Known for the Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an was the eastern end of the Silk Road and served as the imperial seat of the Zhou, Quin, Han and Tang dynasties. Now the capital of the Shaanxi province, the city is a mix of both old and new. Located in the Wei River valley, the city has four distinct seasons. Springs are mild and summers are hot and humid. Fall is the best season to visit as in winter temperatures can drop below zero.
What to Do
Definitely check out the Army of Terracotta Warriors that stand guard over China’s first emperor, Quin Shi Huang. 8,000 soldiers, each with unique features, they were meticulously recreated. This army tells us a lot about Ancient China and are amongst the city’s main attractions.
Located in Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter, the Great Mosque is the oldest in the country. Dating back to 742 AD, the mosque is still in use today. Blending Chinese and Islamic architecture, the central minaret is disguised as a pagoda. The mosque also features classic Chinese temple features such as spirit walls which were designed to keep demons at bay.
Located on the Yi River, the Longmen Grottoes are a series of limestone caves approximately 1500 years old. A marvel of human architecture, there are an estimated 110,000 Buddha statues carved into the walls with heights ranging from 25mm to 17m. The Grottoes are located in Luoyang, the former capital of the late Northern Wei Dynasty and early Tang Dynasty.
Want to check out Xi’an for yourself? Plan your visit by first checking out China’s tourist visa requirements here.