Each people love history and traditional things has special affection to Xi’an. This inland city functioned as the Chinese national capital city for 1000+ years old. And with the increasing number of bullet train opened, Xian is more and more accessible. By now Xian is 5 hours from Beijing, 6 hours from Shanghai, 3 hours from Chengdu, 2 hours from Lanzhou, etc. As long as you have 2-3 days, a relaxing and in-depth Xian tour is definitely possible.
Following is a 3 days 2 nights Xian tour strategy recommended for tourists to Xian: One day for Terracotta Warriors tour and Huaqing Hot Spring Tour, one day for Big Wild Goose Pagoda and nearby attractions, and one day for City Wall and nearby attractions.
Day 1 Terracotta Warriors and Huaqing Hot Spring
No matter you arrive in Xian by flight or bullet train. You could easily get to East Square of Xian Railway Station by taking the airport shuttle bus or taxi. If you arrive Xian at the city train station (station for normal speed train), that would be perfect because you could just walk to the east square. If you depart from hotel in Xian city area, then you could take a bus to the train station. Then walk to the east square of the train station and take the public Terracotta Warriors and Horses shuttle bus 游5. The charge is about CNY7 per person.
After 50 minutes – 1 hour driving, the bus will arrive at Huaqing Hot Spring. Huaqing Hot Spring is also known as Huaqing Palace. It functioned as the imperial garden for 3000+ years old and the hot spring resource was explored earliest in 6000+ years ago. The best known period of Huaqing Hot Spring was the Tianbao era of the Emperor Xuanzong. Each year when the winter came, the emperor would move to Huaqing Palace to live and deal with the national affairs there till the next March coming. So during these winter days, Huaqing Palace functioned as the imperial palace. Besides the re-built Tang style architecture there, the excavated bathing pools of the Tang Dynasty are of much historical value.
Then return to the place where you got off the bus, you could board the same bus and continue your way to Terracotta Warriors and Horses. It takes about 15 minutes and CNY3 per person. No need to emphasize or explain anything. No tourist to Xian skip that. The three terracotta pits and the Bronze Chariots Exhibition Hall will deeply surprise you.
After the tour ends, take the 游5 back to East Square of train station and then back to your hotel. Notice: the游5 departs Terracotta Warriors latest at 18:00.
Day 2 Big Wild Goose Pagdao, Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Dynasty All Day Mall
Big Wild Goose Pagoda locates inside of the Da Ci’en Temple. In 652 of the Tang Dynasty, the pagoda was built to keep the Buddhist sutras and statues brought from ancient India by Xuanzang. In the beginning, the pagoda has 5 layers, later was built to 9 layers. After several times changes, finally the pagoda was fixed at 7 layers. In 2014, the pagoda was evaluated as the World Heritage.
The square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda consists of 2 parts. The north part is the North Square. The highlight thing there is the music fountain. It is the largest music fountain in Asia. The fountain show performed at 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, and 20:30 each daily. On the south square there are groups of statues that reflect local folk culture. In the evening, you could take a walk to food street (Ci’en Street) where you will meet some authentic and yum local food.
Tang Dynasty All Day Mall likes pedestrian street. The night view is charming. Take a walk there after your dinner is a good choice.
Day 3 Shaanxi History Museum, City Wall, Muslim Quarter
Shaanxi History Museum is the first large scale modern museum in China. The exhibition hall of the museum covers an area 0f 11600m2 and keeps 2700+ exhibits. People who likes history and development of Chinese nation should never miss the museum. Wait in line one could get the entrance ticket by presenting his passport. And pay CNY30 one could buy an entrance fee without wait in line for long time.
Nearest to Shaanxi History Museum is the South Gate of City Wall. The South Gate is the most grand and the best preserved gate of the City Wall. This 600+ years old city wall is the largest and the best preserved city wall in China. Take the battery car to visit the wall is the most comfortable and riding a bike is the coolest way to explore the city wall. One whole round of the bike riding cost 1-1.5 hours.
Walking for 10 minutes from inner side of the South Gate northward one will meet the Bell Tower. From there turn to left and walk for 5 minutes you will find the famous Muslim Quarter behind the Drum Tower. Please just get prepared to explore the local food and snacks. The road-side eateries and the century-old restaurant are all available in this street. When the night falls, the Muslim Quarter will become more bustling.