Travel : China - Xi'an

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Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby Dnls_mum » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:28 pm

I have not seen any discussion on Xian on this board, so thought I'll share a recent experience. It was just DH and I on this trip. we took a direct flight to Xi'an via Tiger Air. The flight was about 6pm and we arrived Xi'an around midnight. As the departure flight was early morning at 7plus, we decided to stay 5 nights so as to have 4 full days in Xi'an as we wanted to make a day trip to Luoyang too to see the Longmen Grottos.

Part 1:

Day 1: Singapore to Xi'an
On arrival we were greeted and picked up by our hotel Angsana Lintong Xi'an. A beautiful hotel that is newly opened. We were there on a pre-opening invitation. Very efficient service and we were checked in in no time. Important since we arrived so late.

The Angsana Lintong Xi'an:
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The outdoor hot spring of the hotel is not ready yet . Apparently when ready in second half of 2015, will be Japanese style.

Day 2 : Xi'an terracotta warriors, Huaqing pool and Chang Hen Ge Show
We had arranged for a private guide to take us around Xi'an. Main reason is because Angsana is in Lintong, near Terracotta Warriors but away from Xian old town and transportation by taxi though cheap can be inconvenient and difficult to come by during peaks hours. Further our private guide who uses her own car to drive us around charges us RMB450 per day for guide and transport services. Very reasonable in our opinion and saves a lot of hassle and time.

terracotta warriors:
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Huaqing pool is where Yang Gui Fei takes her famous hotspring bath. It is near the terracotta warriors museum. Quite a pretty garden and there is a show at one of the buildings using real actors and cinematographic effects telling the love story of Yang Gui Fei and Emperor. But you need to do it China style, ie rush with the local Chinese :(

Huaqing pools in the day:
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At night, during the months of April to Oct, there is an outdoor extravaganza show called Chang Hen Ge (named after the poem that Bai Ju Yi wrote about Yang Gui Fei) at Huaqing pools also about the love story of Yang Gui Fei and the Tang Emperor. We were lucky to be able to catch this impressive song and dance performance on Oct 29th. Although it was suppose to be still autumn, the weather was more like early winter and it was the last show of the season as it was just too cold for the dancers to dance in the water the next 2 nights. The show uses the mountain in the background as a backdrop and the stage in front extends into the pond. a very impressive performance worth watching. I think the tickets were RMB298, RMB598 or RMB888. We bought the RMB 598 tickets. These seats are higher than the RMB298 ones so you get a better view of the entire show which also included "flying" in the air. the RMB888 tickets were just a row in front of us and serves fruits and drinks.

Change Hen Ge outdoor performance at Huaqing pools:
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to be continued....

Dnls_mum
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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby fanren » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:41 pm

Hi Look interesting.. Do u have any contact for a personalised driver cum travel guide that can drive a van or so to accommodate 7 pple?wanting to see terra cotta warrior... Waiting to see your updates to see what else can we do in xi an...

fanren
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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby pirated » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:51 pm

Hope you did not miss the 西安小吃,羊肉泡馍 of 老孙家,walk on the city wall, 钟楼,碑林, 大雁塔,小雁塔,华山....

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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby Dnls_mum » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:19 pm

Part 2 (Final) :

Day 3: Xi'an (Qian Mausoleum, Hanyang Ling, Xian Old Wall, Big Goose pagoda, Muslim street)
We set off this morning to Qian Mausoleum, the burial grounds of Emperor Tang Gao Zong and his wife, the only female emperor of China, Empress Wu Ze Tian. On the way, we stop by Hanyang ling, the burial place of Liu Ze a Han emperor. This burial ground is very similar to the Terracotta warriors but the terracotta figures are less define and 2/3 of human size rather than life size.

Hanyang Ling:
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Qian Mausoleum:
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The tombs at Qian Mausoleum have not been excavated because it is apparently built into the mountain and very secure to prevent theft. the authorities do not have the necessary technology to excavate the tombs without damaging them. Nonetheless, the entrance way leading to the tomb is very impressive with 2 rows of stone carved figures.

After that we went back to Xi'an Old town and went up the Xi'an Ancient wall. You can cycle on top of the wall. we did not. Too lazy.

Xi'an Ancient Wall:
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Went to Big goose pagoda just around sunset. Very pretty sight:
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Then we headed to Muslim street for dinner. The street market was interesting, but we ate at a proper restaurant :lol:

Muslim street:
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The night view of the lighted up ancient wall, bell tower and drum tower is beautiful:
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Day 4: Luoyang (Longmen Grotto and White Horse Temple)
We left around 6plus in the morning, and our hotel packed breakfast for us to eat on the train. Very thoughtful of them. We took a high speed train to Luoyang from Xi'an. On arrival, we had arranged a driver to pick us up and send us to Longmen Grottos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the grottos, we paid for an onsite guide to take us around the west grottos. The east grotto is apparently not as nice and well preserved and is just more of what one can see in the west grotto, or so the information centre tells us. But our tickets allowed us to walk around the east grottos on our own if we wanted.

Longmen Grottos:
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After the tour we wondered around on our own and went to Xiang Shan Si, a temple on the east side which is part of the Longmen grottos attractions. Chiang Kai Sek apparently used this as a hiding place at some point.

Xiang Shan Si:
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Another attraction here is Bai Ju Yi, the famous poet's tomb. DH was not interested, so we skipped that.

After lunch, we walked around the old town of Luoyang, nothing much, so we decided to go to White Horse Temple. The first Buddhist temple established in China. Many westerners like to combine Longmen Grottos with Shaolin Temple, but it would have been a really long day trip, but workable. We decided against Shaolin Temple even though it is very much a symbol of Chinese martial arts as we understand it is extremely touristy, some says it is like a themepark. The westerners go for the martials display and the mystery of Chinese martial arts etc. We decided to give that a miss and visit White Horse temple for its historical significance and also resultant shorter, more relaxed day. This is a functioning temple and monks are still going about their daily rituals.

White Horse Temple:
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After this, we called it a day and caught the high speed train back to Xi'an. Was back in our hotel by 8plus. If we went Shaolin temple, we would only be able to get back after 10pm.

Day 5 :
We did a half day tour today before going back to our hotel to enjoy the spa.

Visited Shaanxi museum. You get free entry here by showing your passport to get an entry ticket. the Q to get the free ticket was extremely long and since it cost only RMB20 I think, we decided to buy tickets and skip the Q. A very good museum showing the history and artifacts of China through the Qin, Han and Tang dynasty when Xi'an, then known as Chang'an was the capital. A museum well worth visiting. This is ranked as one of the top museums in China second only to Beijing history museum.

Shaanxi museum:
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After that we went back to Muslim street to visit the mosque and have lunch. The mosque here is very different from mosque elsewhere. It looks more like a Chinese temple, so we really wanted to check it out.

Mosque in Muslim street:
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Then it was back to our hotel to enjoy the Angsana spa.

Day 6: Home sweet home.

Hope this sharing will help anyone interested in visiting Xi'an and Luoyang.
Last edited by Dnls_mum on Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dnls_mum
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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby Coolkidsrock2 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:21 pm

Beautiful. Looking forward to your continuation.

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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby starlight1968sg » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:23 pm

Hi Dnls_mum
Your sharing comes handy.
I have wanted to go Xi An DIY for the terracotta warriors but yet to do it.
Thank you.

starlight1968sg
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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby Dnls_mum » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:23 pm

pirated wrote:Hope you did not miss the 西安小吃,羊肉泡馍 of 老孙家,walk on the city wall, 钟楼,碑林, 大雁塔,小雁塔,华山....


Haha...we did all that...almost all. :rahrah:

羊肉泡馍, lamb skewers, lamb dumplings, eight treasure porridge etc:
Image

Dnls_mum
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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby isetan » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:25 pm

Looks interesting. Need advise if better to travel to xian in June or December holidays.

isetan
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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby Dnls_mum » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:28 pm

fanren wrote:Hi Look interesting.. Do u have any contact for a personalised driver cum travel guide that can drive a van or so to accommodate 7 pple?wanting to see terra cotta warrior... Waiting to see your updates to see what else can we do in xi an...


I've PM'ed you, our guide, Mary's email contact. you can email her to see if she can arrange for you. You probably need to pay more for a van and an additional driver, but splitting the cost among 7 should still be reasonable.

Dnls_mum
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Re: Travel : China - Xi'an

Postby Dnls_mum » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:29 pm

isetan wrote:Looks interesting. Need advise if better to travel to xian in June or December holidays.


We went in end Oct which is end autumn. December will be very cold. Winter can be harsh. June is summer and probably very hot and may be wet too. But I know, with our school holidays in June and Dec, sometimes we have little choice.

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