• We returned from our holiday last Wednesday and I just wanted to say a big thank you for organising our tours in Beijing last week.
  • Thank you for making possible an enjoyable trip for us. We learnt about Shanghai’s people, history and culture.
  • I am writing to you to thank you very much for our wonderful trip to Xian. The tour that you organised was fantastic.
Shanghai Sights and Sounds
The Old City Wall

Ancient City Wall

Look out over the old city from Xian’s ancient walls, and explore its four noble gates. Xian has one of the best-preserved fortified city walls in the whole of China. The modern wall dates from the beginning of the Ming Dynasty in 1386, but there has been a fortification around the city since 194 BC when Xian was known as Chang’an.

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Look out over the old city from Xian’s ancient walls.

Xian has one of the best preserved fortifies city walls in the whole of China. The modern wall dates from the beginning of the Ming Dynasty in 1386, but there has been a fortification around the city since 194 BC when Xian was known as Chang’an. The first wall took four years to build and measured 25.7 kilometers all the way around. The current fortification was completed at the start of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang’s reign at the dawn of the Ming Dynasty. According to historic sources, a hermit spoke to the new emperor and advised him to build strong walls around his city. Zhu Yuanzhang took the hermit’s words to heart, and began to rebuild the defense system that remained from the Tang Dynasty.

The wall we see today encases an area of 14 square kilometers. It is between 15 and 18 meters wide at its base, and is ringed by a deep moat. There are 98 ramparts spread around the wall at intervals of 120 meters, each containing a sentry post where guards stood watch in ancient times. Since the gates were the weakest points, all four of the main entrances are heavyily fortifies. The gates have names reflecting the emperor’s desire for peace and happiness: the east-facing gate is called Changle (meaning eternal joy), to the west is Anding (harmony and peace), to the north is Anyuan (eternal harmony), and the grandest, Yongning, faces the south. Its name means eternal peace. Yongning gate faces the Bell Tower in the center of the old city.

Climb onto the wall at one of 18 points along its length for a view across ancient and modern Xian.

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history museum

History Museum

Admire over 300,000 relics at this well-stocked museum, which traces the history of Xi’an back to ancient times. The museum features artifacts from all across Shaanxi Province, including paintings, pottery, coins, as well as items in bronze, gold, and silver. It was built between 1983 and 2001 in the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

See ancient Buddhist relics brought from India, and enjoy a panoramic view of Xian from this attractive Tang Dynasty pagoda dating from 652 AD. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is located in Xian’s south suburbs and is part of the Temple of Maternal Grace. The first version was built in 652 AD, and was rebuilt in 704 by Empress Wu Zetian. It was originally built to house a collection of sutras and Buddhist relics brought from India by an abbot.

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See ancient Buddhist relics brought from India, and enjoy a panoramic view of Xian from this attractive Tang Dynasty pagoda.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda, known as Dayan Ta in Chinese, is located in Xian’s south suburbs and is part of the Da Ci’en (Maternal Grace) Temple complex. The pagoda we see today is not the original. The first version was built in 652 AD during the rule of Tang Dynasty emperor Gaozong. It fell down in 704 and was rebuilt by Empress Wu Zetian. A huge earthquake in 1556 caused several stories to collapse, leaving it with the seven floors it currently has. The pagoda leans visibly to the west, and measure 64.5 meters. It is made of sand-colored brick, and its interior walls are engraved with images of the Buddha by Tang Dynasty artist Yan Liben.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built by Emperor Gaozong to house a massive collection of sutras and Buddhist relics brought from India by Xuanzang, who later became the first abbot of the Da Ci’en Temple. Xuanzang and his team of monks translated the sutras from Sanskrit into Chinese – a huge undertaking, which is commemorated by a statue of Xuanzang in front of the temple.

Climb the staircases inside the temple to admire the carvings, and savor the view of Xian and its surroundings from the upper stories.

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