Code: XA20

4-Day Exploration of Xian History

Day01 Terracotta Army Museum
Terracotta Warriors
Find your way to the Xian Railway Station to take tourist bus no. 7 to the Terracotta Army Museum. There are many buses leading to the train station, such as bus 5, 9, 13, 14, 25, 30, 40, 105, 201, 240... Or, you may take subway line 1 to Wulukou Station and walk northwards for 550 meters (600 yards) to reach the train station.

Upon arrival at the Terracotta Army Museum, follow the route: Pit 1 - Pit 3 - Pit 2 - Exhibition Hall, to tour around this place. Afterwards, reverse the trip back to downtown Xian.

Highlights of Terracotta Army Museum
As the burial object of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259 - 210 BC), over 8,000 pottery soldiers, horses, and chariots line orderly in the three uncovered pits there, reproducing the invincible troops that helped Qin Shi Huang establish the first united regime of China. Many bronze wares and weapons were also unearthed there. Some of them can be admired in the Exhibition Hall, among which the most famous ones are the two bronze chariots.

1. There are many fake tourist buses no. 5. Be aware that the real bus is a state-run white bus and there is a green card with the bus number on it behind the windshield.
2. The ticket of the Terracotta Army Museum also includes the entrance fee of Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum, which is 1.5 kilometers (one mile) away from the museum. You can take a free shuttle bus near the eastern gate of the museum for the round-trip to the mausoleum.

Terracotta Army Museum March - November: CNY 150
December - next February: CNY 120
Tourist bus no. 5 CNY 7
Day02 Shaanxi History Museum - Big Wild Goose Pagoda - Musical Fountain on the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
South Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Take subway line 2 or 3 to Xiaozhai Station and leave from Exit E. Walk eastwards for 600 meters (660 yards) to the Shaanxi History Museum. After that, continue to head eastwards for 500 meters (550 yards) and you will see the towering Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The splendid Musical Fountain on its North Square is going to round off today's independent Xian tour.

Shaanxi History Museum: More than 370,000 precious items, such as bronze wares, tomb murals, pottery figures, coins and notes, as well as jade wares, unearthed throughout the whole province are displayed there. Most of them were made during the Han (202 BC - 220 AD) and Tang dynasties (618 - 907). 

Big Wild Goose Pagoda: Located in Da Ci'en Temple, it is considered the landmark of Xian City, built for storing precious Buddhist scriptures and relics of Buddha. Follow the wooden stairs up to the top and you will have a full view of the whole North Square and overlook the city.

Musical Fountain: The musical fountain on the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the largest one in Asia with ten pools and 2,048 nozzles. Water columns form various shapes to the rhythm of the music, such as seagulls, butterflies, and flowers. The northernmost pool can throw out a 60-meter (200-foot) high water column into the sky. 

1. Shaanxi History Museum is closed on Monday. In order to better understand each exhibit, it is suggested you rent an audio guide at a cost of CNY 30. The deposit of each device is CNY 100.
2. The musical fountain in front of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda presents the most beautiful scene at night. The best viewing points are the top of the Pagoda and the northern end of the North Square where you can take photos with the pagoda being the backdrop.

Shaanxi History Museum Free
*Show valid passport to enter the museum
Da Ci'en Temple CNY 50
Big Wild Goose Pagoda CNY 30
Day03 Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty - Great Mosque - Muslim Quarter
Great Mosque
Arrive at Shitushuguan Subway Station by line 2 first, and then transfer to tourist bus no. 4 near Exit D to Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty. When the visit is over, still take tourist bus no. 4 back to Shitushuguan Subway Station and then change to subway line 2 to Zhonglou. Get out from Exit B and head west towards the Drum Tower. The Great Mosque is a few yards northwest of the tower. Then go eastwards to today's last destination, Muslim Quarter.
Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty: It is the mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han (188 - 141 BC), one of the most successful rulers of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC - 9 AD). Funerary pits around the tomb have been uncovered and developed into an underground museum. About 1,800 pieces of fine antiques discovered from the funeral pits are displayed in an exhibition hall inside the scenic area.

Great Mosque: Unlike other Muslim buildings with large domes and arches, this mosque follows traditional Chinese architectural style with upward eaves, pavilions, as well as wooden and brick carvings. Prayer Hall is the most important place of the mosque and there are 30 planks carved with the Quran. 

Muslim Quarter: Backpackers can feast their stomach with almost every Xian cuisine in Muslim Quarter, including crumbled flatbread in mutton stew, Shaanxi sandwich, cold noodles, and dumpling stuffed with hot gravy. A portion of food there is usually big, so it is suggested you order small servings in order to taste more dishes.
Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty March - November: CNY 90
December - next February: CNY 65
Great Mosque March - November: CNY 25
December - next February: CNY 15
Tourist bus no. 4 CNY 2
Subway: Shuyuanmen – Zhonglou CNY 3
Day04 City Wall - Ancient Cultural Street of Shuyuanmen - Forest of Stone Steles Museum
Ancient City Wall
Take subway line 2 to Yongningmen Station. Get out from Exit A1 or D1 and you will find yourself on the square in front of the southern gate of the City Wall. After touring around the City Wall, still get down from the southern gate to visit the Shuyuanmen Street behind it. Forest of Stone Steles Museum, to the east of the street, is also worth visiting and this 4-day independent Xian tour will come to an end here.

City Wall: It is the best-preserved ancient city wall of China with turrets and gate towers lining along the 14-kilometer (8-mile) long wall. It has guarded the old city of Xian for over 600 years. Besides walking, riding a bicycle can be another good way to get around the City Wall.

Ancient Cultural Street of Shuyuanmen: It is a cultural block of Xian with stores selling paintings and calligraphy works inside old-style buildings on the two sides of the road. Here you can also buy the Four Treasures of the Study - writing brushes, ink sticks, paper, and ink stones, as well as local paper-cuttings and shadow play puppets. 

Forest of Stone Steles Museum: The museum is the best place for backpackers to immerse in the charm of stone steles and stone carvings. Stone steles collected in the museum were made in different dynasties, spanning almost 2,000 years.

1. Bike rental booths can be easily found on the City Wall. An ordinary bike costs CNY 45 for 2h while a tandem requires CNY 90, and you need to pay CNY 200 as a deposit.
2. It is suggested you arrive at the southern gate of the City Wall before 9:30 to attend a traditional ceremony of opening the city gate. At 10:30, you can enjoy an ancient military drill performance at the barbican behind the southern gate.

City WallCNY 54
Forest of Stone Steles MuseumMarch - November: CNY 75
December - next February: CNY 50
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