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“Comprehensive overview of Chinese history, pre-Yuan dynasty”

Shaanxi History Museum
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$106.80*
and up
Xi'an Full-Day Trip: Terracotta Warriors and...
Ranked #7 of 336 things to do in Xi'an
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Owner description: This history museum, housed in a magnificent Confucian Temple, features more than 370,000 pieces of historical relics mainly from the Zhou to the Tang periods (1100B.C. to 907 A.D.).
Reviewed June 22, 2013

This is probably THE most comprehensive display of chinese history in a museum in China. Although my experiene could have been better, the sheer magnitude of the artifacts on display means I can't rate this place less than 5/5. In a few hours, you can learn about the development of Chinese civilization from pre-neolithic ages up to today. It is especially great for the dynasties preceeding Yuan, Ming, and Qing (the three most recent, which were centered in Beijing). I learned so much not only about Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties, but also the Chinese perspective on the Silk Road. Interesting to learn about the history of the ancient capital Chang'an (near today's Xi'an). I especially enjoyed the video screens in the various rooms - the short videos were very well done. If I could go back, I'd try to hire my own guide (tutor) to get a more in-depth education.
Negatives: we went on a Saturday afternoon, and the place was PACKED. Try to go on a weekday when you might have less crowds. The locals have to stand in line for free tickets (our hosts took care of this for us), but ask at your hotel if foreign tourists can walk up - its not clear from the other reviews.
Extra tip: snack bar in the lowest level has inexpensive drinks and relatively uncrowded toilets.

2  Thank Harry P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"free tickets"
in 65 reviews
"tang dynasty"
in 68 reviews
"special exhibition"
in 12 reviews
"great collection"
in 13 reviews
"audio guide"
in 36 reviews
"on display"
in 43 reviews
"terracotta warriors"
in 77 reviews
"chinese dynasties"
in 11 reviews
"free entrance"
in 11 reviews
"ancient china"
in 21 reviews
"silk road"
in 28 reviews
"rainy day"
in 9 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 14 reviews
"tour group"
in 9 reviews
"big wild goose pagoda"
in 13 reviews
"passport"
in 92 reviews
"queue"
in 86 reviews
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678 - 682 of 1,424 reviews

Reviewed June 22, 2013

Make a reservation ahead of time! Show your passport. This is a popular museum for local people who patiently stand in line for hours to get in.

The museum is arranged so that non-Chinese speakers can at least identify the objects they are viewing. I often wished there were more explanations, tho. We frequently had to ask our guide to translate for us.

Since Sha'anxi was the capital during the Zhou, Han and Tang dynasties, there's a lot to see here. We spent more than 3 hours going through the museum.

The exhibits begin with China during prehistoric times, then continue to the Han and Tang dynasties. Objects are beautifully displayed, but, again, no flash photos are allowed.

We went to this museum to learn about the ancient capital of China, and were impressed and amazed at the riches here. The bronzes on display rival those at the National Museum in Beijing. It's one of the "do not miss" museums in China.

Thank Travelingmaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

This was free for us, but well worth the time. There are many exhibits that showcase the history of this region.

Thank Rodney S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

If you've done the Terracotta Warriors, walk through the first level and focus on the highlights of sections 2and 3.

2  Thank rtw99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 17, 2013

We don't know China's long history like the back of our hands. Visiting this well-organized museum very helpful in appreciating China better, including the significance of Terracotta Warriors. The collection is impressive without being overwhelming. Well done!

Thank gravic33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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