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4-Days Xian City Break

Welcome to Shaanxi Province, the place often considered where Chinese civilization began. The capital of the Empire three times, Xi’an played a decisive role in the history of the country. On the Silk Road, the city was an administrative site and a hub of commerce. The city exported silk and local products to other countries. During the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first Emperor of China (who unified the different provinces in 221 BC), the city had over a million people. Later, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 BC) the city became the most populated city in the world.

Day 01 Hong Kong 香港~Xian 西安

When you arrive in Xian, you will be met and transferred to your hotel stay.

Journey to the Giang Wild Goose Pagoda 大雁塔 , symbol of Xi’an and one of the most beautiful pagodas in the country, known for its square form – characteristic of Tang dynasty design. In front of the temple area there is a statue dedicated to one of the main sources of the diffusion in Buddhism in China - Xuan Zang, a monk famous for bringing the sutras from India to China.

Discovery of the Stele Forest 碑林, located in the Confucius Temple and comprising over a thousand steles, of which the oldest were engraved 2000 years ago. It is the largest collection of steles in the entire country, and one of the best with several notable examples of Confucian classics that the educated had to learn in Imperial China. In addition, this superb visit boasts portraits, cards and sculptures.

Your day will end with a trip to the Shaanxi History Museum 陝西歷史博物館 , a leading light on the ever-growing list of high quality museums in China. The museum offers excellent collections from the period of the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) through to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), but it is certainly the pieces from the Han and Tang dynasty, Xi’an’s imperial period, that are the most impressive. You will take part in a Calligraphy Course, one of the bedrocks of Chinese culture and a truly artistic pursuit, in the adjacent Small Wild Goose Pagoda 小雁塔.

Note: the running order of the day may be changed depending on the hour of your arrival.


Day 02 Xian 西安

The Terra Cotta Warriors 兵馬俑 are about an hour ride outside of Xi’an.
In 1974, a few farmers stumbled upon the Warriors by accident. Now, we can only wonder what those original farmers felt when they first laid eyes on the thousands of soldiers lined up in battle formation. They had just discovered one of the greatest archeological finds in history!

Incidentally, we now have this wonder to view because of Qin Shi Huangdi’s fear of malevolent spirits. Qin Shi Huangdi built a mausoleum to have his immense army of infantrymen, archers, and cavalry riders to protect him in the Afterlife. Each one of the Terra Cotta Warriors has a different face from a soldier during the Emperor’s life. Historians theorize that the Emperor may have wanted to rule the world from the Afterlife.

Certain practices during the Shang Dynasty (centuries before the beginning of the Empire) consisted of aristocrats and local kings burying people alive or sacrificing slaves before placing them in their future tombs or coffins so that they might serve their masters beyond the living realm. This cruel practice was later slowly abandoned with the beginnings of the Qin and Han Dynasties and the use of tomb statues instead of victims. It was here that the idea of the Warriors began.

In spite of this, it did not stop Qin Shi Huandi from burying a few thousand workers who worked on his mausoleum in a separate tomb so they could not divulge the secrets of the mausoleum’s construction to anyone. This tomb is still considered today to be too dangerous to be disturbed and visited.

The statues you can view are separated in three pits. You will begin with the pits number 2 (that is still being excavated) and number 3 (that shelters the majority of items).  You will end with pit number 1, the most impressive one with about 2000 warriors.

Otherwise there is a small museum on site that houses two splendid bronze chariots found in 1980 west of the mausoleum. You can now see them on display along with other artifacts.

Afterwards, you will take a bike tour (or for an additional charge a cart tour) for about one hour to discover and glide through Xi’an without traffic jams and crowds. You can even test out a tandem bike for something with a little more jazz. During your tour, you will see the impressive Xi’an ramparts 西安城牆 built during the Ming Dynasty. Today, they stand restored and reconstructed and are a part of the fortifications still visible in China.

On a different note, Xi’an is also a city of many cultures. During the day of the Silk Road, Muslim merchants from Central Asia came to China to do business and left their influence in Xi’an. Several Muslim minorities (totaling 15 million inhabitants) now live in China. The Hui minority is predominant in Xi’an. You will visit the Chinese-style Mosque 清真寺and the vibrant neighborhood around it housing a number of butcher shops and different sorts of stores where men wear white skull caps and women wear colorful headscarves. At dinner, you will appreciate the unique ambiance of a night market as you dine on the neighborhood’s specialties of spiced lamb kebabs, flat bread and mutton soup with noodles.

Day 03 Xian 西安~ Huashan 華山~ Xian 西安

You will set off from Xi’an to Huashan 華山 in early morning (the journey will take approximately two hours). ‘Hua’ means ‘flower’ and ‘shan’ means ‘mountain’ and so ‘huashan’ could be translated as ‘Flower Mountain’ and takes its name from the many different peaks that make up this site. Often forgotten about, Mount Huashan is one of the 5 sacred Taoist mountains and offers superb views of the sharp peaks which are seen throughout China and which have inspired numerous painters, poets and photographers... Couples can come and seal their relationships by attaching locks to the rocks at the summit, whilst devout believers perform their pilgrimage and the elderly challenge themselves physically.

You will firstly head to the Northern Peak (altitude 1615m) by cable and then by foot the Eastern Peak admire the breathtaking views along Blue Dragon Ridge. Once arrived at the peak of the East you can choose to turn back or complete the loop that passes through the South Peak and West Peak to Peak North, where you will take the cable car back down. Be careful trails are narrow, steep stairs and walking is arduous (starting between 3 and 5 hours for the entire loop, depending on your pace). We thus recommend bringing plenty of drinks, snacks and a good pair of walking boots. Picnic lunch will be served. (depending on weather)

Upon arrival at the foot of the mountain you will be taken back by car to Xi’an.

Day 04 Xian 西安 Departure

Before departure for airport, visit the essentail Jingdi Tomb 景帝墓 “Han Yangling” 漢陽陵 and little visited compared to Terracorata army but worth the detour. 
The excellent development of the excavations and the museum confirm that China, as a great cultural nation, is more and more willing to protect its heritage.  

The day will begin with transportation to the airport and a visit along the way to the tomb of Emporer Jingdi, about 15 kilometers from the Xi’an airport. It is an ideal place to visit before taking off.

The reign of Emperor Jingdi during the Han Dynasty (118-141 BC) is the exact opposite of the one with Qin Shi Huangdi. As it is, the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi was marked by cruelty and priority to military spending, while the reign of Jingdi was distinguished by his humanism and his vision of more diplomatic relations with foreign peoples.

The tomb, opened to the public in 2006, houses a multitude of figurines representing eunuchs, servers and domestic animals, and brings more to mind the normal day life under the Han Dynasty than the Qin Shi Huangdi tomb with its warlike appearance.

You will walk on a glass panel over the different pits and will be able to observe closely the most recently uncovered statuettes. The site also contains a small museum showing the items in the best condition. The importance of the contrast between the two excavation sites near Xi’an makes this visit essential.


Have a nice holidays!

Remarks :
Every effort will be made to adhere to the planned itinerary.  However, due to weather conditions and reasons beyond our control, changes to the itinerary might occur, for which the company accepts no responsibility.

The itineray shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible. We can use these as a basic to plan your trip or you may design a completely different itinerary to suit with your taste and preference.



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