Gadi and Tun are a couple of midlife run-aways from Israel. They left their normal life and jobs behind to be in awe with wonders of the world. They have launched their blog BingInAwe in order to share their awe with others, and inspire their readers to travel the world.
5 places to visit in Xi’an if you have 24 hours
After one year of living in Xi’an as expats, we’ve learned a lot about this ancient and beautiful city.
We have learned also, that many travelers come here just for one or two days, on their way to Terracotta Army. But even if you have only 24 or 48 hours, the places that we list below are must-see for everyone.
If you will have more time, we would suggest to you to explore the numerous forest-parks around Xi’an.
We hope, that by using this short guide, you will enjoy your short visit to Xi’an – the city that once was the capital of Chinese empire.
The Bell Tower in Xi’an is an ancient structure and a set for many legends. It is a symbol of the city and deserves to be on top of your list while visiting Xi’an. Its wooden structure stands on a brick base and the Tower itself is 36 meters tall, which makes it the largest and also best preserved of its kind in the country. The Bell tower is considered to be the building which stands in the center of the ancient Chinese capital. It was built in 1384 by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang and more than 600 years later it still stuns the tourist.
Close to the Bell Tower lies another symbolic and legendary building – Drum Tower. It is even older than the Bell Tower and its name comes from a hall in the Tower full of large drums. They are believed to bring good fortune. For those who are looking for some great views towards Xi’an Drum Tower is the right place. The square around the building decorated with wonderful fountains is a nice place to relax.
The Muslim Quarter in Xi’an is a must even if you don’t have much time in the city. It is not a huge area but tens of thousands of Muslims live there and as one might expect, it is full of mosque. The most impressive of them is the Great Mosque. In fact we loved this place so much, that we cannot remember even a one week, without us visiting the Muslim Quarter. This is also a good place to stop for a quick bite after the long and tiresome walk around the Towers. The Muslim Quarter offers some unique souvenirs of Xi’an as well. You just have to look for the typical small shops while walking around the narrow streets paved with dark colored stones.
Big Pagoda is an ancient Buddhist building which dates back to the 7th century. Originally the Big Pagoda had 5 stories but later it was rebuilt and two more were added and today its brick façade is really impressive. The Pagoda is located in the monastery, which is still functional today and is surrounded by a tall wall that separates the building from the city. Actually, the monastery itself is very interesting place to visit. Another place to stop is on the north side of the Big Pagoda where the tourists are attracted by the largest singing fountain in Asia. There is an interesting show every evening at 9 PM.
Very close to the Big Pagoda is located another great attraction of Xi’an which is comparatively new – the park Tang Paradise. It was completed in 2005 and was built in the Tang Dynasty style. The park covers a huge territory and almost 1/3 of it is water. It is not just lakes, trees and grass, the Tang Paradise is actually a piece of art covering every aspect of the life during the Tang Dynasty. There can be seen a great variety of dancers, musicians, martial artists and many other performers. The buildings in the park are also worth mentioning – there are all kinds of architectural influences from the Tang Dynasty times.