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China > General information > Region and city guide > Other attractions around Xi'an

  Around Xi’an

♥ Pandas

 

Panda

(Open 8 am-5 pm; ¥20). 

Two hours southwest of Xi’an, the Panda Reserve at Zhouzhi in the QinglingMountains is a good place to see the animals, along with golden monkeys, red pandas, black bears and leopards. There are currently eight pandas at the site, including one baby.



Hostels run tours that cost ¥160 as long as you have a minimum of five people, or you can hire a taxi for the round-trip, which should cost ¥400-500.


Try to get to the reserve for the
10:30 am or
4 pm feeding times when you’ll see the pandas tucking into apples and milk along with the bamboo.

If you’re interested in getting more involved with promoting panda conservation, i-to-i organizes volunteer programs at the center (which you must pay for) – check out
www.i-to-i.com.






Panda


Huashan

(Open 8:30 am-6 pm; ¥100; tourist bus #6).

 

Seventy-five miles east of Xi’an, Huashan is the westernmost of China’s five holy Taoist mountains and is well worth a trip. The mist-shrouded mountain has long been a Taoist hermits’ retreat and there are several temples and a cave dedicated to Laozi, the religion’s semi-mythical founder.

Huashan is a couple of hours drive from
Xi’an, which makes staying overnight preferable if you wish to climb, rather than take the cable car (daily 9 am-4 pm; ¥60 oneway or ¥110 round-trip), up the mountain.

Practicalities

Hostels run day-trips to the mountain for ¥280, which includes transport, entrance fees, cable car and meals, but these tend to be rushed and it’s better to hire your own taxi (¥700 round-trip including waiting) and leave early, or take the bus and stay overnight. Buses leave from Dongguangchang station and take two hours to get to the mountain.  

 
There are plenty of hotels on Yuquan Jie in town, some of which have dorms, and there are also places to stay on the mountain itself. Many of these are basic affairs where you’ll need a sleeping bag, but there are better options on the
NorthPeak and the EastPeak.

 
Making the Climb 

The mountain is notoriously steep and there are some precipitous drops but, if you choose to climb rather than take the cable car to the 5,295-foot North Peak, your efforts will be rewarded with fine views (weather permitting), a tremendous sense of achievement and aching legs. 

 


The nine-mile climb takes around four hours and starts easily enough, but the route becomes increasingly steep and narrow as you ascend. Once at NorthPeak you can travel on to the highest point of the mountain, South Peak, at 7085 feet. 

You can continue on around the remainder of the mountain’s five peaks, although it takes a good six to eight hours to complete the circuit, so you might want to stay on the mountain.

View from the North Peak

                                                                                                          View from the North Peak 


 

 Adventures
Xi’an is so overloaded with sights that you may find little time for anything beyond a bike ride or walk around the city walls, but you could also try your hand at dumpling making, or join in with some tai chi or kiteflying around the central plaza above the Century Ginwa shopping mall. 

On Foot 

Around the City Walls. You can walk around the flat city walls in about three hours, but it can get very hot in Xi’an, so many people prefer to do just a section of the walk. Don’t worry about getting stranded. If you get tired you can either descend when you come to the next gate and take a taxi to your hotel, or hop on one of the electric buggies that circuit the wall.

Late afternoon is a good time to start the walk as the heat of the day starts to fade and the walls are bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun – you may see local musicians performing below you as you make your way round 


On Wheels 

Around the City Walls. Cycling makes for a speedier way of seeing the wall than walking and the whole circuit can be completed in around an hour. You can rent bikes from the South Gate of the wall – rental costs ¥20 (plus a ¥200 deposit) for 100 minutes or ¥40 for a tandem. 

  

 Getting to Xi’an 

 Getting around Xi’an 

 Drum Tower, City walls, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum,… 

 The Terracotta Warriors 

 

Back to

   Xi’an Travel Guide homepage 

   Cities and regions of China homepage
   China Travel Guide homepage 

 


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China tourism, attractions around Xi'an, sightseeing around Xi'an: Pandas & Huashan