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Xi'an Discovery

#88 of 142 Tours in Xi'an
Xi'an, China
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About Xi'an Discovery
Xi'an Discovery - XI'AN ESSENTIAL TOUR OF TERRACOTTA WARRIORS​
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Sarah S wrote a review Dec 2019
Colorado Springs, Colorado5 contributions
This was an add-on our tour guide, Tina, told us about earlier in the day. We went ahead and booked it with her, because it sounded interesting. The dumplings were amazing. Many varieties, all delicious. The show, however, was mediocre. It told some of the history of the Tang Dynasty, which was interesting, but the performances lacked pizzazz. We had good seats, but a tour group arrived late and was seated right in front of us. They were a continual distraction as they were served their dinner DURING the show because they had arrived so late. Overall, I'd opt for a dumpling dinner without the show if I had it to do over again.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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jcouoh wrote a review Aug 2018
Portland, Oregon18 contributions9 helpful votes
From start to finish this tour was rough. We booked through Viator which is a large company that sub contracts smaller tour companies. I am not sure what company we used but Jerry was our tour guide. We were out front of our hotel at 750 waiting for our tour guide. Apparently he came but and assumed another woman the was close by was us when she said she wasn't part of the tour. I tried calling the number on our paperwork and it just went to voicemail. Thank goodness I had we chat downloaded and the coordinator wrote and said he was waiting in the lobby. I went in and he was in the very back of the lobby on his phone sitting down hidden behind a fake tree. If I was looking for someone I would be out in the open and looking for new people in the lobby. His English was good but he had kind of an arrogant attitude. (Our opinion of course) the driver and drive was fine. When we got to the site he took us through a tour shop. I intentionally booked this tour because I did not want any shopping pressure. He proceeded to tell us that the guy who discovered the terracotta warriors is there in the morning in his store signing books and that it was a rare treat and good luck to meet him. Keep in mind this is before we have eve n seen the site. I asked if we would be exiting out this way and maybe on the way out we could stop if wasn't out of the way. He said it was along way from the exit so we dropped it and said we don't want anything. He was also eating breakfast at the store when we brought us there. I didn't appreciate the pressure and him saying it was bad luck and that we were missing out. I feel like i would have learned more from a tour book then we learned from him. The site itself is pretty profound and worth a visit. At the end we exited the site and we were hungry. We were going to buy an ice cream from one of the many vendors selling at the exit.and he told us not to buy from any of them and that he knew of a better place. After walking for 5mins we were back at the entrance and that same shop we already said we didn't want to go to. We paid probably triple price for the ice cream and felt severely dipped. Needless to say we didn't tip him and he made it apparent that he wasn't happy about it. I don't necessarily think this was a reflection on viator as a whole since we had 2 other great tours booked through them. Maybe don't use them for this specific tour or do it on your own for way cheaper and better. It is a long way from town though so you will need a ride.
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Date of experience: July 2018
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2011passer_by wrote a review Feb 2017
Dubai, United Arab Emirates142 contributions77 helpful votes
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I travelled solo and stayed in Xi’an from 25 to 27 November 2016, arrived by plane mid afternoon. Arrival was very fast, as I passed the immigration at international arrivals of transit airport, so the last flight counts as purely domestic. I travelled with China Southern airlines and found it a good value for money. The only downside, I could not check in online for international flight. As I had only one full day in Xi’an, I had to plan accordingly to see all the main attractions I could do in one day. If you plan to spend more time in the city, which will definitely worth it, you can see and do so much more than that! GET THERE Public transport system is good here. From the airport you can either take a public bus, or a shuttle bus (which is a minivan) to the city center. There is a couple of options depending on which part of the city you go to. As you leave the arrival area of the airport, simply find a huge info desk (you won’t miss it, it is right in front of the entrance and there is a crowd of people at it all the time) where you can see the buses and shuttles schedule and destinations. Get your tickets from there and wait to be called for boarding! These guys also offer you a city map, take it – very useful, especially if you have to go on foot to find your hotel when you get off the shuttle. STAY Plenty of options to suit any budget and expectation, starting with dormitories and ending with luxury hotels. I opted for Silk Road hostel right in the middle of the Muslim Quarter (maybe partially because I’m a foodie?), and I would say it was the best choice I could make in terms of location for the first time travel. The Muslim Quarter is easy to find once you get off the shuttle bus, and then just spot the right signage among all those food stalls! The hostel is nothing more than basic. Yet, the location made it all – as soon as you find the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, you won’t get lost! Staff was very nice, guys actually speak English pretty well and are very helpful. A couple of big and starred hotels around the Bell tower square would make a better choice for those who seek more comfort – location is awesome really. EAT Muslim Quarter. Try everything! I mean it, it is the street food paradise. Meat skewers are a must, you’ll see lamb carcasses hanging on the trees. Soft shell crabs are so delicious. Spicy potato and tofu, and that place that does noodle soup... So I really hope you are going there for some amazing local flavours! If not, you’re really missing a lot. Starbucks is behind the corner. DO Explore the city sights. But that goes without saying! Stunning Bell and Drum towers look incredible day and night (open hours are only during the daytime though if you want to get inside). Stele Forest is a great museum, packed with stone statues and carvings, paintings that are available for sale. The street that leads to it from the South Gate of the city wall is packed with artists and handcrafts shops. I took a walk back to the Bell tower from the Stele Forest, and the night city center looks so lovely! Bicycle ride around the city wall. Single or double seater bikes, rent is for two hours plus refundable deposit. Even if you did not cycle for a while, you’ll get back in the habit quite quickly. You will pass all the gates and towers and enjoy the view of the old city as well. it is a great way to see the old town really. Terracotta Army. This is a must do when you go to Xian. In brief, take a bus, and no tour packages (could be just a waste of time, as you can really see everything in half a day at slow speed, on your own or with a guide if you need one). In more details now. Getting there is actually very easy and doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Take a metro to Wulukou station, exit to Jiefang Road and head north, you will reach the bus terminal in some 5-7 minutes – it will be right ahead of you. You will pass a couple of big Chinese-styled hotels on both sides, that means you’re on the right way. When you reach the station, check the bus schedule on a big screen (no chance to miss it, it is outdoor). There is a couple of bus numbers, don’t be scared to take any of them – the public buses that go to terracotta army are all of bright colors, blue or green with route and major stops painted on the side. Get on one of those, pay (not more than 10 Yuan) and enjoy the ride. It will take about one hour. Once you arrive, follow the signs to the ticket office. There will be a lot of private guides offering you tours on the way, it is your choice whether you want to go for it or no, and if you do – make sure you let them know how much time you plan to spend there. I went without guides, and I explored all three pavilions in about 2 hours. That left me enough time to get back to Xi’an in the same way and the rest of the day for exploring the city. On your way back to the bus station grab a bite from one of the food stalls, you’ll see a lot on your way. I actually started the day with Terracotta Army, back to the city around one, then headed to the South Gate and went on the wall. I visited the Stele Forest after the wall and had right enough time for it, so I’d say it worked out really well for one day. OTHER TIPS Moving around the city is very easy, metro goes to all major spots you would want to visit. There is no need for taxi indeed. There is a bullet train station in the city (Xi’an North Railway, accessible by metro), which links it to other major cities and makes it very easy to get to other destinations in China. Have small bills for metro, machines do not accept bills above 20 Yuan. Carry cash, especially if you head to the food street. Not many people speak English, so a good shout is to have a translation application on mobile, many locals use it too. If you are going for basic accommodation, make sure to have a multi adapter with you, the only place where you can buy any country’s devises and stuff is Walmart. Bargain wherever you can, especially for souvenirs and especially in Terracotta Army museum.
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Date of experience: November 2016
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MelissaRsyt wrote a review May 2016
Miami Beach, Florida1 contribution1 helpful vote
I had been to Xian and visited the Terracotta Warriors, the City Wall and other palces of Xi'an in 2012, this was my second time to Xian, so i took the folk art tour of Farmers' Paintings in Hu County, which turned out to be a fantanstic experience. The local people were very nice and taught me of their painting and Chinese paper cutting. My guide Sam Li did a great job of translation and introduction. Thank you for the excellent service.
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Date of experience: May 2016
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