"Xian" Xi'an by xiquinho

Xi'an Travel Guide: 1,112 reviews and 3,072 photos


Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province, is one of the most famous of China's historic former capitals. Although Xian's oldest monument is a Neolithic village dating back to 6000 B.C., its most famous attraction is the tomb of China's first Emperor, with its buried army of terracotta warrior guardians. The city was originally known as Chang An, and was the Imperial Capital during the Tang Dynasty. There are still many elegant temples and magnificent tombs from that dynasty to explore. Among its other historical sites are the City Wall, dating back to the Ming Dynasty and the Small Goose Pagoda, which dates from 707A.D. and is one of several fine Buddhist monuments in the city centre. Hau Qing Hot Springs, the site of a pleasure palace built by the Tang Emperor Tai Zong, is also worth visiting.

Unlike other Chinese provinces such as Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong, Shaanxi has no traditional cuisine other than steamed meat-filled dumplings and noodles. However, its many fine restaurants feature cuisine from all across China.

The city also offers travellers a wide range of colourful handicrafts, available at small privately owned shops near the major tourist spots. There are also many excellent international-class hotels. Apart from tourism, Xian has a well-developed industrial economy, with many factories producing machinery, electrical equipment, cement, fertilizers and a wide range of consumer goods.

  • Last visit to Xi'an: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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