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History & Culture

History & Culture

Xian was the capital for eleven dynasties over a period of more than 2000 years. Learn more...

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An incredible treasure of ancient
China is waiting for you to be discovered. Learn more...

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Great variety, thousand flavors, Discover local Xi'an food.
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Xi'an is a fast growing economic centre. The keypoint for the development of West-China.
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Just as rich in history, Xi'an is an excellent place to pick up all the souvenirs you've been resisting.
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Xian Visit
We just came back after our first family vacation in China. Xi'An was of course on our "must-see" list due to the Terra Cotta Warriors. Since it is an excursion from Beijing, we arranged a tour through CYTS, a major Beijing travel agency. The tour included pickup from the airport, a very nice multi-course luncheon in a private dining room at the Terra Cotta Museum, an English-speaking guide plus minivan and driver for 2 days, a dinner show and return to the airport.

We thoroughly enjoyed it and we have pretty high standards due to extensive business travel. Sue, our tour guide's English was excellent. She never travelled to the US, but was an English major at Xi'An University, which a friend told me has one of the best Foreign Language programs in China. She answered all of our questions, and was flexible on the program, considering weather, additional stops, e.g., Confucian Temple with Ancient Stone tablets where we could see examples of calligraphy and demonstrations of rubbings.
The Terra Cotta Warrior Museum was absolutely amazing. The size and scale was breathtaking. She gave us a very good private tour, explaining all the exhibits and history. The galleries continue to grow and you can see the improvement in the quality of the exhibits. (Ladies, you might want to wait for the handicapped restroom facilities, just a hint.)

The Tang Dynasty dinner show was a very good performance of music, dance and costumes of the Tang period. The food was alright - buffet style - better than most take-out in the States, but not the best we had in Beijing or Shanghai. It catered also to Westerners, including salads at the buffet, for example. Restrooms were also fine.

Highly recommend requesting tours to the Jade Factory and Silkweaving Factory, both nationally recognized workshops where you can get a free lecture and demonstration of the art of jade carving, furniture making, and silk weaving for rugs. The factory tour guides spoke good English - the jade factory in particular gave clear and humourous lectures on the history, quality of jade and the meanings behind Chinese symbols.

Our driver cleaned the car while we were out, so we always came back to a clean car, impressive on a rainy day when we're traipsing in and out of parks and temples.

Xi'An, which was China's first capital, is clearly a city in transition. 6 million people and you can see new construction at an aggressive pace, juxtaposed with old rural China. The Sheraton Hotel was alright - we got two rooms next to each other. Breakfast room service was good with reasonable service, lovely lobby area.

It's not really set up for independent travelers, yet anyway. We suggested trying some local restaurants and our tour guide expressed concern of visitors having adverse food reactions,

The weather was rainy the first day, and sunny the second. We went from chilly to warm, so be prepared with windbreakers even in June.
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