Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Built in 652 AD during the Tang Dynasty, this Buddhist pagoda is so named because of a legend that a wild goose fell from the sky just when starving monks at the site of the pagoda prayed for meat from Bodhisattva.
Explore the vast Han Mausoleum, the joint resting place of Han Dynasty emperor Liu Qi and his Empress, Wang Zhi. Aside from the imposing royal tombs, which rival the Terracotta Army in size and scope, the site’s 81 satellite tombs have proven to be an archaeological treasure trove, containing more than 60,000 burial objects - from pottery and utensils to weapons and chariots - of the Western Han Dynasty. Learn what the careful placement of the awe-inspiring tombs and relics reveals about the hierarchical social structures of the dynasty.
Enjoy a royal Tang Dynasty reception at the city wall, where, in accordance with ancient procedure, a “royal visa” will be issued to you. Performers dressed in period costume will announce your arrival similar to the manner in which explorers were presented to the emperor.
Visit the Shaanxi Museum of History; Shaanxi Province is a cradle of civilization and the museum is home to a number of ancient, prized relics, including fossils of the Lantian Man, who precedes the Peking Man and is believed to have lived 1.7 million years ago in modern-day China.
Discover the end of the Silk Road. Explore one of Xian’s Muslim neighborhoods by visiting the Great Mosque of Xian, originally built in 742 under the auspices of the Tang Dynasty. Stroll and admire the tranquil environs of the mosque’s four courtyards, and view such rare pieces as a Ming dynasty handwritten copy of the Koran.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of over 8,000 terracotta soldiers, 100 chariots and 600 horses, no two identical. The army was created to guard the tomb of Qin Shi-huang, the legendary and controversial “First Emperor” who united China into one country from an array of warring states, and also began construction of the Great Wall.
On certain occasions, Remote Lands can arrange special access to the floor of the excavation site of the Terracotta Army, where you can look at terra cotta soldiers up close.
Pending special permission, visit the private storeroom at the Xian Archaeological Institute. A representative of the Institute will guide you through the typically off-limits displays of invaluable relics, some of them nearly 3,000 years old.
Walk on the Xian City Wall, one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. It was built by the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, who paid heed to a hermit’s advice of building high walls in order to fortify the city and unify the other states. While impressive, the walls are but a pale shadow of the ones constructed in earlier eras, particularly when Xian was the Tang Dynasty capital of Chang'an.