Topping the list of sights in and around Xian are the Terracotta Warriors, the Muslim Quarter and the City Walls. With a little more time, you can discover countless other sights including pagodas, mosques, markets and museums.
Day 1: Ancient Wonders
Dating back to 210 BC, the world-famous Terracotta Warrior Army and Horses is one of the most significant archeological finds of the 20th century. The Terracotta Army - created to guard the First Emperor’s tomb and to protect him in the afterlife - consists of over 7,000 life-size terracotta figures, chariots and horses
Even older is the Banpo site. The remains of this Neolithic village show a matriarchal society where women played a leading role.
No visit to Xian’s ancient wonders would be complete without seeing the city’s symbol, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (AD 652) and the old City Walls. Built in 1370 during the Ming dynasty, the walls are part of only a handful of ancient city walls still standing in China.
Day 2: Architectural Wonders
A fascinating blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture, the Great Mosque is one of the largest in China. The mosque is still an active place of worship, so you’ll have to admire it from the courtyard. Next stop, Little Goose Pagoda. First constructed in the Tang Dynasty, the pagoda is a square brick construction with dense eaves and a missing top, which was shaken off by an earthquake! A visit to the 14th century Bell Tower and the Drum Tower will enlighten you as to how the ancient Chinese kept order and marked the beginning and the end of each day. You can visit all these sites, plus the Shaanxi History Museum on a full-day sightseeing tour.
Day 3: Gastronomic Wonders
There is no better way to experience a different culture than to try out the local food. Try a feast of local dumplings, followed by a cultural show.
On this tour you’ll get to sample 20 different varieties that are steamed and stuffed with a delicious assortment of vegetables, meats and seafood. Once you’ve eaten your full you can sit back and watch the Tang Dynasty Show. The performance showcases the music, dance and colorful costumes that have graced the Shaanxi region for centuries.