A Shaanxi Province tour in Xi’an and Mount Hua to surpass all expectations.
Visit the Wild Goose Pagodas (both big and small), the spectacular terracotta warriors and the UNESCO approved world-class Shaanxi History Museum, experience the cultural folk arts of Chinese shadow and wood puppetry, see the World Heritage terracotta warriors and make one for yourself in a craftsman-guided workshop, climb peak to peak on China’s sacred ‘Western Mountain’.
The best tourist destinations and experiences.
Airport/station pickup. Xi’an meet-up. Xi’an sightseeing.
Airport/station pickup. Xi’an meet-up.
Today is meet up day. Arrive in Xi’an, enjoy airport/station pick-up service and get checked in at the hotel.
Arrive early for a head start on this historic 2000+ year-old city’s endless attractions. Convenient places to visit include the Ancient City Wall – walk on the ramparts surrounding the Tang Dynasty Daming Palace. Huimin Jie ‘Muslim street’ is also just a subway ride and short walk away.
Whatever you choose, don’t forget: Xi’an is a culinary Mecca. This is your chance to try all types of delicious, weird and wonderful foods: Biangbiang noodles, pulled mutton baked-bun sandwiches, Youpu noodles, lamb broth bread dimple soup, spicy meatball soup, deep-fried persimmon pastry, Hulu whole roast chicken, the local ‘ice peak’ orange soda... the list goes on.
Breakfast. Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi’an museum. Heritage folk arts wood puppetry performances and puppeteer meet. Shuyuanmen pedestrian bazaar. Siheyuan’ quadrangle dwelling ‘Fu brick tea’ tasting. Master artist calligraphy works. Great wild goose pagoda. Nightscape city views at Daming Buyue town.
Breakfast. Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi’an museum.
Eat breakfast, then set out for the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi’an museum.
The Lesser Wild Goose Pagoda stands within the museum grounds in an elegant Tang Dynasty Yuanlin landscaped garden courtyard. Inside the museum, exhibits such as those on the old Xi’an ‘Datang 108 warehouse’ city layout and hitching post culture will change the way you see the city streets and help you notice interesting details in the days to come.
Heritage folk arts wood puppetry performances and puppeteer meet.
While we’re delving into the past, get to know ancient entertainment. The museum also has live intangible heritage folk arts performances. Watch shadow and wood puppetry, and go backstage to learn some tricks from the wizards behind the curtain after the show.
Shuyuanmen pedestrian bazaar. Siheyuan’ quadrangle dwelling ‘Fu brick tea’ tasting. Master artist calligraphy works. Lunch.
Leaving the museum behind, follow the streets to a pedestrian bazaar known as Shuyuanmen. Enter a traditional ‘Siheyuan’ quadrangle dwelling, then take a seat for a tasting of a local specialty - Fu Brick tea. Enjoy the tea as we enjoy some traditional handicraft art – Chinese New Year’s picture painting. Before we go to lunch there’s also a treat for Calligraphy enthusiasts in the group. See a display of the authentic works of master artist Mr. Yu Zuoren.
Head to lunch.
Great wild goose pagoda. Nightscape city views at Daming Buyue town.
After lunch, stand before the Great Wild Goose Pagoda.
Over 1000-years-old, an ancestral temple of Chinese Vajrayana Buddhism - the pagoda is a major Xi’an landmark with plenty of culture and stories behind it. Ask questions and learn all there is to know about this .
Take a break from the ancient and visit the “most happening” district of Xi’an – Daming Buye City. Enjoy the best nightscape views in the city, plus all manner of enthralling street performances.
Return to the hotel and rest.
Breakfast. Old Xi’an City Wall Fortifications climb. Chinese royal banquet lunch (etiquette, cosplay and historically accurate food - immersive cultural experience). Qinshihuang Mausoleum Site Museum. Eighth Wonder of the World – the Emperor Qinshihuang’s terracotta warriors. DIY terracotta warrior figurine crafting experience. Check in.
Breakfast. Old Xi’an City Wall Fortifications climb.
Eat breakfast at the hotel then set out for Day Three.
First is a morning light climb on the 600-year-old Xi’an City Wall Fortifications. Either walking or on two wheels, follow the guide along the ramparts and learn a little about the thousand years that transformed this capitol from “Chang’an” into “Xi’an”.
Expect something cool – our next experience will be a lunch to remember.
Chinese royal banquet lunch (etiquette, cosplay and historically accurate food - immersive cultural experience).
Enjoy a high-end meal in style at the Qin Culture themed restaurant. The restaurant recreates a true-to-life experience of attending an ancient Chinese royal banquet. Dress in ancient-era clothing, dine according to the etiquette of the age, and eat a course of sumptuous Chinese cuisine.
Finish lunch, then set off to see the sight Chinese put before the Great Wall as the Eighth Wonder of the World – the Emperor Qinshihuang’s terracotta warriors.
Qinshihuang Mausoleum Site Museum. Eighth Wonder of the World – the Emperor Qinshihuang’s terracotta warriors.
The Qinshihuang Mausoleum Site Museum the China’s largest relic site museum. The museum was built to house the approximately 6000 life-size ‘Binmayong’ soldiers, discovered in 1974. Each clay-sculpted warrior is different, their features unique, all the way down to facial expressions (you can use binoculars to check them out!)
DIY terracotta warrior figurine crafting experience. Hotel check-in.
Once again, we’ve organized something special.
After the traditional museum browsing experience, take part in a DIY terracotta warrior figurine crafting experience. Using the same clay that was used to create the ancient warriors you just saw, follow the instructor, working step-by-step with your own two hands to craft a little ceramic Qin soldier of your own to keep!
Complete your soldier, then head back to the bus. From here we ride to the hotel at the base of the great Mount Hua.
Check in and rest for the night.
Breakfast. Depart for Huashan, aka ‘Mount Hua’. Huashan cross-mountain trail hike. Taihua Cableway descent. Hotel check-in.
Breakfast. Depart for Huashan, aka ‘Mount Hua’.
Day four is big!
After breakfast, begin climbing Mount Hua. Break the first steps on the “from times of old” Huashan cross-mountain trail.
Huashan cross-mountain trail hike.
This is a hiking route that people have been using for thousands of years. The trail starts off smooth and gentle, but after passing Hunyuan Rock quickly becomes rugged and trying. From here we battle on from milestone to milestone: Huixin Rock to the ‘Thousand-foot Pennant’, Hundred-foot Gorge to the Laojunli Gulley. Although it is quite a climb, you can rest assured – as long as you stay focused and use both your upper and lower body, the average person can complete it without too much trouble. Keep in mind this this a rapid-ascent trail - it takes the wind out of you. The guide will help make sure you rest intermittently, stay fuelled and stay hydrated.
A little further up the track is the first peak of the climb – the North peak, also known as Yuntai ‘Cloud Platform’ Peak. An inscribed stone waits for us there. Take a moment to rest and look out onto the mountain. The Mount Hua apex and Baiyun ‘White Cloud’ peaks are visible form here. Arriving at this point means that we are past halfway on today’s trail.
Bid farewell to North Peak and continue on the trail towards the main mountain peak. Pass ‘Ear graze’ Cliff and the Shangtian Ladder, then face the spectacular yet daunting Canglong Ridge. The ridge is the most treacherous section of the entire trail. Canglong is a narrow rock walkway that traces the spine of the mountain, with sheer cliff drop-offs on either side. Powerful wind gusts add extra thrill to the experience – so hold onto your skirts and hats!
Afterwards we step onto the Feilong Ridge path, from which point the trail becomes much friendlier. Continue along. Passing the Wuyun ‘Five Cloud’ Peak, the first of the “Eight Sights in the Pass” comes into view – check out what has been named the ‘Huayue Immortal Handprint.’ Legend has it that a god once split the mountain in two with a slice of his hand, the giant palm leaving its impression in the mountain stone. Do you see it?
Climb finished! Taihua Cableway descent. Hotel check-in.
At this point we are nearing the summit. Starting from ‘Gold Lock Pass’ follow the peaks clockwise, past ‘Jade Girl’ Peak, Chaoyang Peak, Luoying Peak, to finally at the trail’s endpoint – the Taihua cableway. Sit, rest and enjoy the view as you ride effortlessly down off the mountain. (Did we mention that this is the cableway with the biggest start-finish height differential in the world?)
Arrive back at the hotel, then check in and settle in for a heavenly rest.
Breakfast. Yellow River’s. Hukou Waterfall. Northern Shaanxi, the Yaodong Dugout homes (‘Old Zhiqing Residences’). Return to the city.
Breakfast. Yellow River Hukou Waterfall.
Rise and shine. Finish breakfast, then we group up and head out to one of the mighty Yellow River’s most forceful sights, the Hukou Waterfall. At this point the river comes to a sudden bottleneck, forcing a giant amount of water through a narrow pass. Feel the ground rumble as you approach.
Northern Shaanxi, the Yaodong Dugout homes (‘Old Zhiqing Residences’).
While we’re visiting Northern Shaanxi, the Yaodong Dugout homes are another attraction with a unique flavor and interesting story behind them. Visit the ‘Old Zhiqing Residences’ for a wander through the homes created by the 1960’s phenomenon that saw the “educated youth” flood into the countryside. Get insight into the feel of the times back in 1960’s, cultural revolution China. Around the residences Xintianyou melody performance, Hukou bucket drum dance and the Yangko folk dance give an immersive, authentic experience that sums up the atmosphere of Old North Shaanxi.
Return to the xi'an city. Check-in.
Afterwards, board the coach to return to the city.
Check in for the night.
Breakfast. Shaanxi History Museum. Shaanxi heritage art cuisine boulevard of Yongxingfang. Airport/train station send-off. Tour end.
Breakfast. Shaanxi History Museum.
Eat breakfast at the hotel, then venture out into the city for one final attack on Xi’an choice tourist destinations.
First is the world-class, UNESCO-approved Shaanxi History Museum – one of China’s absolute best museums. Normally the daily head-limit makes tickets hard to reserve, but we have you covered. Arrive early to avoid the lines and ensure entry. Browse the shining collection of precious artefact displays – windows that help you look back in time, revealing points along the road in the development of several thousand years of Eastern civilization.
Shaanxi heritage art cuisine boulevard of Yongxingfang.
From the museum, we make our way to the Shaanxi heritage art cuisine boulevard of Yongxingfang. Experience authentic local street food culture and see local customs up-close. Besides the local cuisine, there are stalls and old shops that specialize in classic popular food styles of the various regions of the country, plus street-side food preparation and vendor craftsman demonstrations to watch. Take the opportunity to buy extra snacks for the road.
Airport/train station send-off. Tour end.
After Yongxingfang, it is time to exchange best wishes and goodbyes.
Airport/train station send-off concludes the tour.