Xian, located in central-northwest China, records the great changes of the country just like a living history book. Called Chang’an (meaning the eternal city) in ancient times, Xian is one of the birthplaces of the ancient Chinese civilization in the Yellow River Basin area. As the eastern terminal of the Silk Road and the site of the famous Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, Xian has won a reputation all over the world. More than 3,000 years of history including over 1,100 years as the capital city of ancient dynasties, have endowed Xian with an amazing historical heritage. Tourists marvel at the numerous historical sites and cultural relics in and around the city.
Xian is one of the most important and convenient travel hubs in central and western China. Frequent flights, trains and buses connect Xian with other major cities all around China. The urban transportation of Xian has been somewhat frustrating in recent years because of the subway construction. Subway line 2 will be in operation in 2011. Several other lines are also under construction or in the planning process. For now the buses and taxis can take you to getting around the city.
Praised as ‘the capital of table delicacies’, Xian has been rich in delicious local snacks such as the must-try Yang Rou Pao Mo (Crumbled Unleavened Bread Soaked in Mutton Stew), Liang Pi (Cold Noodles) and Rou Jia Mo (Hot Meat Sandwich). Tourists can also find delicate Guangdong dishes, popular Sichuan food and various kinds of fashionable foreign delicacies.
Curio and craftwork is a feature of Xian Shopping and of course an attraction for tourists. Shu Yuan Men (The Arts Street) and Xian Antique Market are recommended for buying souvenirs such as the Tang tri-colored glazed pottery, replicas of Terracotta warriors, as well as folk handicrafts of paper-cut and shadow puppet. Also there are many modern shopping outlets, including big shopping centers, department stores and supermarkets in and around Xian city – the biggest and most comprehensive being Kai Yuan Shopping Mall and Century Ginwa Shopping Mall.
The night life in Xian has a unique glamour. Tourists can enjoy the night scenery around the Bell Tower, stroll around the ancient Big Wild Goose Pagoda and view the music and light fountain performance on the north square under the pagoda, as well as watch a Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show or a show of the local Shaanxi Opera (Qin Qiang). For the party-loving owls, more modern and fashionable hangouts are available in Xian, including the various karaoke bars, discos and nightclubs.
Rose is writing for China Travel discovery, which offer information on China travel, China life, China Facts, Chinese culture, History of China , China Maps and China News.