, to what it is today. With a height of 64 meters (210 miles), the pagoda occupies a base 25 meters by 25 meters (82 feet) square. The Big Goose Pagoda is brick-tower architecture, simple but sturdy. Walls and doors are carved with vivid and exquisite figures of Buddha, reflecting the profundity in the paintings f the Tang Dynasty.
Why people name it Dayan Pagoda? In the ancient time, monks in China were permitted to have the meat of the wild geese, deer and calf. One day, when a monk in the Da Ci'en Temple saw a flock of geese flew in the sky, he was so eager for the geese that he talked to the other monk: “We have not had geese today, why does not the Buddha grant us some?” Then suddenly a goose dropped on the ground front of them died. The monks were all surprised and thought that was a holy hint given by the Buddha, which required them to stop eating the geese. A pagoda was built here and wins its present name.
Opening Hours: 9:00 -- 17:00
50 CNY for the entrance of the Da Ci'en Temple
30 CNY for the students to enter into the Temple
30 CNY for ascending to the top of Dayan Pagoda
Free for the disabled, the soldiers and the aged over 70 years
Location: South Yanta Road, Xian City
Transportation: Bus No. 5, 21, 23, 27, 30, 41, 224, 320, 401, 500, 501, 527, 601, 606, 609 and 715 will bring you here.
City Wall of Xi’an
This is a huge impregnable wall, which has experienced 600 years of history, now lying peacefully like a giant in the city center of Xian. With a tallness of 12 meters and thickness of 15 meters, this giant looks as strong as iron. You may come into the ancient town surrounded by a 11.9-kilometer-long wall from the distinct gates.
When Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), occupied the city of Huizhou, he took advice to fortify the city and unify the other states by turning the wall built initially during the old Tang dynasty (618 -907) into the present Xi'an City Wall.
Surprisingly, every 120 meters, there is a rampart extending out from the main wall, therefore totally 98 ramparts are set on the wall, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up the wall. Besides, the distance between every two ramparts is just within the range of an arrow shot from either side, so that they could shoot the enemy, who wanted to attack the city, from the side. On the outer side of the city wall, there are 5948 crenellations, namely battlements. The soldiers can outlook and shoot at the enemy. On the inner side, parapets were built to protect the soldiers from falling off.
In the ancient China, the side who was able to occupy the city of the other won the battle. However, there was no efficient way to enter into the city that protected by the impregnable wall. Therefore, from the defensive side the feasible way is to keep the gate. This is why complicated gate structures were built within the wall. In Xian, there are four gates set along the giant wall, which respectively named as Changle (meaning eternal joy) in the east, Anding (harmony peace) in the west, Yongning (eternal peace) in the south and Anyuan (forever harmony) in the north. The south gate, Yongning, is the most beautifully decorated one.
Among all the greatest ancient city walls in China, it was the most well-preserved and intact one, from which you can learn a lot about how the wars were going in the ancient China and how and for what the cities were built.
Opening Hours: 9:00 -- 20:00
20 CNY for the kids between 1.1m and 1.4 m and the students
Location: in the city center of Xian
Transportation: 5, 18, 215, 603 and 611 will bring you here directly.
Shaanxi Provincial History Museum
Having been as the capital of 13 dynasties for centuries, Xian is full of the breath of history. Therefore, there are numerous precious historic relics spreading around this mysterious historic site, which accounts for the reason why the Shaanxi History Museum is thought highly as the Treasure House of China.
The museum was designed as the magnificent and elegant as the architectures in Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is also a combination of the ancient style and the modern flavor, where there are more than 3,700,000 historic items displayed, among which there are 3900 rarely seen Bronze Ware from Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), 400 precious Mural from Tang Dynasty, 5000 invaluable potteries from prehistory period and many other amazingly marvelous historic relics.
The main complex is a mixture of ancient palaces and courtyard buildings, harmonious and graceful in hue, in simple and elegant style. The exhibits on the ground and first floors are arranged in roughly three parts: Basic Exhibition Hall, the Theme Exhibition Hall and East Exhibition Hall. As well as the chronological dynastic exhibits including the Han, Wei, Jin, North and South, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, the pre-historical and bronze period exhibits, together with terra cotta figures and murals from tombs of the Tang Dynasty, are highly recommended.
Here you can have a close look at the amazingly cultural relics and remains from the dynasties of the Zhou, the Qin, the Han and the Tang, which is divided into the Preface Hall, the Shaanxi local history exhibition hall, and the central hall, where is the home to the temporary exhibitions from home and abroad. Can you image how great it is when surrounded by thousands of amazing items from such a far age?
Opening Hours: 8:30 -- 18:00 (except Monday)
Ticket Price: free
Location: East Xiaozhai Road, Yanta Zone, Xian City
Transportation: Bus No. 5, 19, 24, 26, 27, 30, 34, 401, 521, 527 and 610 and tour bus No. 701 and 710 will bring you here
Museum of Stone Steles Forest
Here is the largest museum with the most exhibitions of the stone tablets passed down from the ancient China. Since the completion of the construction in North Song Dynasty the year of 1087, this greatest treasure store has appealed to a great number of visitors for having a close look at the marvelous forest of stone tablets.
With 900 years of history, this treasure house holds a large collection of the earliest stone steles of different periods, from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. All together, there are 3,000 steles and the museum is divided into seven exhibitions halls, which mainly display the works of calligraphy, painting and historical records. All of these record some achievements in the development of the Chinese culture and reflect the historical facts of the cultural exchanges between China and other countries.
It is a good place to admire all the authentic work of calligraphy of the celebrities who were well known in the Chinese history, to read the Chinese grand classics inscribed on the stone, and to learning about the world’s history from the most convinced proofs of the history.
Opening Hours: 8:00 -- 18:00
Ticket Price: 45 CNY
22 CNY for the student, the soldier, the disabled and the aged over 70
Location: No. 15, Sanxue Street, Xian City
Transportation: Bus No. 14, 402, 512, 223, 208 and 704 and tour bus No. 5 will bring you here.
The Great Mosque is a typical architecture of the Islamism, which was designed with the antique style of Ming Dynasty (1364-1644). As one of the four famous Islamic Mosques in China, it covers a large area of 12,000 m2, half of which is with architectures standing on. In this magnificent mosque, architectures of various designs will be a feast of your eyes.
Towers, pavilions, platforms and halls are well distributed around the mosque, all of which together with the exquisite stone carvings, the precious inscriptions and other rarely seen decorations in which are the essence part of the mosque. It is the reason why a great number of visitors have been attracted here and reluctant to leave.
The first courtyard contains an elaborate wooden arch nine meters high covered with glazed tiles that dates back to the 17th century. In the center of the second courtyard, a stone arch stands with two steles on both sides. On one stele is the script of a famous calligrapher named Mi Fu of the Song Dynasty; the other is from Dong Qichang, a calligrapher of the Ming Dynasty. Their calligraphy because of such elegant yet powerful characters is considered to be a great treasure in the art of handwriting.
At the entrance to the third courtyard is a hall that contains many steles from ancient times. As visitors enter this courtyard, they will see the Xingxin Tower, a place where Muslims come to attend prayer services. A “Phoenix" placed in the fourth courtyard, the principal pavilion of this great mosque complex, contains the Prayer Hall, the surrounding walls of which are covered with colored designs. This Hall can easily hold 1,000 people at a time and according to traditional custom, prayer services are held five times everyday respectively at dawn, noon, afternoon, dusk and night.
Opening Hours: 8:00 -- 19:00
Ticket Price: 12 CNY
Location: Huajue Lane, Lianhu Zone, Xian City
Transportation: Taxi and chartered bus will bring you here.
You will be picked up from your hotel by tour guide and driver at 8:00-8:30AM.We will go toe Big Wild Goose Pagoda (1 hour).The pagoda is was built by the eminent monk Xuanzang in 652 AD, with a great importance in China's Buddhism history. It is the symbol of Xi'an City. Then comes the Xi’an Ancient City Wall(1 hour).It is really a creative way to view the downtown area of this historical city. After a lunch (1 hour) in a local restaurant, we will head to The Shaanxi History Museum (1.5 hours) which will tell you how Xi’an became the cradle of Chinese civilization. Finally we will visit The Bell Tower and The Drum Tower Plaza (30 minutes) and Muslim Quarter (40 minutes).You will be dropped off at your hotel before 5:30 PM.
Meals included: Lunch
Pricing & Accommodation
- US Dollar
- GB Pound
- CA Dollar
- AU Dollar
- HK Dollars
*USD 80 per person
*Children between 3 and 8 will receive 50% discount.
*The price is only for your reference and it is subject to seasons, high or low.Please send us your inquiry if you are interested.
Inclusions / Exclusions
1.air-con bus or van with experienced driver
2.English-speaking tour guide
3.Entrance tickets to the attractions as listed in the itinerary
4.Hotel pick-up & drop-off service
1. travel insurance
2. personal expenses
3.Tips is highly appreciated but not requested
How to Dress (only for reference):
Comfortable walking shoes
Long, loose and comfortable pants
Shorts for summer months (June – September)
Warm clothes (Fleece, Jacket, hat and gloves etc.) for Nov-April
Umbrella or waterproof jacket in a cloudy day or rainy day
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry in case of rain
What to Bring (only for reference):
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
Camera, film and memory chip, battery