The Huaqing Hot Springs and Palace ruins are on a sprawling complex in the foothills of Lishan Mountain. This place is on the way either to or from the Terracotta army and if you're doing a DIY tour with the local public buses, then you can get the bus to drop you off or pick you up at Huaqing - the bus stop is some 300 or 400 m from the entrance to the complex. You can show an ISIC international student card to get a discount on the admission price, I think we paid something like RMB50 to get in.
Inside there are a few very old original baths originally fed by springs and a much larger collection of modern reproduction buildings in typical chinese Tang style.
However the one thing you can easily miss is that one of these buildings - a tallish 3 story one with no windows - houses a fairly impressive 3D Audio-Visual presentation. When I was there this was badly signposted. You have to put protective shoe covers on to stop excessive dust getting into building and messing up the AV show. The show attempts to set some context for the chinese audience of what they are about to see - when I was there in March 2013 it really was all in chinese - you can obviously watch and appreciate something, it would be great if they could put up some subtitles for the foreigners. It's worth having a look if the queue is not too long - it will take you about 20mins once you're inside to go through the presentations on each floor of the property.
Huaqing is worth a look if you're on the way to or from the Terracotta Army. It doesn't seem to really focus on the foreigner itenaries for Xi'an and many of the visitors here are asian tour groups. But the complex is big enough that you can get away from the madding crowd and appreciate it.
There are evening shows that run from April through to September or October but as I was there in March I didn't get the chance to see this.
Definitely worth a look if your itinerary permits it, but possibly not worth doing a special trip out from Xi'an just for this.
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