Cheap Day Trips from Xi'an, China
Xi'an is a large city and capital of the Shaanxi Province in central China. Once known as Chang'an (Eternal Peace), it marks the Silk Road's eastern end and was home to the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties' ruling houses. At archaeological sites in Xi'an's surrounding plains are the famed Bingmayong (Terra Cotta Army), thousands of life-size, hand-molded figures buried with China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Xi'an is a melting pot of cultures and religions, and was home to not only emperors, but also courtesans, poets, monks, merchants and warriors, the glory days of Xi'an may have ended in the early 10th century, but a considerable amount of ancient Chang'an, the former city, survives behind the often roaring, modern city. Xi'an's Ming-era city walls remain intact, vendors of all descriptions still crowd the narrow lanes of the Muslim Quarter, and there are enough places of interest to keep even the most amateur historian riveted. Must-sees include the Army of Terracotta Warriors, the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi, Xi'an City Walls and the Muslim Quarter, but try to set aside time for its pagodas and museums, plus a side trip to nearby Hua Shan. The ancient city of Xi'an is famous for its distinctive cuisine. Located on the starting point of the Silk Road, Xi'an has been influenced by Chinese and Islamic traders, as well as the local Shaanxi Province, so food lovers are spoiled for choice in Xi'an, with its dizzying array of local restaurants and street food. With so much to see, do, and taste, Xi'an is a great place to experience, and there are several options for day trips from the city to help you enjoy even more of this area in China.
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Journey to Mount Hua Shan and see one of China's famous mountains. See fabulous scenery at this great mountain, located near the capital of Xi'an, the Shaanxi Province. Your day will begin with a hotel pick-up; from there you will head for Hua Shan Mountain, approximately 140kms from the city. Hua Shan Mountain is one of the noted Five Mountains in China, and it is famous for its precipice. It has three peaks: the south peak which is 2160.5 meters above sea level; the east morning sun peak and the west lotus peak. On this tour you will journey up the mountain, where guests will have the option of hiking or taking a cable car up and down the mountain. After the tour, you will be returned to your hotel.
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On the first day of this tour, after hotel pickup in Xi'an in the morning, you're transferred to the railway station to board the high-speed train for Luoyang. Your local guide greets you upon arrival and drives you approximately 30 minutes to the Longmen Grottoes, where many Buddhist sculptures are delicately carved in stone cliffs next to the Yi River. Explore the site, including Fengxian Temple and the Wanfo Cave, each of which holds various ancient artifacts and features intricate decor. Afterward, you're served lunch at a local restaurant. Re-board the minivan and head to the Museum of Luoyang Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits, where 400 tombs, 36 horse-and-chariot sacrificial pits, and more than 1,000 relics of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty were found preserved in perfect condition. Learn about the funeral custom of burying the royal horses and chariots, excavated in 2002. Then, continue to the Luoyang Museum, exhibiting items and various folk art collections from the Zhou period, including exquisite bronze ware of ancient China. Tour the museum with your guide and gain insight into the rich heritage of the region. Later, head to your comfortable accommodation to check in and retire for the evening. On day 2, after breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a scenic 2-hour drive through gorgeous valleys, bringing you to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shaolin Temple - a famous martial arts monastery and the birthplace of both kung fu and Zen Buddhism. Take a guided tour of the temple to see its impressive design, visiting Guanyin Hall, containing frescoes of fighting Shaolin monks. Visit the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Pagoda Forest, the Dharma Cave and the Martial Arts Training Center. Watch a live kung fu performance and witness an incredible display of concentration and skill, with stunts such as breaking a metal bar with bare hands. After lunch at a local restaurant, your guide transfers you to the railway station in the afternoon. You'll return to Xi'an by high-speed train, where you are free to explore or return to your hotel on your own.
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Explore Xi'an to the max on this full-day city tour led by a local English-speaking guide. See the sites, learn the history, and soak up the unique atmosphere, experiencing Xi'an through the eyes of a local. This is the ideal way to get the feel of the city in just 1 day. After being collected from your hotel set out towards the city wall. This is an extension of the old structure from the Tang Dynasty. After its enlargement under the Ming Dynasty, the wall stands at a huge 12 meters high.
Nearby you will also see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Your guide will talk to you about the cultural and historical significance of the pagoda. Next, visit the Shaanxi Historical Museum and the Stele Forest Museum. The latter is a haven for lovers of Chinese art and calligraphy, with some impressive sculpture and steles on display. Feel free to explore, take photographs, and marvel at the beauty of these ancient artifacts.
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Catch high speed train at 09:11 from Xi'an North Train Station to Luoyang Longmen Train Station independently. Your tickets will be delivered to your hotel in advance for safe transportation. Upon arrival in Luoyang at 10:54, meet a local guide who will take you to Longmen Grottoes. Located 12 kilometers south of the present-day city, the caves house tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples. Together with the Yungang Grottoes in Datong, the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang and the Maiji Mountain Grottoes in Tianshui, they comprise the 4 major cave clusters of China. Marvel at the historical materials concerning art, music, religion, calligraphy, medicine, costume and architecture that are kept there. Next, go to the Shaolin Temple to look at the birthplace of Chinese Zen Buddhism and Shaolin Kung Fu. Visit the main scenic spots, such as the Hall of Heavenly Kings, Main Hall, Sutra Room and the 1000 Buddha Palace Hall. Go to the Pagoda Forest, where a number of stone or brick pagodas built from 791 AD during the Tang Dynasty through the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties can be found. After your memorable tour of the Shaolin Temple, your guide and driver will see you off at Luoyang Longmen Railway Station, where you will take high speed train number back to Xi'an.
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