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Xian 6-day & 5-night Tour

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Xian 6-Day & 5-Night Tour  

Terra Cotta Warriors, Qianlong Mausoleum, Mount Huashan
Dumpling Feast and Tang Dynasty Show

Make your own Terra Cotta Warrior and take it home!


 
Xi'an's famous Terracotta Warrior figures were manufactured both in workshops by government laborers and also by local craftsmen. It is believed they were made in much the same way that terracotta drainage pipes were manufactured at the time. This would make it a factory line style of production, with specific parts manufactured and assembled after being fired as opposed to crafting one solid piece of terracotta and subsequently firing it. After completion, the terracotta figures were placed in the pits outlined above in precise military formation according to rank and duty.

The terracotta figures are life-like and life-sized. They vary in height, uniform and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The colored lacquer finish, molded faces (each is individual), and real weapons and armor used in manufacturing these figures created a realistic appearance. Unfortunately, the weapons were stolen shortly after the creation of the army and the coloring has mostly faded. However, their existence served as a testament to the amount of labor and skill involved in their construction. It is also proof of the incredible amount of power the First Emperor possessed to order such a monumental undertaking as the manufacturing of the Terracotta Soldiers.

Highlights:


• On this tour you’ll see everything Xi’an has to offer, from the glorious imperial monuments of the Terracotta Warriors and the Qianling Mausoleum, to the intriguing and bustling Muslim Quarter
Make your own Terracotta Warriors and bring it home!
• You’ll also see some of the great attractions outside Xi’an, such as Mt. Hua, one of the holiest mountains in Taoism, along with having sweeping and epic views, and the Banpo Neolithic Museum, which will take you to the beginning of Chinese civilization
• You’ll be treated to a dumpling feast, which is Xi’an’s signature food, along with the Tang Dynasty show, which through dance and design recreates the time when Xi’an was known as “Chang’an”, the capital of imperial China, and was the world’s biggest city

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
DEPARTURE: seven days a week

 

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Tour code:
GWAC-XA-06
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN XI'AN

In the evening (after you flew to Xi'an from Beijing or Shanghai), you will arrive in Xi’an, and your local English-speaking guide will pick you up either from the Xi’an airport or train station. For your accommodation, you will be staying in a 3 or 4 star hotel, and if you choose the deluxe tour, you will be lodging at a 5 star hotel. If we have time then we’ll do some night sightseeing, or if not, you can spend the night relaxing or taking a walk for yourself through the city.

DAY 2: Xian (B, L)

After breakfast we’ll get started on your touring. Our first stop will be Xian’s signature attraction, the Terracotta Warriors. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum is the result of the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.

The museum is divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back. No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, contains over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994. Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976. It is the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.

MAKE YOUR OWN TERRACOTTA WARRIOR! You will have an opportunity to visit the Terracotta Reproduction Factory. At the factory, talented craftsmen make these life size replicas in the same manner as their counterparts did two thousand years ago - with just their hands, a few basic tools, and clay. By watching how a terracotta is made, you can try to make your own miniature reproduction of the famous artifact and take it home!

After taking in the Terracotta Warriors, we will then go to the Huaqing Hot Springs, where we’ll have some fun and relaxation. The Huaqing Hot Springs has been the site of a famous imperial bathing pool and various palace complexes over its 3,000-year history. It is a National Cultural Relic and one of China’s Hundred Famous Gardens. Huaqing (Hua means brilliant, Chinese or flowery; qing means pure or clear) Hot Springs is located about 35 kilometers east of the city of Xi'an, at the foot of Li Mountain. The present day site is only a small part of the Tang Dynasty Palace, covering an area of 85,560 square meters. Entering by the west gate to the hot spring, you will see Nine Dragon Pool, Lotus Flower Pool and Frost Drifting Hall. All these structures were rebuilt in 1959 according to the Tang architectural style.

Next we’ll take a step even further back in time at the Banpo Neolithic Museum. Located in the eastern outskirts of Xi’an city, the Banpo Museum is the first prehistoric excavation site museum in China. Banpo (half slope) Village was a typical Neolithic Matriarchal community of the Yangshao (Respect Splendid) culture (5000-3000 BC) around 6000 years ago. The Yangshao culture was named after the first discovery of this civilization in Yangshao, Henan Province. About 400 sites of this type have been discovered around the Yellow River Basin, and the Banpo site is the largest one. The site was discovered in 1953 during the construction of a power plant. The excavation work lasted four years, and the Banpo site was first opened to the public in 1958. Since then, two million people have visited it.

For dinner, you’ll have a real treat in store for you in the form of a splendid dumpling dinner. Xian, an ancient city that has been the nation's capital during no less than eleven dynasties spanning more than a thousand years is regarded as the home if not the birthplace of the great dumpling tradition. It was here that the art of creating the most tasty and delicate of dumplings was refined and no visit to the city is complete unless you partake of a Dumpling Dinner.

This is an experience for the dumpling connoisseur, the flavors, shapes and colors will tempt the palette, while the elegant names and stories attached to each variety are truly amazing. It is no less amazing that a simple way of preparing food has become so very popular and sophisticated that it is now considered to be as much a work of art as a tasty morsel.

Following dinner, you’ll be treated to an evening of culture and entertainment in the form of the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show. The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show, a wonderful performance of the ancient music and dance, is a must when you visit Xian. The city, which was formerly known as Chang'an has a very long history, and was the imperial capital during 13 dynastic periods. Of these, the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) was the most prosperous and glorious of all.

The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is an outstanding exponent of this ancient stable and prosperous society, keeping alive its splendid culture and providing an insight into the peaceful life style of the period. As an art form, the show has its roots in folk fetes, when dances were first performed by people as part of rituals of prayer for a good harvest or a better life. Combining poetry with the skilled playing of musical instruments, singing, dancing and also stunning costumes, the modern presentation is certain to give you an impressive view of ancient China including its splendid history, brilliant arts, distinct traditions and customs.

DAY 3: Xian (B,L)

Since Xi’an is revered as China’s “valley of the kings” we’ll take a look at that special past with a trip to the Qianling Mausoleum, the tomb of Emperor Gaozong and his empress Wuzetian. It’s about 80km outside the city so it will take between 1-2 hours to get there by car.

The great mausoleum was first built in 684 and is one of the best-preserved tombs among the Tang Dynasty's 18 mausoleums. The Qian Mausoleum was originally enclosed by two walls. The inner wall stretches 1,45 kilometers from west to north, 1,58 kilometers from south to north, 24 meters thick. There are four gates, one in each side.

Stone sculptures scatter around everywhere in the mausoleum sites. Exquisite and elegant, these stone carvings upright on top of the mountain for over 1,200 years. The first stone sculpture encounters visitor is a pair of ornamental pillars (called Huabiao in Chinese, which can commonly be seen in front of palace complex and tombs). The tall and upright pillars are charismatic and their shafts, plinths and crown were all decorated with line carvings.

Along the sacred path, visitor will then find pairs of winged horses and rose finches. Ancient Chinese supreme rulers wanted their underground life would be prosperous so they often had propitious creatures, birds, beasts placed in front of their mausoleum to guard them. The winged horses, wings decorated with slender, delicate lines, are in a flying gallop. The rose finches, in high relief, were beautifully shaped and sturdily carved. It is said that because rose finches were a gift from Afghanistan for the funeral and could serve as guards, a pair of them were erected in front of the tomb.

There are also stone steles. The east one, was originally erected blank following Empress Wuzetian's will which read, my achievements or mistaking should be evaluated by the later generations, so left my stele blank. This blank tablet was 6.3 meters high, 2.1 meters wide and 1.5 meters thick. During the Song and Jin dynasties, however, quite a few travelers did inscribe it, changing the uncharactered stele into a charactered one. In the west of the "blank" stele stands the Telling the Emperor's Deeds Stele, 6.3 meters high and 1.9 meters wide. The carvings on the stele give high honor of Emperor Gaozong for his miilitary and administrative achievements.

We’ll also pay a visit to the Tomb of Princess Yongtai, which is located within the vicinity if the Qianling Mausoleum. The Tomb of Princess Yongtai is the first tomb to be excavated and remains the most impressive of all the satellite tombs in Qianling. Princess Yongtai was the granddaughter of Tang Emperor Gaozong and his wife Empress Wu Zetian. In 700, she married Wu Yanji, son of Wu Chengsi, who was Wu Zetian's nephew. In 701, Princess Yongtai died in Luoyang, Henan Province, at the age of 17.The epitaph suggests that she died childbirth, but supposedly both she and her husband were poisoned by her grandmother after Yongtai revealed secrets about the older woman's affairs with two lovers. After rising to the throne, Zhongzong posthumously conferred the title of Princess Yongtai upon his daughter, and gave orders that his daughter and her husband should be buried together in the Qianling Tomb in 705 A.D.

The Tomb of Princess Yongtai is pyramid-shaped, 87.5 meters long and 3.9 meters wide with a chamber 16.7 meters deep. In front of the tomb the road is lined with a pair of stone lions, two pairs of stone figures, and a pair of obelisks (ornamental stone columns). The tomb consists of a main passage, five doorways, six sky-lights, a paved path leading to the tomb, eight small niches, an antechamber and a burial chamber.The walls on both sides of the tomb passage are covered with murals. They represent court attendants, almost all of them women, wearing the elegant central Asian fashions of the day. The burial chamber represents the house where Princess lived.

Following the drive back to Xi’an the evening is up to you. You might want to start your evening at the historic city center, the Bell Tower, before going on to the Muslim Snack Street, which is among the prime areas of interest in this part of the city.

DAY 4: Xian (B,L)

Today you will witness one of the greatest natural wonders in China, majestic Hua mountain (Huashan). Huashan (Hua means brilliant, Chinese, or flowery; shan means mountain) is one of the five sacred Taoist mountains in China. Huashan boasts a lot of religious sites: Taoist temples, pavilions, and engraved scriptures are scattered over the mountain.

Hua Mountain is well known for its sheer cliffs and plunging ravines. It is known as “the most precipitous mountain under heaven”. Following breakfast we’ll make the 120km drive to Huashan, and the drive will take about 3 hours.

There are five peaks that make up the mountain: Cloud Terrace Peak (North Peak, 1613m), Jade Maiden Peak (Middle Peak, 2042m), Sunrise Peak (East Peak, 2100m), Lotus Peak (West Peak, 2038m) and Landing Wild Goose Peak (South Peak, 2160m). North Peak, the lowest of the five, is the starting point. It has three ways up it: the six kilometer winding track from Huashan village, the cable car or the path beneath it.

By cable car and by foot you will be able to visit the peaks and sacred sites, and after our drive back to Xi’an you can spend the evening at your own leisure.

Day 5 depart Xi’an (B, L)

After breakfast in the hotel we’ll make the short drive to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is located just outside the ancient city center. A pagoda surrounded by a still functioning Buddhist temple (named Da Ci’en Temple), the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China. The Pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for the study of Buddhist scriptures. Although it has been attacked by centuries of weather, war and seismic activity, which destroyed most of the original material of the structure, a pagoda by this name and style still exists on the site. The Tang regime gave orders to build a chamber for the translation of Buddhist scriptures in an effort to have the then widely renowned Master Xuanzang agree to be the head of the temple. Xuanzang was a Buddhist monk who traveled to India, translated Sanskrit scriptures and developed theories of consciousness, karma and rebirth that were adopted by some later popular schools of Buddhism.

In order to learn about Xian’s epic history, we’ll head to the nearby Shaanxi History Museum, which is perhaps the best museum in China. Since Shaanxi, the province Xi’an is in, is the cradle of Chinese civilization, this museum takes on a special importance. The museum is divided into 3 main exhibition halls. The Basic Exhibition Hall is composed of the No 1 exhibition hall, the No 2 exhibition hall and the No 3 exhibition hall, marked by time order. The No 1 exhibition on the first floor hall displays the articles used during the period from 1.7 million years ago to 206 BC of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC). This exhibition contains rough stone tools used by the ape man, the pottery, bronze sacrificial vessels, weapons and terracotta figures.

By visiting the No 2 Exhibition Hall on the second floor, you will gain a general understanding of the historical process from 206 BC in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD) to 589 AD in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-589). To the west of the Basic Exhibition Hall lies the Theme Exhibition Hall. The exhibitions in this hall are often theme-oriented to show the history or the culture relics of Shaanxi Province, such as the 'Shaanxi Bronze Ware Exhibition', the 'Shaanxi Pottery Figure Exhibition' and the 'Buddhist Culture Relic Exhibition'. The East Exhibition Hall, equal in size to the Theme Exhibition Hall, is also on the first floor and to the east of the basic hall. It is used for contemporary exhibitions of high quality. Exhibitions of the frescos, the culture relics, the folkways, the fine arts and calligraphy are conducted continuously.

We’ll have time for one more attraction today, Xian’s Great Mosque, Xian’s biggest mosque. Xian has one of the largest Chinese Muslims populations, so obviously this mosque is extremely important. We’ll cap off your day in Xian with a walk through the Muslim Quarter. As a key trade link in the ancient Silk Road, Muslim and Arabian merchants passed through Xi’an, which over time gave the city a large Muslim population, and the center of the Muslim community in Xi’an can be found in the Muslim quarter. Here you can find many Muslim restaurants and food stands, and shops selling traditional handicrafts. Almost all the local food and snacks are also available at the Muslim Quarter.

Day 6 depart Xi’an (B, L)

Before leaving Xi’an today you’ll have time to get in one last bit of touring, and we’ll go to the Stele Forest Museum. he Stele Forest Museum in Xi’an is well-known nationally for a fine and large collection of more than 1, 000 inscribed stones, engraved during a 2,000 year period from the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It is a good place to get close to Chinese history and culture. The museum, covering an area of 31,000 square meters is divided into seven major exhibition halls, which mainly display ancient calligraphy, historical records and stone carvings.

You’ll next be taken to Xi’an’s airport or train station, where you will go on to our next destination. If you would like to extend your stay in Xi’an or your time in China then check with our China City Tours or China Package tours page to find out how!

Tour Inclusions

1. Hotels with daily western breakfasts;
2. Meals in accordance with that listed on the itinerary.
3. professional local guide & driver;
4. Private air-conditioned car or van for transportation;
5. Admission of the first gate;
6.Two bottles of mineral water per day.

Tour  exclusions

1. Tips to the guide;
2. Personal costs.

See other Xian Tour Programs

 

 

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