Xi'anCopyright: Nateethep Ratanavipanon/Shutterstock.com
Xi'anXi'an was once called Chang'an, the City of Long-lasting Peace. The city was the capital of the legendary Tang Dynasty, as well as 13 other dynasties, and the legendary ancient Silk Road started here. The variety of folk handicrafts that greets the visitor is bewildering. With all this heritage behind it, Xi'an stands proud even in the face of its modernisation, a spectacular testament to the magnificent legacy the Chinese are so proud of.
The CityHistory-lovers should definitely add Xi'an to their itineraries. From the Drum Tower in the center of town to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors which stands guard in the Mausoleum of The First Qin Emperor (the first ruler to successfully conquer the disparate feudal kingdoms to form a unified China) and the stones that make up the ancient city walls which greeted weary travelers of the far west, this city is branded with historic footprints.
Do & See
Xi'an offers you a wide range of historical heritages to understand Chinese history and culture from different sides, from visiting the house of an affluent family back in the day to Terracotta Warriors, the precious legacy of China’s first emperor, as well as the ancient city walls, where built six hundred years ago and are possibly the most completely preserved city walls in the world.
The cuisine in Xian is greatly influenced by the flavors of Northwestern China. Home to more than 600,000 Muslims, the food here is markedly different from the food that is served in traditional Chinese restaurants. One defining characteristic is the use of lamb in its dishes since Muslims are not allowed to eat pork which is most commonly used in Chinese cooking. Another one is the substitute of rice by flat bread and the Pita Bread soaked in Lamb Soup. Both represent the food culture of this ancient city. Of course, being an international city means other cuisines like Western, Japanese, Korean and South Asian are also represented here.
Most of the cafes in Xi’an provide both European and Chinese food and drinks in a casual and relaxing environment. You can find a range of coffee shops from local to global chain instalments, which serve high quality coffee and treats.
Bars & Nightlife
Bars are the most bustling locales at night in Xi'an, and they scatters all around the city, from the centre to the university campuses. The best-known is Telford Lane, where different styles, music, beers, locations, and ambience all combine to attract regulars to different clubs. Most of these nightspots open at around eight in the evening and close at around two in the morning.
When it comes to shopping in Xi’an, the starting point would be the vicinity of the Zhonglou Tower, where many famous shopping malls and international plazas gather and make it a prime shopping spot. This is also a great place to hunt for souvenirs. For those who like Xi'an cuisine, the locals have made many of their favourite snacks and dishes available in a vacuum-sealed easy-to-carry packaging for those who may want to bring quite literally, a piece of Xi’an home.