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27/03/2013

What to Do in Xian

There is a great deal to see in Xi'an other than the Terracotta Warriors. This is a great way to spend your day if you have extra time in Xi'an which always is the starting city of Silk Road tour.

Big Goose Pagoda

Those who watched TV Series Monkey this is the pagoda that was offen featured. The Temple was built around 648 by Emperor Gaozong to house the Busshist scriptures that had been brought back from India by the travelling monk Xuan Zang. You can climb the Pagoda for an extra fee which will gives you a great view over Xian. On the site there is also the Tang Dynasty Arts Museum.

Tablets from the steles collection

This museum contains the heaviest collection of books in the world. There doesn't seem to be alot of western tourist who visit this site, however all the signs are bi-lingual so you will have no problem understanding what each of the tablets are about. One of the most important and interesting tablets is the Stele of Daiqin Nestorianism which was ingraved in AD781 to market the opening of a Nestorian (Early Christian Sec) Church. At the top of the Stele you can see a small cross engraved. This museum is the best place for your educational China tours to learn something about China history.

City Walls

Xi'an city walls are still visable and it is possible to walk or cycle the whole way around the on the wall which is 14km. There is still a lot of restoration occuring and sections may be closed to the public. There is a fee charged to access the wall. Bicycles may be rented on the top of the wall at the south gate. From the Forest of Steles Museum, you can walk along the wall to the South Gate, along the streets on this walk they are lined with shops and stalls which sell many souviners. Biking on the city walls is an indispensable thing for China travel deals in Xian

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower is within walking distance from the South Gate, proceed down Bei Daijie. The tower is located in the centre of Xi'an and you enter it from an underpass on the north side. You can for a fee strike one of the bells.

The Drum Tower is just west of the Bell Tower. The Drum would be beaten to mark the hours of the day. It is a small building than the Bell Tower and is where the Muslim Quarter starts.

Muslim Quarter

Xi'an has a large Muslim community. There are many narrow laneways some of which are lined with shops and stalls. There are some very good teahouses and resturants in this area. Nanyuan Men, Huajue Xiang, Damaishi Jie and Biyuanmen are some very good streets to wander along.

Shaanxi History Museum

One thing surprising at the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum was the fact that it is possible, even expected, to bargain for the items sold at the gift shops. One would assume that a museum would have fixed prices. It turns out that ithe prices provide are only the starting price. You should bargain for everything you buy at the gift shop. You can expect to save at least 50%, possibly more. The admission fee is free so that you can have a free historical China tour here.

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