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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 Incredible Things to Do in Xian – Delve into China's Ancient Past
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Top 5 Incredible Things to Do in Xian – Delve into China's Ancient Past

Explore the city of Xian, which is located in China's Central Province. It a gateway into the country's ancient past. Once known as Chang'an, it served as the capital of numerous Chinese dynasties.


Pay a Visit to the Silent Army

When one thinks of Xian, China, the first thing that likely comes to mind, is the museum of the mysterious Terracotta Warriors. This is perhaps the city's most iconic attraction, and rightly so. Gaze at rows upon rows of stony-faced soldiers as they stand vigil, ever-ready to serve their Emperor, Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. It is believed that the craftsmen who were commissioned to fashion the terracotta army, were cruelly murdered after its completion, in order to keep the Emperor's immortal sentinels, a secret.

Qin Shi Huang was the founder of the ancient Qin Dynasty which lasted briefly, between the years 221 and 206 BC. The importance of this dynasty is that it was the first one that ruled over a unified China. If you are staying at one of the Xi ' An hotels such as Grand Park Xian, this attraction is about a 40-minute drive away. So, you can set aside half a day or less to visit the attraction.


Walk along the City's Walls

Enjoy a stroll along the historic walls of the city which date back to the 1300's. Xian is one of the last former capitals of old in China, whose protective walls are still left standing. Take in the unhindered views of the city below as you explore the ramparts.


Visit the Tomb of Yet Another Emperor

Explore the halls of the Yangling Museum. It houses the tomb of the Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, Liu Qi. This mausoleum also serves as the tomb of the Emperor's spouse, Empress Wang. This site is almost 2,000 years old and is believed to have been constructed in the 2nd century CE.


Stand at the Heart of Xian

Make your way to Xian's historic Drum and Bell Tower. This tower stands tall at the geographic heart of the city. You can find it at the point where the roads leading inwards from the city's cardinal gates, intersect. In olden days, the bell and drum were sounded in order to communicate important times and events to the townsfolk, as well as to sound the alarm in case of danger.


Explore the Annals of History

If you want to learn more about the city's rich history, the Shaanxi History Museum is a must-visit attraction in Xian. Walk by the numerous exhibits in order to delve deep into the region's past. Most of them feature English translations so that tourists can learn more about Xian's ancient past. As the oldest of China's four ancient capitals, the city and its museum have many stories to tell those who traverse its premises. You will find that the museum lies less than a 10-minute drive away from the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian, another one of the city's many attractions.

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