A Teachers Tour of Xi’an: All The Essential Information You Need
Xi’an is the most famous ancient capital in China and it is the capital of Shaanxi Province, formerly known as Chang’an. Xi’an City is home to Chinas cultural relics. If travel to teach English in Xi’an, there is a whole load of things to do and places to visit.
Xi’an experiences the four distinct seasons. It has an average annual temperature of 26oC. January is the coldest month with temperatures dropping to -10oC. July is the hottest month with temperatures rising up to 40oC. The best time to visit Xi’an is during spring in the months of March to May, or during autumn, in September and October.
Movement from, into and within Xi’an is easy thanks to the well-developed transport system. Air transport is available from Xianyang International Airport. You can book your flight to other cities in China or to other countries.
Intercity travel is also enhanced by railway transport. There are two major railway stations in Xi’an: Xi’an Railway Station and North Railway Station. There are also long-distance buses and intercity buses used for transport from Xi’an to other major cities in China. Movement within Xi’an City is enhanced by the use of metro, city buses, taxis, shared bikes and personal cars. Being a major tourist city, sightseeing buses are made available for visitors and are used to ferry them to different destinations as they enjoy the view of the city.
Attractions and Sites
Xi’an has over 200 attraction sites for its visitors. It is a city that is rich in Chinese history and culture. You can visit sites along the eastern route, western route, northern route, southern route or within the city proper. These sites are easily accessed using metro buses, tourist buses and taxis.
Here are some of the places you could visit when you travel to teach in China.
Terra Cota army
The Terra Cota army is made up of funerary statues of 8000 soldiers and horses that were used to guard tradition Xi’an city. It is made up of a large collection of life-size terra Cota sculptures organised in battle formations. It tries to replicate the imperial guard troops of Emperor Qinshi Huang. Present here is also a variety of weaponry and ammunition that was used by the soldiers. Entrance charges into Terra Cota army range between 18USD to 23USD.
Great City Wall
This wall was built to defend people from enemies during the Ming Dynasty and stands at a height of 12 metres (40ft), a width of 14 metres (46ft) and a length of 13.7 kilometres. It has 98 ramparts on the outer side that were used to prevent enemies from climbing up the wall. On the inner side, parapets were built to prevent soldiers from falling off the wall during war.
The City wall can be accessed using either of the four gates; North, South, East and West. You can enjoy hiking, biking or touring with battery cars along the wall. The bikes and battery cars are hired at a fee Charges into these site range between 4USD to 16USD.
Shaanxi Historical Museum
This is a modern museum built in 1983. Its architectural style imitates the one used during the Tang Dynasty. The colours used to paint it are white, black and grey giving it a solemn rustic charm. The museum has four exhibition halls which exhibit Chinese history in order from the pre-historic era to the recent years.
The museum gives 3000 free entry tickets into the museum daily. However, it will cost you about 4.5USD to 45.2USD to access the different exhibition halls.
This is the most popular landmark in Xi’an. It is a wooden tower sitting on a brick base and rises to a height of 36 metres. The tower was built in 1384 by emperor Zhu as a watchtower and give early warning in case the enemy struck. Its doors are richly engraved with decorative fashions from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Access and ascent of the Bell and Drum towers costs between 5.3USD to 7.5USD
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
This is considered a holy place for Buddhists. It has an appealing architectural design, with Buddha statues engraved on its walls. It stands at a height of 64.5 metres and has 7 storeys. The Wild Goose Pagoda was built in order to collect Buddhist materials taken from India.
Entrance fees range between 4.5USD to 12.10USD.
Many hotels in Xi’an are located in the city centre. Others are located very close to the city to make it easier for visitors to access various amenities. Hotels are located in areas well served by transport lines such as roads, railways and airports. This convenience also makes it easier for hotels to serve their clients. Most hotels such as Tooyo Hotel, Bell Tower Hotel, Grand Noble Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Rabada Bell Tower, among others, offer excellent services. Most of them have a four to a five-star rating. They provide internet services, room service, laundry services, gymnasium, swimming pool, free parking, spa services and restaurant services. They also provide airport pick up services, have bars and lounges and some allow their visitors to bring their pets with them. Hotel charges vary between 12USD to 150USD per night.
Having gone to teach in China, you should treat your taste buds to foreign cuisines in Xi’an restaurants. Most of these restaurants are located within malls, in tourist attraction sites, close to hotels and along streets in the city centre.
The restaurants here will give you a dizzying array of local meals, international cuisines, street food desserts and drinks. Some of the cuisines you must try in Xi’an are Tang Imperial Cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, hand-cut wheat noodles, Shaanxi style flatbread(rou jia mo) and crumbled bread in mutton/beef soup (yangrou paomo). Most of these restaurants serve their food alongside performances from the locals such that you get entertained as you enjoy your meal. Food prices range from 0.32$-25.5$ per item, depending on your order.
De Fa Chang, Tang Dynasty, Muslim Quarter, Shang Palace Restaurant, La Seine Restaurant and Xi’an Restaurant are a few of the many restaurants you could sample in Xi’an.
There is a lot to shop for in China ranging from local products, household effects, fabric and Chinese artwork. The Bell and Drum Tower Commercial centres are known for their big departmental stores and supermarkets. You can shop for cosmetics, fashion, jewellery and household supplies in these centres. Gaoxin Business Area has huge malls such as Golden Eagle Mall and Century Ginwa Mall. These malls have different stores where you can shop for silk and jade fabrics. You can also shop from Chinese calligraphy, jewellery and artwork. The Big Wild Pagoda shopping centre is known for its costumes, shoes, bags, local and cultural artwork which all come at cheaper prices compared to others. For your electronics shopping, visit Computer Plaza or Buynow Plaza. They have good bargains on phones, tablets laptops and appliances.
Souvenir markets are also common in Xi’an. You can buy unique artworks from Tang West market, Antique market, Wenbaochai Tourist Centre and Peasant Painting Gallery. Wholesale shopping can be done at centres in Kang Fu Lu and Northwest light industry. For those who love books and those who go to teach in China, bookstores are common and you can purchase your books in any language. Most sores allow payment using credit cards. Remember to strike a bargain and get value for your money, prices are not cast on stone. Finally, while shopping in crowded places, beware of pickpockets and take care of your luggage.
There are a good number of places you could visit and activities you could engage in by night in Xi’an. There are plenty of pubs, bars and clubs where you can have fun as you enjoy your drinks. Cafes and teahouses are in their numbers for those who would like a late night cup of coffee or tea. Karaoke nights are very common in Xi’an; go and belt out your vocals to your favourite tunes.
The Fountain is located and the Music Show is held on the North Square of the Wild Goose Pagoda. This happens every night from January through to November. The Tang Dynasty Show takes place in the Tang Dynasty Palace. It showcases the rich culture and history of Xi’an and China at large. You could also take your time to view the Bell Tower which turns into a lovely scene at night with its illuminating and colourful lighting.
Teach English in China with Pioneer & Beyond and experience Xi’an first hand.