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14/11/2013

The China Great Wall of Xian - an Ancient City Wall to see!

A Chinese friend of mine said - "go see the China Great Wall".

I thought she meant the Great Wall of China!

But no - she meant the city wall of Xian. This ancient city wall of Xian is the only remaining chinese wall still intact.

And it is great to visit!

The city wall of Xian is still standing as good as ever and is a defining part of Xian where you can start your Silk Road travel.

This Chinese Wall was first built during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD) and extended to its modern structure during the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD).

The four Chinese walls form the sides of roughly a square surrounding the ancient city of Xian.

This ancient city wall (or the China Great Wall as my friend said) is still a defining functional part of Xian.

So what is so special about this Xian city wall apart from its uniqueness?

Well you can marvel at the construction!

It is tall (about 12 meters) and wide (about 14 meters).

It is very symetrical with 4 entrances (North gate, East gate, South gate, West gate) that are still the only way in.

There are ramparts every 120 meters.

Why 120 meters?

Because each archer could shoot an arrow 60 meters - so archers on each rampart could cover every part of the Xian Wall.

So if you have a feeling for history, you can easily appreciate the work and engineering feats to build the Xian city wall.

Riding Bike on Xian City Wall

The wall is a fun place to be.

You can easily climb the stairs onto this ancient city wall (must-see for Xian tours).

On top it is spacious and you can easily walk around or ride a bike - it is not crowded like a Chinese city street.

So you have an open space right in the heart of Xian!

Note in the picture that the high rise buildings are on the outside of the Xian city wall.

The Xian wall acts as a boundary for development. Modern high rise development occurs outside the Xian Wall.

Inside the city wall of Xian, the history of Xian is preserved as much as possible.

There are fun things to do on the Xian city wall.

Families (adults and children) were flying kites - a popular Chinese pastime.

Walk around the wall. The Xian wall is nearly 14 kilometers long.

Enjoy and savour the sights of Xian from the Wall.

Or do as I did - hire a bicycle and cycle around the Wall.

On bike on Xian city wall

You can hire a bike at the East gate of the Xian city wall for your Xian travel.

It cost about 40 yuan plus a returnable deposit of 200 yuan.

The bike is not the most modern bike I have had but it went well.

The surface of the Xian Wall is fairly smooth so the ride is fairly comfortable.

It takes about 90 minutes to ride around the "China Great Wall".

I found it quite exhilirating riding a bicycle on this ancient city wall.

And it was quite peaceful as well - because it was quite spacious amongst the hustle and bustle of Xian city.

Xian dancing seen from the city wall

And there is lots to see - and some unexpected things as well.

Peering over the Xian city wall, I could see a busy street market.

I could hear music from a brass band that was playing in the park below.

And below I could see people dancing in the park.

Dancing in public areas is a popular pastime all over China.

When I came to Xian in 2007 - I said to myself I would come back to ride a bike around the ancient city wall.

In 2009 I did that.

Then I said to myself I will come back one day and walk around the Xian city wall.

That is my next venture on the "china great wall".

Learn more others about Xian via Xian attractions.

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