Xian, as an ancient capital for 13 dynasties, is your gateway to ancient Chinese civilization. In its 3,100 recorded years of evolution, it has been home to 13 dynasties, including the Zhou, Qin, Han, the Sui, and Tang dynasties, periodically from the 11th century B.C. to the early 10th century AD. As one of the most important cradles of Chinese civilization, it marked the start of the famous "Silk Road" that linked China with central Asia and the Roman Empire.
Xian, or Changan as it was called in ancient times, is known as the city of "Everlasting Peace." Located between rivers and mountains in the center of the fertile Guanzhong Plain in Shaanxi Province, Xian - the provincial capital - was a natural place to nurture the nation civilization.
Touring in Xian, you can breathe the historical air from all the must-see spots. major attractions in Xian include the Qin Terracotta Army - "the 8th wonder of the world", the Big Wild Goose Pagoda - the most outstanding landmark of Xian, Banpo Neolithic Village Museum - the remains of a 6,000 year-old village once home to a matriarchal clan community, and the Xian City Wall which stretches round the old city.
Today Xian is a vibrant, modern city, but surrounded by history, even underfoot! So there can be no underground railways due to the obligation to preserve the wealth of ancient treasure still awaiting discovery.
• Chinese Name: 西安
• Location: located in the southern part of the Guanzhong Plain
• Dialing code: (+86) 029
• Zip code: 710000
• Area: Xian has an area of 9,983 sq km
• Main attractions in Xian: Terracotta Warrior, Xian City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, The Bell Tower, etc.
The population of Xian is 7.16 million. Half of the people live on the outskirt of the city.
Xian is officially divided into 9 districts which occupied nearly 3600 square kilometers, and 4 counties that including many famous scenic spots.
The population of Xian is 7.16 million. Half of the people live on the outskirt of the city.
Xian is at 33 degrees 39 N and 107 degrees 40 E, is the capital of Shaanxi province, in the southern part of the Guanzhong Plain. As the transport and communication center in northwest China, Xian has played the role in linking the east and the west, and the south and the north of the country. With the Qinling Mountains to the south and the Weihe River to the north, it is in a favorable geographical location surrounded by water and hills.
As early as 1 million years ago, Lantian Man had settled here; 7000 years ago(during Yangshao culture period), the prototype of city wall had appeared in this place; in 2008, Gaoling Yangguanzhai sites of Xi'an unearthed the city relics in the late Neolithic Age more than 6000 years ago, which was elected to the top of China's archaeological discoveries, this is the earliest city sites so far found in China.
In the Neolithic Age, about 6,000 years ago, excavations show that a matriarchal clan was formed at Banpo village in the region. Thousands of years later, the Zhou Dynasty kings established their capital in settlements only a few miles from the present-day city. In 231 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of unified China, set about enlarging the settlement of Xiangyang, about 15 miles northwest of the city. This town, established under earlier Qin rulers as the capital, became heavily populated, so that in 213 BC, Qin Shi Huang decided to move his court to the south bank of the Wei River. A vast palace was begun. However, work was never completed in his lifetime. Some years later when the Qin fell to the Han (206 BC), this and most of the other palaces were destroyed. The conqueror, Liu Bang, first emperor of the Han Dynasty, also established the site of his capital only a few miles north of modern Xian.
Xian is situated in the center of the Guanzhong Plains, surrounded by mountains in the south and the Wei River in the north. Xian is also a city blessed with a pleasant climate most of the year round and it is possible to pleasurably visit this city at almost any time of the year.
The coldest month here is January, with an average temperature of 0°C although Xian has only a minimal snow level. The hottest and most unpleasant month is June, with an average temperature of 26 °C.
The summers here can also be very dry so make sure you have plenty of drinking water with you when you go sightseeing! The average temperature for the year is 13 °C.
• Best Time to Visit
♦ Spring (March to May): The temperature rise quickly, but the temperature is not stable and often appear "after suddenly getting warmer, the weather has turned cold again”. The average temperature of March in Xian is 7.9 ℃, 14.1 ℃ in April, and which may rise to 19.4 ℃ in May. The rainfall in spring accounted for about a quarter of the annual rainfall, average rainfall days are 7 to 9 days. Spring temperature is pleasant and beautiful, and is a good time for outdoor activities and tourism.
♦ Summer (June to August): Hot and rainy is the significant characteristic in summer. Xi'an is one of the four "stove cities" in China. July is the most hottest month throughout the year, the average temperature of 26.3 ℃, June and August average temperature of 24.8 ℃, 15.3 ℃ respectively.
♦ Autumn (September to October): In September, due to the effect of the Pacific subtropical high, Xi'an precipitation, sounds very much the weather there, monthly average rainfall of 99.5 mm, accounted for 19% of annual rainfall, for many years the average rain day for 12 days.Autumn changes in temperature is appropriate, cooling speed, and average temperature 19.6 ℃, 13.8 ℃ and 13.8 ℃.The average wind speed 1.5 m/s, is the season of the year minimum wind speed.
♦ Winter (November to next February): Less rain and snow in winter, and it is cold with average temperature in January dropped to -0.5 ℃, influenced by strong winter cold wave, extreme minimum temperature can drop to below 10 ℃.Precipitation rainfall, dry climate, 3 months just 24 mm, only 4% of annual precipitation.
• Dressing Tips
♦ Spring (March to May): temperature is moderate, but it is a little cool with rains. A thin coat is enough.
♦ Summer (June -August): temperature in summer is usually above 30 degrees, with strong sunshine. Sun protection is necessary, such sunglasses, hats, umbrellas, etc. T-shirts with skirts, shorts or slacks are the best choice for summer when the temperature can be rather high. Summer is the rainy season, especially in May and June.
♦ Autumn (September to October): autumn is windy and cool. Temperature difference is a little large. So a thick coat is necessary.
♦ Winter (November to February): the lowest temperature in winter can be between 5-20 degrees. Winter is cold and moist, especially in January, but can still be very pleasant when the sun is out. So coats are a must. Girls should put long boots on.
Xi'an is the first batch of China's excellent tourism city. Xi'an cultural heritages have characteristic of centralized distribution, well reserved, and high level of cultural relics. In China tourism resource censor of 155 basic types, Xi'an tourism resources account for 89. Around Xian there are 72 imperial tombs, including the first emperor Qin mausoleum, Zhou, Qin, Han, Tang four big cities sites.
• Best Places to Visit
♦ Terracotta Warrior
–Terracotta Warrior is a national AAAAA grade scenic spot, is located in Lintong district 37 kilometers east of Xi'an, lean on Mountian Li in the south and close to Weishui River in the north, which is grand and magnificent and is the national key cultural relic’s protection unit, the world cultural heritage. Terracotta Warrior with its huge size, mighty scene and high levels of science, art, make tourists exclaim in great surprise. The ancient city of Xi'an because of the Terracotta Warriors Museum and soon became one of the most important tourist cities in China
♦ Big Wild Goose Pagoda
–Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the world cultural heritage, national key cultural relics protection units, the national AAAAA level scenic spots. It is located inside the Daci’en Temple in Xi'an, which is regarded as the symbol of the ancient capital of Xi'an and Shaanxi province. During Yonghui period third years (652) in the Tang dynasty, when Xuanzang was back home, for storing Buddhist text and figures of Buddha, he built a pagoda in Cien Temple imitating the structure of pagoda in India, and named it Goose Pagoda. Big Wild Goose Pagoda as the earliest and largest square pavilion brick tower in the Tang dynasty, it was the typical material evidence that construction form of the Indian Buddhist temple with Buddhism spread into the central plains and into the Han culture, and it is the landmark buildings of Han Chinese labor people's collective wisdom crystallization in, the existing tower is seven layers, 64.5 meters.
♦ Small Wild Goose Pagoda
–Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the world cultural heritage and national key cultural relics protection units. It is located in Xi'an inside the Jianfu temple, is a tang dynasty 2-foot-tall eaves tower, also known as "Jianfu temple tower". Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in Tang Jinglong period, 15 layers in the beginning, now exists 13 layers, 43.4 meters high, and it is fine buddhist architecture heritage in the Tang dynasty, and is one of landmark buildings that the Buddhism was introduced into central plains and blended in the Han nationality culture. Now the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a part of the Xi'an museum, and is one of the national AAAA level scenic spots.
As a famous historic and cultural city, Xian is one of the highly popular tourist destinations in China for tourists. Besides various great and amazing attractions, you can also enjoy the various special shopping streets in Xian. There are souvenirs and crafts like replica of terracotta warriors (after visiting impressed Terracotta Warriors Museum if you really like it you can buy some replica of terracotta warriors in some shops as souvenir), paper-cut art which you can use it to decorate your house, etc.
You can buy these handicrafts in some department shop, but relatively expensive; in Shuyuanmen and the Muslim Street there is a lot of shops selling this kind of goods, and can be negotiated. And there are several famous streets, East Street of food and shopping, Xiangzi Temple Street of teahouse and gallery, Beiyuanmen Street of handiwork, Shuyuanmen Street of antique, calligraphy, and painting.
As the transport and communication center in northwest China, xian has played the role in linking the east and the west, and the south and the north of the country.
Air Transportation: Xian Xianyang International Airport is the biggest international airport in northwest China. Till now, there are 20 Airlines operated more then 150 routes started from Xian. Everyday, there will be over 400 flights operated at this airport.
There are two train stations operate in Xian, the Xian Railway Station and the South Station (former Changan Station).The Xian Railway Station is the biggest train center in western China, which also joint with 6 main train lines that cross through Southwest China. And, it is a stopover station for train from and back to Lhasa, the famous holy city.
Xian Xianyang International Airport
♦ Address: Weicheng District, Xianyang, Shaanxi
♦ Official website: http://www.xxia.com/
Xi'an Xianyang international airport is an important airport in China. At present, a total of 20 airlines deals with more than 150 routes, there are more than 400 times a day of flights at the airport. Passenger throughput reaches 15.29 million in 2009, which is the national top ten fastest-growing airports in the whole country.
Xian Railway Station
Xi'an Station, former name is Changan Railway Station, was founded in December 1934, opened in June 1935, under the jurisdiction of the Xi'an Railway bureau, now it is the special class station. It is the fourth largest train stations, and Xi'an Railway hub is one of the eight major railway hubs, is the transport hub that connects northwest and southwest railway network of China and get the reputation as "the First Window in West China”.
♦ Address: No. 151, Huangcheng North Road, Xincheng District, Xian City.
♦ Tel: (029)82130402
♦ How to get: there are many buses that can reach Xi’an Railway Station, like bus No.5, 9, 13, 14, 25, 30, 40, 41, 42, 602, 603, 607, 622, 103, 105, 500, and other buses.
Xian North Railway Station
Xian North Railway Station is the largest railway station in Asia. It is the hub station of the Xuzhou-Lanzhou Passenger Dedicated Line, Xian-Chengdu Passenger Dedicated Line, Datong-Xian Passenger Dedicated Line, Xian-Yingchuan Passenger Dedicated Line and Guangzhong Intercity Railway Network.
♦ Address: The Tweleve Road, Fengcheng, Weiyang District, Xian
♦ How to get: take bus No.263, 264, 265, 266 and 108 to there and get off at Xian North Railway Station, or you can take No.2 Subway Line to Xian North Railway Station