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What to see in Xi An

Xi An Attractions

Xi'an is a treasure trove for travellers interested in archaeology and ancient Chinese history. The Shaanxi Provincial History Museum stands as testament to the importance of this region in the development of Chinese culture. The museum houses about 370,000 artefacts collected in the area and is well worth a visit. Another exciting archaeological site is the Banpo Village, which dates back over 6, 000 years and is one of the most well-preserved and complete examples of an agricultural Neolithic settlement in the world. Xi'an is also home to the Forest of Steles, a collection of 3,000 steles (stone tablets and ancient inscriptions) collected over the centuries in a library which is a haven for travelling scholars or anyone interested in the history of language and the written word.

Of course, when it comes to sightseeing, Xi'an is synonymous with its foremost attraction: the famous Terracotta Army Museum. The collection of nearly 8,000 warriors, unearthed in 1974 is a not-to-be-missed experience for any visitor to China. The recently opened Tomb of Emperor Jingdi in Xi'an also displays a number of terracotta statues and it is a far less crowded museum. On the way to the Terracotta Army it is a good idea to stop off at the Huaqing Hot Springs to bathe in the same pools used by ancient emperors and their concubines.

The Xi'an city wall is one of the largest in the world and hiring a bicycle to cycle along the top is a wonderful introduction to the city. Travellers can also walk the wall, stopping along the way to take some amazing photographs of both ancient buildings and new age skyscrapers.

Banpo Village Remains

The remains of the ancient settlement of Banpo, dating from about 5000 BC, are found in the Yellow River Valley east of Xi'an. The site makes up one of the most complete examples…

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Forest of Steles

The Stele Forest in Xi'an, also called the Beilin Museum, contains more than 3,000 ancient standing stones, dating back to the Tang dynasty (618-907). The museum itself is nearly…

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Great Mosque

The Great Mosque is the pride of China's Islamic community, with the religion arriving in the country along with Arab merchants and travellers in roughly the year 600. The Great…

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Huaqing Hot Springs

The Huaqing Hot Springs at the base of the Lishan Mountains is where ancient emperors bathed and relaxed. Huaqing is one of the Hundred Famous Gardens of China and the setting…

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Qin Terracotta Army Museum

In 1974, a group of peasants digging a well in Lintong District unearthed fragments of a life-sized warrior figure. Further excavation revealed several timber-lined vaults filled…

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Shaanxi Provincial History Museum

The graceful complex of the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum is built in the style of a Tang dynasty pavilion, itself a staggering sight. The museum's exhibits are even more breathtaking,…

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