The two Chinese characters in the name "Xian" literally mean Western Peace. The local Xi'anese pronunciation of Xian is almost the same as the Standard Mandarin pronunciation in Hanyu Pinyin. This name derives from the period of the Ming Dynasty when the city's name changed from its former title of "Chang'an".
In fact, the naming conventions used for the city have often changed throughout time. The city was named Fenghao in the Zhou Dynasty beginning around 1046 BC. The city was named Xianyang during the Qin Dynasty, or rather the State of Qin in 383 BC. It was renamed Chang'an during the Han Dynasty in 206 AD. It was then renamed as Daxing during the Sui Dynasty in 581 AD, while it was again renamed Chang'an during the Tang Dynasty beginning in 618 AD. It was given other names in later periods as well, such as Fengyuan, then Anxi, then Jingzhao during the Yuan Dynasty. Finally, it was named Xian in the year 1369 AD — the first time that it was called Xi'an — during the Ming Dynasty. It retained the name of Xi'an until 1928, until it was named Xijing in 1930. It was once again changed back to its Ming era name of Xi'an in the year 1943.
Xi'an's abbreviations in Chinese are Hao or Tang. The former is derived from the ancient name Fenghao of the Zhou Dynasty. The latter is derived from the name of Tang Dynasty.
Xian has a rich history of cultural significance, both natural and man-made. The Lantian Man was discovered in 1963 at Lantian County (pinyin: Lántián Xiàn), just 50 km southeast of Xi'an. This finding dates back at least 500,000 years ago, and was followed by the discovery of a 5,000 year old Neolithic village at Banpo in 1954, just outside the current city limits to the east.
Xian became a cultural and industrial center of China in 11th century BCE, with the founding of the Zhou Dynasty. The capital of Zhou was established in Fēng and Hào , both located just west of contemporary Xi'an. Following the several century long Warring States Period, Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) unified China for the first time and the capital was Xianyang, just northwest from modern Xi'an. Before his death, Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of the Terracotta Army and his mausoleum which is located in the modern city's suburb.
Han Dynasty and the Silk Road
In 202 BCE, the founding emperor Liu Bang of the Han Dynasty established Chang'an County as the capital; his first palace Changle Palace was built across the river from the ruin of the Qin capital. This is traditionally regarded as the founding date of Chang'an, or Xi'an. Two years later, Liu Bang would build Weiyang Palace north of modern Xi'an. The original Xi'an city wall was started in 194 BCE, the construction took 4 years to finish and the wall measured 25.7 km in length, 12-16 m in thickness at the base. The area within the wall was ca. 36 km2. In year 190, amidst uprisings and rebellions just prior to the Three Kingdoms Period, a powerful warlord named Dong Zhuo moves the court from Luoyang to Chang'an in a bid to avoid a coalition of other powerful warlords against him.
The Han Dynasty saw the rise of the Silk Road, a great transcontinental route linking the Roman Empire in the West with the imperial court of China in the East. The ancient route started at Chang’an (the ancient name of Xi'an), the capital of the Han Dynasty, reached the Yellow River at Lanzhou, then skirted westward along deserts and mountains before dividing into three routes at the oasis of Dunhuang. Walking through Xinjiang, brave ancient merchants traveled westward all the way to Rome.
After a period of disunion, Sui Dynasty united the country again in 582 and the emperor ordered a new capital to be built southeast of the Han capital, called Daxing (great excitement). It consisted of three sections: the Xian Palace, the Imperial City, and the civilian section. The total area within the wall was 84 km2, The main street Zhuque Avenue measured 155 m in width. It was the largest city in the world.
The city was renamed Chang'an in Tang Dynasty. In the mid-7th century, after returning from his pilgrimage to India, Buddhist monk Xuan Zang (popularly known as Tang Sanzang) established a translation centre for Sanskrit scriptures.
Construction of the Da Yan Pagoda Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) began in 652. It measured 64 m in height. This pagoda was constructed for the storage of the translations of Buddhist sutras obtained from India by the Xuan Zang. In 707, construction of the Xiao Yan Pagoda (Small Wild Goose Pagoda) began, it measured 45 m in height at the time of completion. The earthquake of 1556 damaged the tower and reduced its height to 43.4 m.
The Huaqing Palace and the Huaqing Hot Springs has undergone four large reconstructions during its long history. The first could be dated back to the Western Zhou Dynasty of over 3,000 years ago. The second time was during the Qin Dynasty. By the time of the Western Han Dynasty it had become a popular destination for the Han emperors.
During the Tang Dynasty, large number of palaces were built along the mountain slopes and in the surrounding area. It was then renamed the “Huaqing Palace”.
The Daming Palace was commissioned and financed by Emperor Tang Taizong in 634, the 8th year of the reign of “Zhen’guan”, became a summer resort for his father, the former Tang Gaozong, Li Yuan. The palace is the largest to be built in the Tang dynasty, roughly 4.5 times larger than the forbidden city in Beijing. The Hanyuan Hall served as the main hall of the Daming Palace and it was used by the emperor to handle his routine affairs and grant audiences to officials or foreign envoys. The original survey indicated that the hall was built on a terrace over 3 meters high and extends some 75.9 meters in length from east to west and 42.3 meters in width from north to south.
The Xingqing Palace was once a palace built for the Emperor Xuanzong and the Lotus Palace which was once famous for its beautiful sceneries.
During the Tang Dynasty, Japanese overseas students arrived in Chang'an to study the ways of the Tang dynasty. When they went back to Japan, they brought with them books, religion, technologies, and Chinese characters (on which Japanese characters are based). Some Japanese even lived out their lives in Chang'an. Following the Japanese envoys was Kukai who came to Chang'an in 804; he first stayed in the Ximing Temple and later followed Monk Huiguo of the Blue Dragon Temple to study Esoteric Buddhism. He returned to Japan in 806 after he had finished his studies and established the True Word Sect of Buddhism in Japan and finally became a great master in establishing the "Eastern Esotericism".
Chang'an was largely destroyed at the end of the Tang Dynasty in 904. Residences were forced to move to the new capital city in Luoyang. Only a small area in the city continued to be occupied after the destruction.
During the Ming Dynasty, the 3rd year of Emperor Hongwu's reign, a new wall was constructed in 1370 .The new wall and a moat outside the walls protect a much smaller city measures 11.9 km in circumference, 12 m in height, and 15-18 m in thickness at the base. It is the most intact city wall in the world.
In late Qing Dynasty, foreign troops attacked Beijing. The empress dowager Cixi escaped from Beijing to Xi'an, living in Huaqing Palace at Lishan. Local officials wanted to please her and built a building named Liangbao Lou on West Street for the purpose of holding her jewels.
In 1936, just before the final outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, but during a period when Japan occupied much of Dongbei (NE China), the famous "Xian Incident" took place inside the city walls. General Yang Hucheng and General Zhang Xueliang ("The Young Marshall") arrested Chiang Kai-shek in order to force him to cooperate with the forces led by his enemy Mao Zedong in fighting the Japanese. The result was a temporary truce between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China and a shaky coordination in the fighting against the Japanese.
Geography and Climate
Xian lies on the Guanzhong Plain in the central part of China with the average elevation of 400 meters above sea level. Its annual precipitation is 1100 millimeters. The urban area of Xi'an, located at 34°16′N, 108°56′E
Xian is nested between a flood plain created by the eight surrounding rivers and streams, most of which have been polluted to be used as sources of fresh water. River Hei is the tap water provider to the city.
The city borders the northern foot of the Qinling Mountains to the south, and the banks of Wei River to the north. Hua Shan, one of the five sacred Taoist mountains, is located 100 km away to the east of the city.
In the beginning of Han Dynasty, Prime Minister Zhang Liang suggested the emperor, Liu Bang, to choose Guanzhong as the capital area of Han: 'Guanzhong Plain, which is located behind Xiao Pass and Hangu Pass, connects Long Plain and Shu Plain. Land, of thousands miles and rich in harvest, can be found here, as if this place is belongs to the nation of the heaven.' Since then, Guanzhong is also known as 'Nation of the Heaven'.
National Time Service Centre
Its Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory was established in 1966. In 1975, according to the Geodetic Origin Report, the People's Republic of China: 'in order to avoid bias in the mensuration as much as possible, the Geodetic Origin would better in central mainland China.' Jingyang, a town near Xi'an was chosen. Since 1986, Chinese Standard Time(CST) has lauched from NTSC. The location of NTSC at Jingyang is 36km away from Xi'an. It is 880km to the North boundary, 2500km to the Northeast, 1000km to the East, 1750km to the South, 2250km to the Southwest, 2930km to the West, and 2500km to the Northwest.
National Time Service Center (NTSC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences is an institute which is mainly engaged in the service and research on time and frequency. NTSC takes charge of generating and maintaining the national standard time scale, disseminating the time and frequency signals. The autonomous standard time scales of universal time and atomic time and the dissemination techniques with LF radio and HF radio were established successively during 1970’s and 1980’s, which meet all the requirements for different applications on the whole, such as the scientific researches, national economy, etc.
Xi'an has a continental climate. The region is characterized by long, hot summers, and cold, dry winters. Spring and Autumn are brief in between. Xi'an receives most of its annual precipitation from August to late October in the form of rain. Summer seasons also experience frequent but short thunderstorms.
At the end of 2005, Xian had a population of 8.07 million. Compared to the census conducted in 2000, the population increased by 656,700 persons from 7.41 million. There were 4.17 million (51.66%) males and 3.90 million (48.34%) females. For every 100 females in the city there were 106.88 males. The district with the most population is YanTa Qu, with 1.08 million inhabitants.
The majority of Xian residents are Han Chinese, which make up 99.1% of the city's total population. There are around 81,500 ethnic minorities living in Xian, including 50,000 Muslim Hui people, many of them concentrated in the famous Muslim quarter, which is also home to the beautiful 1,360 year old Great Mosque of Xian.
During World War II, Xi'an became a destination for many refugees from other provinces of China, especially the neighboring Henan Province, as Xi'an was quite far inland and the invading Japanese army only managed a few aerial assaults on the city. As a result, Xian suffered minimal destruction. After 1949, the central governmental aimed to balance the development in different regions of China, factories and universities were moved from other cities to Xi'an, including Xi'an Jiaotong University from Shanghai. Like other major Chinese cities, Xi'an receives a fair amount of migrant workers from the rural areas every year.
The urban and suburban areas of the city are divided into seven (7) districts:
District Population Area (km2)
Beilin 700,000 22.0
Yanta 690,000 152.0
Weiyang 410,000 26.1
Baqiao 450,000 32.2
Xincheng 490,000 31.0
Lianhu 600,000 38.00
Chang'an 930,000 1583
The following two districts encompass the more distant suburbs and satellite towns, constituting part of the metropolitan area:
District Population Area (km2)
Yanliang 240,000 240.0
Lintong 670,000 898.0
The other four districts and the two counties located further out govern semirural and rural areas:
District Population Area (km2)
Lantian 640,000 1,977.0
Zhouzhi 630,000 2,956.0
Hu County 590,000 1,213.0
Gaoling 230,000 290
Peripheral areas 2.09 million 6,436.0
Transportation and Infrastructure
For a large metropolis, Xi'an has many areas that are easily accessible on foot. At many heavily zoned commercial, residential, educations areas in the city, there are underpasses or overpasses for the safety and convenience of pedestrians, especially in the shopping and entertainment districts around the Bell Tower. However many intersections still lack sufficiently visible traffic lights and the right-of-way is virtually non-existent except at large intersections with traffic police and signals.
There has been a significant increase in the number of privately-owned vehicles to the middle and upper class households in Xi'an. Electrical bikes are very popular among students and offers easy transportation in and around the city for many residents. Taxi services are robust, however many citizens of Xi'an still commute to work on one of the 200+ bus routes.
Currently there are major constructions along Chang An street for the first subway system in Xian, designed 6 lines, to be completed by 2011.
The 2nd route will start to be built in 2009, while rest of the routes are planned to start in 2013 and finish around 2020.
The main models of the taxis are Santana made in Shanghai, BYD auto made in Xi'an and CITROEN made in Wuhan. Taxis serve 24 hours a day. The Taxi Management Bureau of Xi'an City strengthens the work of management by forming strict system and announcing telephone of complaints to the society. They provide canonical service, and charge according to the price meter.
There are 6 passenger transport railway stations in Xi'an at present, and the Xi'an Railway Station is one of the eight national important railway stations. Xi'an Railway Station is the main railway station serving the city. Others include Xi'an West, Xi'an East, Xi'an South,Sanmincun, Fangzhicheng railway stations. Xi'an North Railway Station is under construction.
Xian Railway Station has a coverage of 597 thousand square meters, 5 passenger platforms, and 24 rails. It actually provides 112 trains and its daily transportation of passengers is 80 thousand person times. In the Xi'an Railway Branch, there are excursion trains from Xi'an to Zhengzhou, from Xi'an to Lanzhou, from Xi'an to Baoji,and from Xi'an to Mount Hua. CRH2(China Railway High-speed 2) is an express service running from Xi'an to Baoji, the total running time is less than 90 minutes.
Xian currently has two ring road systems, the Second Ring road and the Third Ring road encircle the city. These ring roads are almost built like freeways, except that there are traffic signals on the Second Ring road.
As a famous tourist city, Xi'an built expressways to Lintong, Tongchuan and Baoji,High class roads built on the famous scenic spots from Xi'an to its suburban counties and the north slope of the Qin Mountains, transfixion of the 2nd Ring, widening of the three-bridge New Street and North Avenue and other projects provide very convenient conditions of traffic for visitors to Xi'an.
Expressways spread in all directions from Xi'an. In September 2007, the newest completed Xi-Han Expressway connects Han Zhong and Xi'an through the Qinling Mountains. The ZhongNan Shan Tunnel is the longest tunnel in Asia at 15 kilometers long.
Xian Xianyang International Airport is the major airport serving the city. It is the largest airport in the northwest region of China. THe airport is located to the northwest of the city, between Xian and Xianyang. Chang'an Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are the main airport tenants.
International Routes: There are direct flights from Xi'an to many major cities in Asia, including Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Pusan.
Germany's Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, has paid 490 million yuan to obtain a 24.5-percent stake in the Xianyang International Airport, offering opportunities to upgrade and expand the facility.
The culture of Xi'an is inherited from the traditions of one of the world's earliest civilizations. The Guanzhong Ren were the cultural antecedent of Xi'anese, their cultural features are drawn from the Ten Specialities of Guanzhong Ren. Another major part of this culture is Eight Great Sights of Chang'an, storied scenic areas in the region.
Seven styles of architecture predominate in urban Xi'an, the first three which include the architecture of Qin and Han Dynasties, the architecture of Tang Dynasty and at last the architecture of Ming and Qing Dynasties. These three styles are all Chinese traditional, but they could be differed from the colors of the roof and certain details. For Qin and Han Style, the roof is black, and no decorations are used under the roof. For Tang style, people began to use a lot of the colour red but still prefer the black or dark green roof, and the buildings were all divine and huge to show off the power of the country; when the history went into Ming and Qing dynasties, roof's color changed to yellow, and people value tremendously on details, such as drawings and prints under the roof.
After Qing dynasty, it's Republic of China style before PRC was established; it is perhaps best exemplified by the People's Showplace. Then, there is what is sometimes referred to as the Sino-Soviet style, built between the 1950s and the 1970s, which was under the help of U.S.S.R., mostly centralized in the western part of the city where there are lots of factories. Also, there are much more modern architectural forms — most notably in the areas of High-Tech Zone and Economic-Development zone.
At present, a new Chinese architectural form called New Tang Style can be mainly found in Qujiang, which inherits the soul of tradition and develops itself on the base of modern architecture; Shaanxi History Museum and Xi'an Museum are examples of this style.
Drama and Literature
The drama of the original Xi'anese culture, Qinqiang (Voice of Qin) is the oldest and most extensive Chinese Opera of the four major types of Chinese opera. It is also "random pluck", is the main type of drama in Shaanxi area and also the most ancient existing one in dramatic arts of the country. As the earliest ancestor of Beijing Opera, Yu Opera, Chuan Opera and Hebei Opera, it has formed its own system with unique vocal music, spoken parts, types of facial makeup, posture, role, category and acting.It can be traced to Xi Qinqiang (Voice of West Qin) in Qin Dynasty. It went on to blossom until Qing Dynasty, and influenced Jingju (Peking Opera) directly.
The dialect of Xi'an, Shaanxi Hua, is strongly influenced by Standard Mandarin. However, it still retains a lot of grammar and pronunciation from the Classical Chinese.
Yisu She is one of the oldest Drama society in China. Today it is still vigorous.
Contemporary writers like Chen Zhongshi, Lu Yao, Jia Pingwa, who contributed greatly to Chinese literature, are also from Xi'an.
Art, Music, Film and others
Chang'an School is a very important modern Chinese school of traditional arts.Main artists are Zhao Wangyun, Shilu , He Haixia, Liu Wenxi。Zhao and Shi are outstanding.They are the masters of Chang'an School.
Just like 'Beijing 798' and 'Shanghai 1933', Xi'an has a place called Spinning town . It's not a real town because since the 1950s, there are several big spinning factories there; the population in that area is almost equal to a town. Today it is no longer a centre for the spinning industry but a new art factory with A,B,C and D--4 big workshops in total. Since March 2007, more than 40 artists have taken a part in these. It is thought as a signal of new creative industry in Xi'an.
Xi'an is also famous for Rock Music. It's one of the vigorous underground musical centres in China. The other three are Beijing, Kunming and Chengdu. Dozens of young people with dreams are popular in many nameless pubs or bars. A few Chinese Stars at present are from here. Xuwei, Zhangchu, Zhengjun are Xianese Rock Music Stars
Not only Zhang Yimou and Gu Changwei are directors from Xi'an, but Xi'an is also the only city in China to win the Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival) twice. The first film is Red Sorghum; the second one is Tuya's Marriage. They are produced by Xi'an Filmmaking Factory (now called Xi'an Qujiang Filmmaking Group) and Xi'an Filmmaking company respectively.
Because of its long development as a culture, the cuisine of Xi'an is extensive as well. It is the representative of food of Northwestern China. The most well known local food is the Xianese snack, which consists of both traditional food of the Han Chinese and Hui ethnic minority. Hui-style snacks feature beef and mutton because the Hui people, being Muslims, do not eat pork. Baked beef and mutton, buns with beef, and other such regional dishes that are usually spicy in nature and incorporate a lot of beef and mutton ingredients. Han-style snacks are popular across China, consisting of meat with pancakes and noodles. Cool noodles, made of rice or wheat, taste spicy and great. A historical famous Xi'an dish is pancakes and mutton soup, which can be traced back to the Song Dynasty.
Xian Dumplings Banquet
Xi'an Dumplings Banquet is renowned throughout the city. It has already served dozens of Presidents who came to Xi'an, including Bill Clinton. Basically, 32 different types of dumplings for each customer, but if one would like to taste more, there are also a lot options, more than 120 types are waiting for diners.
There is also a famous cultural noodle dance when a chef, instead of rolling out noodles, waves a long strip of dough around in a dance before cooking the noodles.
Buddhism was first introduced to China in the Han Dynasty. Then, it matured by absorbing Chinese elements, for example, it's combined with local ethics and local religion such as Daojiao together. Many classical scriptures were brought from India by Monk Xuanzang in the Tang Dynasty, and he contributed a lot to the translation project. Today, His tomb is still in the rural area of Xi'an, and his statue is facing to Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda was used for storaging the Scriptures. Buddhism in China is slightly different from India Buddhism and influenced Asian Buddhism deeply, it's called Chinese Buddhism. Some of them were spread to Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.
Chinese Buddhism could be grouped into northern Buddhism and southern Buddhism. It's also divided into eight branches (schools) by different perceptions on Buddhism; six of these schools were born in Chang'an. At present, these six schools' founder temples (founder: the first master of school) are still in Xi'an.
Six schools are Sanlun Zong, Huayan Zong, Faxiang Zong, Lu Zong, Jingtu Zong and Mi Zong. Their Founder's Temple are Caotang Temple, Huayan Temple, Da Ci'en Temple , Jingye Temple, Xiangji Temple, Da Xingshan Temple.
Address List of 6 founder's temples:
* Sanlun Zong, Caotang Temple: Hu Xian, Xi'an
* Huayan Zong, Huayan Temple: Shaolin Yuan, Xi'an
* Faxiang Zon, Da Ci'en Temple: Yanta Road, Xi'an (near the Giant Wild Goose Pogada)
* Lu Zong, Jingye Temple: Mount Zhongnan, Xi'an
* Jingtu Zong, Xiangji Temple: Shenhe Yuan, Xi'an
* Mi Zong, Da Xingshan Temple: West Street Da Xingshan Si, Xi'an
Strictly speaking, it is a branch of Buddhism. But because the region of Tibet is substantially different from other regions in China so whether the custom or the religion there is not the same as the rest parts of China. Guangren Temple is a case located in Xi'an.It is consecrated to Princess Wencheng (Tang Dynasty) who married the leader of Tibet. She promoted the relationship between Tang and Tibet, and brought developed technique from Tang to Tibet at that time.
* Guangren Temple: Shuncheng Lane,Xi'an
Besides Buddhism, Xian is also an important place for Chinese local religion Taoism .It has a founder's 'Daoguan' as well. 'Daoguan' is like a temple, a church or a monsque,just a specific name of place. Louguan tai is Daojiao's first Daoguan. Another 3 famous Daoguans in urban area of Xi'an are Eight Immortals An, Chenghuang Miao and Xiangzi Miao . In Daojiao's legend, Eight Immortals once stayed there.
* The Great Mosque： Huajue Lane, Xi'an
* Mosque Great： Da Xuexi Lane, Xi'an
There are three commercial centres in the city. The most important one revolves around the Bell tower commercial circle, covering an area about 1km2 which includes the West Street, the East Street, the South Street and Jiefang Road varies from each other. The east street is the main street. Ginwa is a local advanced shopping centre. It also has branches in Beijing and Urumqi. Golden Eagle, which comes from Nanjing, is the group's first northern shopping centre. Parkson is a Malaysian brand, with more than 40 stores in Mainland China. Mansion Mode, based in Hong Kong has five stores in Shanghai, Xi'an, Chongqing, Beijing and Chengdu.
List of large shopping centres that already on business:
* Parkson, the west street
* Minsheng shopping centre, the west street
* Ginwa shopping centre, the west street
* Easter shopping centre, the east street
* Parkson, the east street
* Zhonghuan shopping centre, the west street
* Kaiyuan shopping mall, the east street
* Luomashi shopping mall, the east street
* Sanli-Haida Spring shopping centre, the south street
* Zhongda International, the south street
* Maison Mode Chang'an, outside the south gate
* Minsheng shopping centre, Jiefang Road
* Golden Eagle international shopping centre, Keji Road
* Ginwa shopping centre, Keji Road
* Parkson, Chang'an Road
* Parkson, Dong'er huan Road
Xi'an is the largest industrial center in China's mid-west and northwest. Xi'an has also consistently received one of the largest foreign direct investment amounts among cities in western China. The amount of import-export done by the industrial sector make up more than 60% of the city's total trading volume. As much as 97% of the industries in Xi'an is manufacturing.
Euro-Asia Economic Forumis directly under the SCO. It's held every two years in China. Xi'an is its permanent site selection in China.
the largest fair in Xi'an is the Investment & Trade Fair for Cooperation between East & West China. It's successfully held each March since 1996.
Software,outsourcing industry and BPO
Xi'an, as a pioneer in software industry in China, has been retaining a sustainable and booming economy, which in turn upbores the development of software industry.
In 2005, the production value of software industry reached RMB 8.2 billion Yuan, with export revenue up to $US 42 million.
In recent years, service outsourcing industry in Xi'an has maintained robust growth. The outstanding contractor enterprises, rich human resources and preferential policies have paved a solid foundation for Xi'an to realize the objective of becoming the capital for service outsourcing.'
The third session of the annual China International BPO Conference, one of the most professional international conferences in software service outsourcing, began in Xi'an, the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province on October 26, 2006
Xi'an as a second-tier city in China after the likes of Beijing and Shanghai already has a track record in the BPO field. And the local government is putting muscle behind the words in tax incentives and other incentives to companies that set up shop there and to professionals that choose to make their home in the district.
The Silicon.com article goes on to say, "But Xi'an is selling on its own merits - with a large pool of cheap human resources from the 100 universities in the area, it hoovers up around 3,000 computer graduates every year, each earning approximately $120 a month - half the wages for the equivalent job in Beijing." People's Daily Bureau of Commerce of Xi'an Municipal Government
The largest net bar of the world with more than 3000 computers is located in Xi'an. As one of the biggest educational centres throughout the nation, because of the huge amount of undergraduate students, online games are very popular in the area. Xi'an has already hosted worldwide game competitions such as ACON5, CEG2006, and WCG2006.
BYD AUTO is a subsidiary of BYD Company Ltd., which is a listed company in Hong Kong Stock Exchange.Xi'an BYD auto company is a branch of BYD COMPANY.BYD Company Ltd. made its debut from less than 30 people in 1995 and became the second largest rechargeable battery producer in the world in 2003.
World Horticultural Expo 2011
Xian was granted the right to host the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition by the Association of International Producers of Horticulture (AIPH) at its 59th congress, held at Brighton, United Kingdom on September 4, 2007 The 2011 World Horti-Expo will be held from April 11 to October 11, 2011 as an exhibition of A2+B1 level, which permits local government to apply.The Expo is expected to bring some 10 million visitors to Xi’an. The venue will be located in a new district of the city, Chanba district.
* The city is surrounded by a well-preserved City wall of Xi'an which was re-constructed in the Ming Dynasty and based on the inner imperial palace of Tang Dynasty. The area in which Xi'an sits is a relatively flat place, making travel on the wall relatively easy unlike the steep inclines of the Great Wall. It is also plenty wide enough to rent a bicycle and cruise along the wall without colliding with others.
* The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army are located 40 km to the east, in the city's suburbs.
* The city's Muslim quarter, a tourist shopping district next to the Drum Tower, is home to the Great Mosque of Xi'an.
* The Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda are both spectacular towers and both are well over 1,000 years old and have survived great earthquakes. The former is next to a large square with the largest fountain in Asia which projects water high into the air, rising and falling in time to music during one of the daily performances (usually at noon and soon after sunset).
* The Bell Tower and Drum Tower, located at the city centre.
* The Stele Forest is famous for its numerous historic inscriptions and stoneworks.
* The Shaanxi History Museum has a large collection of artifacts both modern and ancient.
* The Banpo Neolithic village is located outside the city. Natural
* Mount Hua is one of the most visited and steepest mountains in the country.
* Mount Zhongnan
* Mount Taibai
* Mount Cuihua,National Geological Park, Xi'an
* Lishan National Forest Park, Xi'an
* Zhuque National Forest Park, Xi'an
* Mount Zhongnan National Forest Park, Xi'an
* Mount Taibai National Forest Park
* Wang Shunshan National Forest Park, Xi'an
* Xi'an Qujiang Ocean Park
* Xi'an City Sports Park
* the Qinling Mountains National Botanical Garden
* Xi'an Qingling Wildlife Park
* Tang Paradise
Cuju is a very old football game:
It was improved during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). First of all, the feather-stuffed ball was replaced by an air-filled ball with a two-layered hull. Also, two different types of goalposts emerged: One was made by setting up posts with a net between them and the other consisted of just one goal post in the middle of the field. Chang'an was filled with cuju football fields, in the backyards of large mansions, and some were even established in the grounds of the palaces...The level of female cuju teams also improved. Records indicate that once a 17-year-old girl beat a team of army soldiers. Cuju football became popular amongst the scholars and intellectuals, and if a courtier lacked skill in the game, he could pardon himself by acting as a scorekeeper.
Professional sports teams in Xi'an include:
* Chinese Football Association Super League
* Chanba Zhongxin
* Chinese Pingpong Association Super Leaque
* Chinese Basketball Association
* Shaanxi Dongsheng
Xi'an is also the Chinese Boxing training base for national team.
Television and radio
* China Central Television's channel 1 through 12 is broadcast nation wide.
* Shaanxi Television (SXTV) provincial station, broadcasts on eight channels as well as a satellite channel for other provinces.
* Xi'an Television (XATV) municipal station, has six channels for specialized programming.
* Shaanxi Radio broadcasts music, news.
* Xi'an Music Radio: FM 93.1, broadcasts music, news and talkshows.
* Chinese Business View is a popular daily newspaper.
* Xi'an Evening News (Xi'an Wanbao), with a history of 50 years (1957-2007), is one of the oldest newspapers.Its title was written by Mao Zetong.
* Sanqin Daily covers the news of Shaanxi Province.
* Many trendy magazines can be bought at street-side newspaper and magazine booths.
Xi'an is known as one of the academic centers in China. The number of institutions is in the third palace only after Beijing and Shanghai. The private institutions are famous in the country.
* Xi'an Jiaotong University
* Xidian University
* Northwestern Polytechnical University
* Northwest University
* Chang'an University
* Shaanxi Normal University
* Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology
* Xi'an University of Technology
* Xi'an Shiyou University
* Xi'an International Studies University
* Northwest University of Political Science and Law
* Xi'an University of Science and Technology
* Xi'an Institute of Post & Telecommunications
* Xi'an Institute of Finance and Economics
* Xi'an Polytechnic University
* Xi'an Conservatory of Music
* Xi'an Physical Education Institute
* Xi'an Technological University
* Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts
* Shaanxi Institute of Education
* Xi'an Institute of Arts and Science
* The Fourth Military Medical University
* Air force Engineering University
* The Second Artillery Engineering University of People's Liberation Army
* Xi'an Eurasia University
* Shaan Xi Institute of International Commerce
* Xi'an Fanyi University
* Xi'an Peihua University
* Xi'an Siyuan University
Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.
Most people use taxicabs or the airport bus to reach town from the airport. Be careful though, one of the airport buses (from the airport to the Drum Tower) will try their absolute best to sell you expensive plane tickets and then upon getting off the bus you'll be hounded by a few dozen more touts and a large concentration people begging for money that were all seemingly waiting for you to get off that bus. It's probably best to avoid this route and take the bus to the train station instead.
There are plenty of trains transporting passengers to and from most of the major cities inside China. Located at the center of China, it often takes one day to travel from Xian to other cities by train.
Xian Station - located at the north end of Jiefang Lu
In Xian, it is very convenient for you to get to the railway station by city bus wherever you are. But please pay attention that there are several stops around the station. Fortunately, all of them are no more than 200 meters from the station.
The main long-distance bus station is located across from main railway station
Don't get confused by different names in tourist guides, addresses and bus stops: Nandajie; Nanda-Street, South-Street; South-Avenue... are all the same.
Locals often speak about Within city walls and Outside city walls when talking about locations. Outside the walls, the southern part is the most interesting: it offers shopping streets, bars and some nightlife.
There are plenty of Buses departing everywhere in short-intervals (main lines every 5-10 minutes). If you are not confident enough with orientation, or if you don't liked packed buses, the cheap taxis are the best alternative, broadly available, except for rush hours.
As of June 2007, Xi'An has broken ground on the North/South line; the first line. Officials claim it will take one year to build and once the North/South line is built, they will build an East/West line which is projected to take another year. Once North/South and East/West are completed (2009), a beltway is planned around the outside of the city.
There are buses leaving regularly for the Terracotta Warrior museum in front of the Xi'an bus station (opposite the train station, within the city walls). Take bus 306 from the central bus station. It will take you to a parking lot right in front of the museum site within 40 minutes. Alternatively, most hostels run tours to the warriors with an English speaking guide. These aren't necessarily better, be prepared to spend a good portion of the day (as with any Chinese tour) visiting "terracotta factories," "museums" and other tourist traps. But, you will get to your destination without dealing with the bus (the warriors are quite far outside of town) and not all of the public buses that go there are legitimate.
Regular buses within the city cost ￥1 (￥2 for air-conditioned, marked with a snow-flake) no matter how far you go.
Watch the taxi drivers in Xian as the industry is not regulated as it is in other larger cities like Beijing. You may find yourself being taken on a long ride around town to get where you are going. It can also be difficult to convince them to take you anywhere - even to the railway station, if in doubt get your hotel or hostel to write down the place you want to go in Chinese. Trips within the city walls are generally in the ￥6 range; longer trips to the attractions south of the city are in the ￥12-20 range.
Some taxi drivers in Xian won't take you seriously when you tell them that you want to go somewhere and will drive off without you getting in. This is happens during knock off time which is usually 4:30-5:30 (a very inconvenient time). If you are not going in the direction of the taxi driver's home or knock off point they will not take you.
The rate is ￥6 for the first two kilometers and then ￥1.5 for every additional kilometer.
Fortunately Xian's main sites (with the notable exception of the Terra Cotta Warriors) are bunched fairly close together, so renting a bike is a good option. Be wary of the narrow streets and cars that squeeze you out of the way.
Inside the city
* City Wall of Xi'an - One of only two cities with intact surrounding walls in China. Xi'an's has been restored and is wide enough to easily ride 5 bikes across on. You can hire one at the top of the South gate. If you want to foot it though a complete loop of the walls takes approximately 3 hours. The landscaped park around the base of the exterior walls and moat also makes for a pleasant stroll and gives a different perspective on the battlements and towers.
* Shaanxi Provincial Museum, many artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age are on display
* Forest of Steles is situated in the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, this collection of 2,300 stone tablets and epitaphs is the largest and oldest of its kind in China. This includes the famous Nestorian Stele, dating from the 7th century. It depicts the coming of Nestorian Christianity to China. The Nestorian Stele is in Showroom Number 2 and is the first stele on the left.
* Wolong Temple: One block North and East of the Forest of Steles museum, this active Buddhist temple dates from 200BC. Recently restored the temple is vibrant and busy.
* Big (Wild) Goose Pagoda: Located at Ci'en Temple and built by Emperor Gaozong（Li Zhi) in 652 AD. Emblem of the city of Xi'an. Take bus No 41 or No 610 from the main train station.
* Little (Wild) Goose Pagoda . Located at Jianfu Temple and completed in 709 AD.
* Drum Tower is located in the exact center of the city and Bell Tower located northwest within the Muslim Quarter
* The Grand Mosque, behind Drum Tower, built in a perfect mixture of Islamic and Chinese architecture styles with seating for 1,000 worshippers and the Muslim Street around it.
Outside the city
* Army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses. This mighty army of terracotta warriors and horses, found in three vaults a short distance away from the Qinshihuang Mausoleum, is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction of Shaanxi. An in-site museum has been built over these pits, covering a floorspace of 20,000 square meters and displaying 8,000 life-like terracotta warriors, 100 or so chariots, and 30,000 weapons - an assemblage billed as the Eighth World Wonder and a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.
* Banpo Village Ruins 6,000 year old ruins of a village site (residential and pottery-making areas) outside Xian as well as a burial ground and tools
* Famen Temple This Buddhist temple, which records mention as far back as 67 AD, contains a 13-storied brick pagoda as part of the monastery. This pagoda fell down in the rain in August, 1981 and revealed a 1000 year old underground vault full with 2,400 treasures belonging to the Tang and previous dynasties given as offerings. These included gold and silver utensils, glazed wares, porcelains, pearls, precious stones and textiles, as well as religious items. The biggest treasure is a finger bone of Buddha offered to the Emperor of China during the Tang dynasty.
* Huaqing Palace, built by the Tang emperor Xuanzong near hot springs at the foot of Li Shan in Lintong County so he could frolic with his favoured Imperial Lady Yang to his heart's content
* Mao Ling Mausoleum - the tomb of the fifth emperor of the Han Dynasty has many stone carvings
* Qinshihuang's Mausoleum - Mausoleum of the First Emperor of China
* Xian History Museum - artifacts discovered near Xian dating from pre-history and neolithic eras right through all of the dynasties. Despite other guidebooks calling it "one of the best museums in China", its oldfashioned pots-and-arrowheads-behind-glass format and limited English explanations will appeal mainly to enthusiasts. 35RMB in winter, 50RMB in summer.
* Walk along the City walls and see the South Gate
* Bicycling around the city walls will take about 2 hours
* Walk through the Hui Muslim Quarter sampling food
Native English speakers can easily find jobs teaching English.
Xi'an is amazingly cheap for clothes
* East Street (Dongda Jie), the eastern of those 4 big streets descending from the central Bell Tower, has regular fashion shops
* South Street (Nanda Jie) has finer clothes and shoes (f.ex. Louis Vuitton).
* Local youngsters buy in Baihuo Market in Xiaozhai, ￥10 by Taxi from city center. It's one of those fake-brand markets. Sport shoes should be less than ￥150, pullovers and nice jeans sometimes less than ￥100, lots of cheap fashion accessories. This is also a great place for DVDs and CDs but understand these are mostly pirate copies.
* Kangfu Lu is outside the East city wall (straight through the North East Gate) and a great place for a bargain. Nothing is (bargained for) over ￥50 and most clothes can be bargained down to about ￥20 if you are really aggressive.
* English Language Bookstore - 349 Dongda Jie. Good selection of guide books, maps, Chinese language study books, modern and classic novels.
Yang Rou Pao Muo is one of the signature dishes of the area, it consists of a piece of bread and a kettle of lamb soup. The diner shreds the bread with his hands and places the shreds in a bowl, the soup is then poured over the shreds. The trick is to shred the bread into pieces that are as small as possible. Most first-timers will shred their bread in pieces that are too large. Tong Sheng Xiang Restaurant is recommended.
The Muslim Quarter is located close to the Drum tower and is a vibrant area with many restaurants spilling out onto the street and mixing with the street sellers
Street food (mostly sold after sunset, or some near night clubs/bars after 11PM) presents a variety of local/regional dishes, ranging from noodle soups, dumplings, hot pot, and so on by tens of little food vendors on street side, each with a red lamp.
* Rou Jia Mo The closest thing to a beefburger, this is a local tradition and should be very easy to locate, sandwich like, with pork, beef or lamb, this is a must try item for anyone who is in this area.
* Xiao long bao-zi, basket-steamed dumplings (one basket ￥3), common as a midnight snack. Look for its big brother "Da bao-zi" only available first thing in the mornings, like a steamed cornish pastie, but very nice.
* Guan Tang bao-zi, steamed buns served with sauces inside.
xi'an has various snacks in the small streets.
A good way if you don't want the expensive hotel food or just want to try real Chinese cuisine, is to simply go into a small restaurant and point on your the dish somebody else is having and you will get a Meal.
* Wen Xin Jiaozi Guan, 123 Xushimiao Jie (next to the Good World Hotel, off of Lian Hu Lu). A good cheap place for jiaozi (Chinese dumplings). There is no menu, but endless supplies of fresh jiaozi of many flavors.
McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC or its Chinese brother, Dicos, are widely available within city walls for a change from the daily Chinese cuisine.
* Highfly Pizza, down the right hand street after coming out of South Gate. Real pizza and other western food
* Small World Cafe address="Huancheng Nanlu Dongduan 90#, outside Jian Guo Gate" Run by a Dutch women. Great European cafe feel. Good food. Pizza, salad, fried chicken and real cake.
* La Seine, Nandajie, near Bell Tower. French style restaurant
* Tang Paradise Hotel, near the Wild Goose Pagoda in the Qujiang Resort of Xian. . Dinner Show in a large 165 acres theme park. The charm lies in that all the buildings in the park are built in the luxurious style of the Tang Dynasty. The best time to visit is at night when most of the shows, including fireworks and dances, are performed.
* Real Love, Zhuque Dajie, opposite the Small Wildgoose Pagoda. Located on the 7th floor it also has a roof terrace with a view to the Small Wildgoose Pagoda. The place offers excellent Chinese food of different styles. An English menu is available. Try the Baby Lamb Leg or the Fried Dumplings With Diced Beef.
* Il Satiro Danzante, Chang'an Metropolis Center - Building C 2nd Floor. An Italian food restaurant run by a native Sicilian who splits his time between Xi'An and Siena. It is located just outside the South Gate giving the rear dining room a fantastic view of the South Gate and South Wall. Newly opened and a lovely taste of Italy. Address: Chang’an Metropolis Center – Bldg. C – 2nd floor 88, Nanguanzheng Street – Xi’an – 710068 – P.R. China - Tel. +86 (29) 87651231 029-87651231
Night clubs in Xian are not abundant since the hip-hop culture is not popular in the city. All clubs play the same music, a mix of Chinese disco and some pop music, but it might change slowly in future. But for now, don't expect latest charts or hiphop music. Most people go out between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., but clubs are generally open until 4 a.m.
Along the short Nandajie are the most clubs (you can also eat on the street after late midnight). You will easily find the MIX (big light ad) and its neighbour Palando. Both are rather places to sit and drink. If you want a dance floor, go along towards South Gate, on the same side there are first Night Cat with some foreigners and OK-DJs and Kulala.
In summer time, the area around South Gate is beautiful. East of it are three nice bars with terrace and garden.
* 1+1(pronounced "yi-jia-yi" for the taxi driver）remains one of the most popular clubs and definitely the most popular amongst foreigners. In the middle of Dongdajie, the club has 2 dance floors: first floor is mostly J-pop music, second floor is mostly hiphop. There is a relaxed open air bar on the 5th floor which has live music every night.
* The most popular club is probably Salsa in west street (pronounced sha-sha for taxk drivers) This club is your best bet on Fridays and Saturdays however yi-jia-yi is more consistent during the week.
Xian is, like other Chinese cities, generally quite safe. Just watch out for pickpockets (usually children) in crowds.
Pickpockets are more to be found during holidays. Pickpocketing is more likely to happen on the bus, in the East Street - the most properous commercial street in Xian, and some of the most crowded resorts like the North Square of the wild goose pagoda where there is a fountain show every night.
Look at the Beijing Cope notes; they apply to Xi'an, too. Most importantly, take paper tissue with you to toilets.
Generally, Western style accommodation will have western toilets, whereas the very inexpensive guest house (zhao dai suo) will usually have squat toilets. If you need to use western toilets, learn to plan your day accordingly. Major tourist attractions will have western toilets.
If you arrive in Xi'an by train, try not to be overwhelmed when you exit Xi'an's train station. There are usually aggressive hotel tout's looking for customers. Just insist that you already have a place to stay and tell them no, with a serious faced, / Bu yao！
It is a good idea to check your bags at the left luggage office and then go into town to look for accommodation. This way you will not be overwhelmed by the burden of carrying your heavy bags or luggage around.
* Chen Lu Pottery, a 1 1/2 hour drive north of Xian, this community of potters has been producing pottery since the Tang dynasty and is well worth the look if pottery is your thing, private transportation recommended.
* Hu Kou Waterfall is located 150km north of Xian, private transportation recommended; can be combined with a day trip to Huang Di Mausoleum
*Huashan National Park approximately 2 hours by train or bus east of Xian. A 2000 metre mountain with spectacular views. It is possible to take the 2-3 hour (6km) walk up or take the 10 minute European built cable car for 70. It is best to go for sun rise on the East peak. Take plenty of warm clothing for when the sun goes down. Basic accommodation is available, but can be quite pricey.