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Xi’an China – So Much More Than Just the Terracotta Warriors

Updated on February 16, 2011

Xi’an China – So Much More Than Just the Terracotta Warriors

Location, Temperature and Climate

Xi’an is located in western China in the GuangzhouBasin. It is bounded by the QinlingMountains in the south, and the WeiheRiver in the north. Its situation gives rise to a mild and semi-humid monsoon climate. The temperature in Xi’an averages 13 degrees centigrade annually. Xi’an is a pleasant place to visit except in the winter moths between December and February when the temperature can plunge and snow fall. The best months to visit are in October and November when the temperature is very pleasant and not too humid.

History

Xi’an like many cities in China has had a name change. In the past it was called Chang’an and served as the starting point of the Silk Road out of China. Its history stretches back over 3,100 years, and for 1,100 of those years, Xi’an served as the capital for thirteen different dynasties. In the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties Xi’an was the economic, cultural and political centre of China.

On Offer, In and Around Xi’an

More than just the gateway to the world famous terracotta warriors, Xi’an offers visitors an energetic city with deep history and vibrant people. There are many things to see and do in Xi’an but if you are particularly interested in Chinese history, extending your stay for a few days is a must. Outdoor enthusiasts have the option of visiting HuashanMountain, MountTaibai, Zhuque or Wangshunshan forest parks and CihuaMountain national park. History lovers will enjoy the Banpo ruins, ShaanxiHistoryMuseum and the world-famous Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Those who just want to relax are also well catered for in Xi’an with relaxing spars like the East and West Tangyu.

Delicious Cuisine

Many of China’s famous foods originated in or around Xi’an city. The famous Beijing duck was invented by Empress Wu Zetian in Xi’an and later introduced to Beijing where it flourished. Be a little wary of Xi’ans famous Hulutou, which is made from intestines and often shocks when it presented to an unwary diner. Snacks such as pork sandwiches, rice noodles, cured mutton and beef as well as persimmon pies are all delicious.

Shopping

As the terracotta warriors are an obvious draw card for Xi’an, be prepared to see innumerable representations and imitations of them everywhere. Qin embroidery, jade, silk, porcelain, pottery, and folk handicrafts are everywhere. If more modern shopping is what you need then, one of the many malls like Century Ginwa or Kaiyuan are tailor made for you.

Getting to Xi’an and Around Xi’an

Accessible by plane, train and road, Xi’an is easy and convenient to journey to. Getting around Xi’an is simple when using a taxi. They are cheap and the taxi drivers are used to dealing with foreigners and can help you find what you are looking for. Other options include buses which run every few minutes, or private minivans which the hotel can help arrange. Hiring a private mini van can be great as they are cheap, usually only $20-$30 US dollars for the day including gas. Visiting as part of a tour or as an independent traveller there is an option to suit everyone and you should not be concerned if travelling alone.

Hotels

The richness of ancient Chinese culture and of course the international recognition of the terracotta warriors has insured that Xi’an is awash with hotel accommodations. A few of the top hotels are the Shangri-La Golden Flower, Chang’an Ana, Tanghua and Sheraton. You can also opt for a cheaper hotel but check first what time the hot water comes on and off each day as some hotels turn it off at certain times.

Xi’an is a wonderful city with lots to offer a traveller to China. Travelling alone or with a tour group you are sure to have an adventure and many memorable memories to share.

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