Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi province. Known as Chang’an in ancient times, Xi’an’s often illustrious history spans more than 3,000 years. Regarded as one of the most important cities in Chinese history, Xi'an is listed as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China because it has been the capital of 13 dynasties, including the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang. Xi'an is also the eastern end of the famed Silk Road.
Xi’an eventually declined to a provincial backwater, growing and expanding in the 20th century. Unknown really to the modern West, Xi’an was placed firmly on the tourist trail after the discovery of Emperor Qin’s army of 2,200-year-old terracotta warriors in 1974.
Xi’an itself is surrounded by a well-preserved city wall, which was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty (14th century). Since Xi’an is relatively flat, there are no steep inclines on the impressive walls, making it plenty wide enough for an elevated and enjoyable stroll or bike ride without risk of getting mown over.
Other drawcards in Xi’an include the spectacularly lofty Big Wild Goose Pagoda - constructed around the 7th century to store translations of Buddhist sutras from India, the smaller Little Wild Goose Pagoda, the Bell Tower and also Drum Tower. The Shaanxi History Museum boasts a large and impressive collection of artefacts both ancient and modern, tracing Xi’an’s history from its early beginnings.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Xi'an, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to China
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