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Attraction & Sightseeing In Xi'an

Bell Tower and the Drum Tower--Imperial Tombs
Large Wild Goose Pagoda-- Small Wild Goose Pagoda

The Bell Tower and the Drum Tower

Attraction & Sightseeing In Xi'anThe Bell Tower in Xi'an is situated in the very heart of the city and at the junction of four main roads. The original city Bell Tower was situated to the west of this site and the present construction was built in 1582 and restored in 1739.

There is a huge bell hanging on the roof of the tower which was traditionally used to tell the time by and there are other, smaller bells on exhibit in the tower too.

Today, the Tower can only be accessed form the Subway on Bei Dajie where visitors must also buy their tickets.

To the west of the Bell Tower is the Drum Tower. This is a smaller building, situated in a lively street which is filled with street traders and hawkers. This tower marks the entrance to the city's Muslim Quarter which is a lovely area to wander and observe. the felling here is almost of a "city within a city" and the streets around this district heading up to the Mosque are like a small village crammed with people selling all kinds of weird and wonderful things.

How to get there: Both the towers are in the center of town. Take the subway to Bei Dajie.

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The Imperial Tombs

Attraction & Sightseeing In Xi'anQianling Mausoleum is located on Liangshan Hill about 80 kilometers west of Xi'an. This well preserved mausoleum is the joint tomb of the the Tang dynasty Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu Zetian. Empress Wu's rise to power is particularly impressive given that she became an Empress in her own right in a society where the highest position a woman could generally hope to obtain was that of concubine. 

After her husband died, the Empress Wu ruled the country until her death in 707. Criticism of this "feminist" Empress ranges from those who saw her as little more than a whore to those who consider that she was blood thirsty and tyrannical. No doubt all these opinions are tainted by the simple fact that she was a woman. 

The Tomb is surrounded by headless statues of the leaders of minority peoples. There are various historical relics here including stone engravings and exquisitely carved stone statues. Of all the arts, sculpture particularly blossomed during the Tang dynasty.

The small mausoleum is located on a hill with three peaks- two artificial and one natural. Locals believe that the north peak resembles Empress Wu's head and the two southern peaks resemble her breasts! There are also other tombs around here including Princess Yong Tai's tomb- an elegant and beautiful construction.

How to get there: To get to Qianling Mausoleum take a bus from the Long Distance Bus Station in Xi'an. Buses leave every twenty minutes and the trip takes about two hours.

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The Large Wild Goose Pagoda

Attraction & Sightseeing In Xi'anThe Large Wild Goose Pagoda (dayanta) is located within the premises of the Temple of Great Maternal Grace (Dacien Si). This magnificent pagoda is four kilometers south of Xi'an and many regard it as a symbol of the city. The pagoda, built in 652 A.D, is a square pyramid and stands at 60 meters high and seven storeys tall.

Legend has it that the Temple was built by Emperor Tang Gaozong to honor his mother, Empress Wende. The Temple is also said to have been built to house and protect Buddhist scriptures collected in India by the Chinese monk, Xuan Zang.

There are fantastic views from the top of the pagoda of the grid- like streets below and it seems hard to believe today that the area around here was once countryside and fields! It is tradition to throw coins from the windows of the pagoda in the hope that this will bring good luck.

How to get there: The Large Wild Goose Pagoda is in the south of the city. To get there take bus No.41 from the train station.
Opening hours: 8:00-16:00
Admission Tickets: RMB10

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The Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Attraction & Sightseeing In Xi'anThe Small Wild Goose Pagoda, is situated about 1km south of Xi'an city in the grounds of Jianfu Temple. T

he Pagoda is a square brick construction with dense eaves, 45 meters high but missing it's top which was shaken off by an earthquake! 

The pagoda is uniquely and delicately shaped with a hollow inside and was originally built to house Buddhist scriptures and relics.

How to get there: Take bus No.3 from the Railway Station. Entry is RMB10 to the grounds and another RMB10 to go up the Pagoda which has great views over the city.
Opening hours: 8:00-18:00

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