Xi’an City Wall (Chengqiang)

Reviews on Xian City Wall (Chengqiang)

Visitor 1: “The most interesting wall is the South one”
We cycled the entire wall on rented bikes, and would recommend it highly although it was hard to maintain the bike saddles at the appropriate height (the clamps were a bit loose). If you can only look over the wall from one side, the inner city on the south side is the most interesting. We saw street markets, a mix of housing from basic to fairly upscale renovated old buildings, and a strip of interesting looking antique dealers.

Visitor 2: “BIKES!”
We liked stopping and taking pictures, also we really enjoyed pissing about on the bikes trying to high-five each other. So we made it from the south gate to the 3rd east gate before having to turn back.

Cost: Bike rental was 180RMB with 100RMB deposit each for 90 minutes. Bike rental closes at the south gate at 9pm.

I’m fat so the bike bruised my bum and legs but it was still worth it! We rode during the sunset, so were able to watch the city lights turn on in what has become my favourite city in China.

TIP: Take lots of water, as there, I only saw one vending machine on the wall, by the bike rental, which only sold Evian as water for 80RMB a bottle (compare that to Kongshu or Nestle water which is usually 2-5RMB a bottle).

City Wall

Visitor 3: “The most interesting wall is the South one”
We cycled the entire wall on rented bikes, and would recommend it highly although it was hard to maintain the bike saddles at the appropriate height (the clamps were a bit loose). If you can only look over the wall from one side, the inner city on the south side is the most interesting. We saw street markets, a mix of housing from basic to fairly upscale renovated old buildings, and a strip of interesting looking antique dealers.

Visitor 4: “Bicycle ride around the wall”
We had previously been to Xi’an and visited most of the tourist attractions, except our time at the city wall was very limited. This time our group were looking forward to hiring bicycles and riding all the way around, about 14 kilometres. We thought it would be an easy ride but did not take into account the very narrow seats on the bikes, the uneven ancient pavers and potholes on the roadway. We were very thankful to complete the bicycle ride and did enjoy the wonderful scenery along the way.

Visitor 5: “A great introduction to modern and ancient Xian”
We visited this attraction in our first afternoon in Xian. It was very warm and we really wanted a cool shady spot. But structure draws in your interest. Of course, it has been restored from ancient times, but much of the original is there, many of the original bricks can be seen on the path, still with old markings. We just walked for about an hour, and did not cover it all, although a bike hire would be much better. However, I was the only one willing to do that so I kept with the group. Now, you have to be aware that in China, any attraction is bound to be crowded. But when we visited there was just a handful of other visitors so we felt very relaxed able to explore and take photos without bothering about getting in the way of anyone else! Being a relatively high point, as Xian is a flat city, we could see quite a lot of the city around the wall. Later as we were driven around Xian to other attractions the wall was a landmark that we passed by or through many times. I give this a VG – worth a short visit, but not necessarily a must see.

City Wall

Visitor 6: “Impressive. Rent a bicycle.”
Here is what you do immediately upon arriving. Rent a bike and ride around the entire wall. They have tandem bikes also. You can get a go over view of the entire area inside the wall surrounding the inner city. just do it. Rental is 40 Yuan for 100 minutes. If I were younger or had more time, I would have run around the wall. I bring my running gear when I travel. The loop is about nine miles. In my better days about 70 minutes running. Today, about 100 minutes. There are a couple of snack bars in the area of the Arrow Tower. We were there in October. Nice weather for running or biking. Go in the morning on a weekday. I understand weekends can get crowded.

Visitor 7: “Great way to explore The Wall”
It was our last day and the final attraction to visit on our list in Xi’An. We hired a tandem bike to cycle around the city wall, it was the first time for my wife to ride a bike and she really enjoyed it. What a great way to explore the ancient wall and scenery around it. I won’t imagine how busy the place is in the main season, but mid of October and late afternoon it was pleasant.

We had a well deserved cup of coffee and cake in the cafe (the real one) down in the court, very nice. Entry was ¥54 per person and ¥80 for 100min tandem bike hire, bond was ¥200, great holiday experience, priceless. Only downside, I might have to buy a tandem bike.

Visitor 8: “Fun way to see this exciting city!”
We began our adventure at the South Gate of the city wall. There was no re-entry. Once you are in, you have to pay the fee again, should you need to leave and come back. I believe it was ¥60 which was a bit high, but not outrageous. My family rented bikes and had a great time! It was great to see the city from this vantage point. It was also interesting to note that there appeared to be people living inside some of the tiny buildings which are on the wall. We saw a display on the evolution of the bicycle and saw parts of the city we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The gift shop at the South Gate was small, but had high quality items. Their prices were not insanely high, but were definitely higher than other souvenirs in China. They had many items for sale that I do believe are not for sale elsewhere, giving them the uniqueness quality. If you have the time, definitely see this great city from high above!

City Wall

Visitor 9: “Must-see in Xian”
The city walls in Xian are complete, about 14km in total length. Its great to get up there and get away from the headlong development that is Xian which is removing lots of its old charm and hospitality in the name of economics.

You can walk (allow at least half a day to circumnavigate) or hire a bike but be careful – you hire it in hourly blocks and it took us over an hour to ride around at a fair pace. The pavement is made of individual rounded stones (or concrete made to look like stones) which gives you a bumpy ride and some are missing. The bikes don’t have gears and have a small hard saddles. We had sore bottoms for a week afterward, Remember to take toilet paper (like anywhere in China) or you may get caught short halfway around.