• Discover Hua Mountain, one of China’s most sacred and dramatic mountains. In addition to its religious significance, it is also quite possibly the most breathtakingly beautiful in all of China
• Experience Xi’an’s imperial past with a visit to the Terracotta Warriors and the Qianlong Mausoleum
• Make your Terracotta Warriors and bring it home!
• Spend the evening reliving Xi’an’s golden age with a dumpling feast and the Tang Dynasty show, which recreates the period of history when Xi’an was the capital of the Chinese empire, during which Xi’an was the biggest city in the world
Day 1: Arrive in Xian (D)
You may arrive in Xian by train or air. We will meet you at the airport or train station. Tonight, we will welcome you with Xian's famous Dumpling Banquet and the Tang Dynasty Dance and Musical.
You will stay in the Ramada Hotel (4-star) near Bell Tower (downtown). You may have an evening walk on your own around the Bell Tower. It's very safe to walk at night in China.
Day 2: Mount Huashan (B,L)
Today you will witness one of the greatest natural wonders in China, majestic Hua mountain (Huashan). Huashan (Hua means brilliant, Chinese, or flowery; shan means mountain) is one of the five sacred Taoist mountains in China. Huashan boasts a lot of religious sites: Taoist temples, pavilions, and engraved scriptures scatter over the hill.
Hua Mountain is well-known for its sheer cliffs and plunging ravines. It is known as “the most precipitous mountain under heaven.” Following breakfast, we’ll make the 120km drive to Huashan, and the trip will take about 3 hours.
There are five peaks that make up the mountain: Cloud Terrace Peak (North Peak, 1613m), Jade Maiden Peak (Middle Peak, 2042m), Sunrise Peak (East Peak, 2100m), Lotus Peak (West Peak, 2038m) and Landing Wild Goose Peak (South Peak, 2160m). North Peak, the lowest of the five, is the starting point. It has three ways up it: the six kilometer winding track from Huashan village, the cable car or the path beneath it.
By cable car and by foot you will be able to visit the peaks, and after our drive back to Xi’an you can spend the evening at your own leisure.
You will stay in Ramada Hotel tonight.
Day 3: Terracotta Warriors and City Wall
Our first stop will be Xian's signature attraction, the Terracotta Warriors. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum is the result of the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the Emperor in his afterlife. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. Lifesize terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.
MAKE YOUR TERRACOTTA WARRIOR! You will have an opportunity to visit the Terracotta Reproduction Factory. At the factory, talented artisans make these life-size replicas in the same manner as their counterparts did two thousand years ago - with just their hands, a few essential tools, and clay. By watching how a terracotta is made, you can try to make your miniature reproduction of the famous artifact and take it home!
After lunch at the Terracotta Museum, you'll take a stroll on Xi'an's ancient city wall. It's the complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as being one of the largest old military defensive systems in the world. Xi'an City Wall was erected in the 14th century Ming Dynasty, under the regime of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. When Zhu Yuanzhang captured Huizhou, long before the establishment of the Ming Dynasty, he was admonished by a hermit named Zhu Sheng, who told him to "build high walls, store abundant provisions and take your time in proclaiming yourself, emperor." If you like, you have the option of renting a bike or a rickshaw on the wall to cover more ground in a shorter time.
The three-day adventure is ended by late afternoon. We'll drop you off at the airport or train station.