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“Xi'an is an ancient city” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Xi'an

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Hong Kong, China
6 helpful votes
“Xi'an is an ancient city”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2008

Xi'an is an ancient city with Chinese cultural over 2000 years!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 helpful votes
“China after chinese new year in Xi'an”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2008

i have been there in 2006 about a month after chinese new year so the weather is cooling. i was there about 2 week and be able to view the flower call "tao hua" (sorry cannot translate to english. maybe it is call chinese cherry blossem. ) it is very beautiful. the whole field is blossem with pink flower. it is undescriable beauty.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
23 helpful votes
“Finally saw the Terracotta Warriors!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2007

Being fortunate enough to spend 2 years in China we intend on seeing as much as possible - so our latest venture was to X'ian to check out the Terracotta Warriors.
But don't think that is all there is to see in X'ian. We were picked up at the airport by our most gracious host - Raphael (he grew up in X'ian and after working for a travel agent he decided to branch out on his own as he has learnt and understands the English language very well. He also understands the different requirements of western culture and is only too happy to ensure your sightseeing is personally tailored. He also handled my incident with the car door-meeting-the-motorbike with utmost care and reassurance. I highly recommend his services.)
Our first stop was the Bell Tower Hotel - chosen because of it's very central location. (Hotel was clean and comfortable) Within easy walking distance of the old Muslin area where there were plenty of food stalls, Great Mosque and the market. Also close by was the city wall - you can rent a bicycle and ride the 14 km around it.
After lunch we went to Wild Goose pagoda. You can climb the fifteen stories to the top - stairway is very narrow and at times even I had to duck to avoid the overhanging beams.
Next stop was dinner and the Tang Dynasty show. Very lavish looking theatre, dinner was interesting but delicious and the show very colourful, clever and most enjoyable.
Second day's itinerary covered the warriors and then the Great Mosque. For some reason I have alway imagined the pit with the warriors in it was much bigger but still the thought of the history and to see them first hand was amazing. We checked out other parts of the museum then back to the old Muslim area for lunch. This is where Raphael can offer you authentic Chinese food rather than a westernised version or western food - unlike a lot of tourist companies. The weather was extremely cold so we didn't spend a lot of time at the Great Mosque.
Our third day comprised a trip to Huashan Mountain. It had snowed the day before but we woke up to the most beautiful clear day. Took a couple hours by car, then because it is a National Park you then have to take a bus to the cable car which then takes you to the North Peak. (You can walk but it takes over 5 hours - all very up hill!) View from the top was absolutely awesome. All my partner could say was -great place to hang glide from! Although there was about 3in of snow on the ground it was quite warm in the sunshine.
Raphael, along with his wife, daughter and brother-in-law took us out for dinner. All but one of the dishes were spicy hot - I think my tolerance to chili has improved quite a bit since moving to China.
Our last day was a full one - down south to Foping Park to see some pandas. We managed to watch 2 eating and saw one sleeping. Also saw monkeys and different types of birds.
From there we headed north towards the Han tombs via some of Raphael's family that still live in caves. Grandmother (86 years old) had cooked a wonderful lunch for us. We also met Grandfather who is 96 and also a nephew, his wife and son. Although the dwelling was very sparsely decorated the bed was great. It would have been bigger than kingsize and was made from bricks with a thin futon mattress and doona. But underneath the bed was an opening that they could make a fire and thus warm the base of the bed. Who needs electric blankets!!
Full tummies we headed off to the Han tomb. Quite amazing museum as they have built glass floors over the pits so you actually look down on the miniature figurines. In another part of the museum they had a miniature theatre explaining about the Han dynasty. It was quite cleverly done with holographic figures.
That was X'ian - although there was plenty more that we could have seen.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
20 reviews
59 helpful votes
“allocate more time to visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2007

After careful review of many trip advisory entries, we allocated only 2 days to Xi'an and regretted it. It is absolutely filled with amazing art and historic sites. It is an enjoyable city as well. It is so, so much more than just the terra cotta warriors.

Several writers suggested taking bus 306 out to the warriors. These busses took a very long time and were filthy and torn up. The taxi's are so cheap, I would strongly recommend negotiating for one to take you and wait. As always, don't pay until you return to Xi'an. I think you could get one for around 150 yuan. While the bus was very cheap, we were a group of 4 travelors and took at a taxi back for 80 yuan--that took us clear across Xian, rather than back to the train station.

The Shanxi provincial museum was absolutely stunning as was the Great Wild Goose Pagoda. Again, there were so many thing we did not have time for, we are already planning our return.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
11 helpful votes
“Never to forget”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2006

Hello Dear Friends and all people interested in China and particulary in Xi'an!

Exactly two years ago I came back from Xian back home to Europe. I've lived there exatly seven months. If i'd have to tell you how was it in one word - i'd say - unforgettable!!! When I start thinking about this city i get tears in my eyes, because it was so difficult to live there in the very beginning and at the very end i almost didn't want to return home anymore...

My first images of Xian were very negative - dirty streets, everywhere terrible stinking, grey buildings and nothing to like at all. But my image changed fully.
All the beginning is very difficult and sometimes shocking; i didn't come to Xian, China just as a usual tourist, i'd have to live there for half a year and study hard the Mandarin, so i had to adjust myself to everything - to Xian' lifestyle, to local food and traditions; to the real Northern Chinese mentality.
First weeks were terrible, every night i called my parents and asked them if it would be ok to pack my things and go back home and it was ok, but they supported me and i stayed and now i can say thank you. I couldn't sleep, because there is a seven hours time difference, and i counld't sleep also because i didn't have any friends there, no soul mates, because i didn't understand Chinese people on the streets and i thought they were laughing at me which actually weren't so much true.
But step by step i started to adjust. By learning the language I could at least start to order food at the local restaurants; i started to understand how much money is for ex. 10 yuan/kuai (+/- 1 euro); i found where i should go to internet and learned how to use it there; and there are much more examples of the learning/adjusting process.
But the most important thing was, which made me feel home, i found friends, not only Western people, who studied with me, but Chinese as well and it was so damn easy to become friends with a Chinese person, because they are eager to learn foreigners, their language, their habits. With some of these people i still do have contact and i'd love to see them one day. It became my dream to go back there and find those people, to hug them and go have some nice Chinese food and some strong Chinese bai jiu ( vodka made from rice) - 40-60% alcohol!
They laugh a lot and you start to do so as well. They dance a lot and i've never thought of myself as of a good dancer, but gosh, in China i danced almost every weekend. They have some great disco's over there, with cool trance music, expensive drinks :( and flashy designs.
Studying wasn't so easy to me, because i was in a group full Korean and Japanese people, who are very strong in learning characters, so, for me it was as hard to learn 10 new characters as for them to learn 100 new ones...So, you can imagine, how hard it was. And no other language is spoken in the class, only Chinese.
At the end i loved it all - the terrible smell on some streets, the terrible traffic, the staring/curious Chinese people, the bloody hard language, my student's sushi (=room), the cheap shopping, very delicious but spicy food; i loved the fact that there is no good coffee or no coffee at all, that there's no European warm and terribly tasty pastry; the fact that everybody smokes in China or at least many people; and for sure i loved the Chinese people and all my friends...

It's my dream to go back there. To feel what i felt over and over again, which is impossible, i think, but at least i can give it a shot.

I've been to various Chinese cities, and i liked many of them, but Xian is my 2nd hometown.

Never hesitate to go or not to go to China - go and see all things i ddid! it's worth it!

regards to you all and best wishes

Kristina - Chen Ting Na

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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