With its incredibly long history, Xian definitely has a lot of stories to tell. As one of the cradles of civilizations in the country, the city, as well as the rest of the province, is home of profound discoveries such as the amazing Terra Cotta Warriors, the massive Xian City Wall, and the ancient villages that hold a glimpse of how the first people lived and thrived. But there’s more to Xi’an than this historical attractions. It’s filled with parks and natural sceneries, making it a fantastic choice if you want something more laid-back during your holiday in China.
Qinling Wildlife Park
The wildlife park is extremely big, and it’s divided into different sections. It all depends on what you want to see and experience. Some can be walked so you’ll have ample time to get up close with some of the gentlest—or naughtiest—animals in the planet such as Asian elephants, sea lions, and kangaroos. You may also opt to ride a secured car instead, which bring you right into the habitats of animals in the wild, including tigers, leopards, and lions. You may want to stay around so you can watch fun animal performances. This is also a great place to catch the sometimes elusive giant pandas of China.
Address: foot of Qinling Mountain, surrounding mountain eco-tourism zone, Chang’an District, Xian, China
Admission Fee: CNY 100 (March to November), CNY 80 (December to February)
How to Get There: Line 1 shuttle bus that goes to Huashan
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Are you seeking some adventure? A great recommendation is Mount Hua (also known as Huashan) which is around 3 to 4 hours away from the city center. It is composed of dazzling peaks that are distinctive from one another according to what they can offer. For example, if you want to really feel the chill, you climb the highest peak located in the south. Many travelers traverse the different walking paths, some of which are dangerous and impassable. Despite the risks, a lot still go through it because they’re greatly rewarded by the amazing view, especially of sunrise and sunset. Along the way you can also pass by old temples dedicated to Taoism such as Jade Spring.
Address: Huayin, Huayin, Shaanxi, China
Admission Fees: CNY 100 (December to February), CNY 180 (March to November)
How to Get There: cable car ride from Donggoukou, tourism bus 1 in the railway station
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (December to February), 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm. (March to November)
It’s only in China where you can see mausoleums that become tourist attractions hits. These include the tombs of Liu Qi, who ruled in the area during the Han Dynasty, and his wife, the empress Wang. Covering more than 15 square kilometers, it offers more than their grand resting places. They also keep you in awe at the abundance of old historical artifacts including old graveyards for the criminals and the tortured individuals. Around the site is also an underground museum, the first of its kind in the country.
Address: International Airport Line-East, Weicheng District, Xianyang, Shaanxi, China
Admission Fees: CNY 65 (December to February), CNY 90 (March to November)
How to Get There: tourist bus 4; bus nos. 207, 328, and 50
Operating Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last ticket sale is at 5:30 pm.)
Chinese Name: 汉阳陵
Mount Li Forest Park
In one of the sections of the Qinling Mountain is another mighty mountain known as Li. It towers more than 1,000 meters above sea level. It’s also incredibly mystical as its creation is wrapped around legends and myths. Nevertheless, it can also be holy because of the presence of many temples as well as pavilions. Sometimes the Huashan Mountain can be overcrowded, so if you want to see the sunsets and sunrises in peace, you can also consider this forest park, which is also home to several indigenous species of flora and fauna.
Address: 38 Huanqing Road, Lingtong District, Xian, Shaanxi, China
Admission Fees: CNY 70 (March to November), CNY 45 (December to February)
How to Get There: Bus nos. 307 and 306; cable car to the top (CNY 40)
Operating Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (March to November), 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(December to February)
This temple is one of the sacred grounds in Xi’an and many believe this is where the father of Buddhism can be found. The temple also played a huge role in many dynasties such as Han and Sui. The structure, however, is just part of a bigger and more elegant scenic area that is composed of the Mountain Gate and the tallest dagoba in the planet called HeshiDagoba.
Address: Famen Zhen, Fufeng, Baojing, Shaanxi, China
Admission Fees: CNY 120 (including other specific attractions like the museum)
How to Get There: buses at Tang Paradise, bus at West Bus Station, tourist bus 3 in the railway station
Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Louguantai Wild Animal Breeding and Protection Center
This is a recognized facility for the protection and breeding of some of the endangered species in the country. As of the moment, it continues to grow as it gains support from different sectors all over the world. The main highlight of the visit will be seeing the pandas, but take note that the center doesn’t show all of them because they’re naturally keener in their natural habitats. They also love to spend a lot of their time eating and sleeping. The center is also close to Huxian, the home of peasant paintings.
Address: Zhongnanshan Zhongnan mountain foot, Louguantai, Zhouzhi County, Xian, Shaanxi, China
Admission Fees: CNY 10 (facility), CNY 30 (entrance fee)
How to Get There: sightseeing bus that goes to Nanguan
Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
There are plenty of waterfalls in the country, but what makes Hukou a standout is that it’s the only colored yellow in the world—like an overflowing ray of sunshine that forms part of the Yellow River. No one is allowed to get too close to the waterfalls as it’s raging, but anytime can be a good time to visit the area as it offers different appearances depending on the season.
Address: 309 State Road, Yichuan, Shaanxi, China
Admission Fees: CNY 46 (December to February), CNY 91 (March to November)
How to Get There: Bus nos. 4, 16, and 19 toward the city of Yanan
Chinese Name: 壶口瀑布
Taebaek Mountain may just be the paradise that you’re looking for. It has a very unique geography since it seems to have the best of both the north and south regions of the country. Aside from the flowing rivers and the sparkling lakes and streams, it also is surrounded by dense forests. Travelers will find the climate milder and colder, which makes it a good escape from the hot summers of Xi’an.
Address: middle section of Qinling Mountains, Zhouzhi County, Xian, Shaanxi, China
Admission Fees: CNY 50
How to Get There: tourism bus to the mountain (railway station)
Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Chinese Name: 太白山