The centre of the Qin dynasty, Shaanxi boasts an incredible amount of Chinese history, tradition and Silk Road attractions. The capital city, Xi’an, is home to archaeological sites and fascinating museums, while the rest of the province reveals iconic tombs and mountains.
Things to do in Shaanxi
History enthusiasts will likely want to make a beeline for the world-famous Terracotta Army, a collection of lifelike sculptures of terracotta warriors created during the 3rd century BC. Nearby you can combine the ancient architecture of the Huaqinggong Relic Site with the rejuvenating hot springs at Huaqing Pool.
Adventurous travellers can tackle one or more of the mountains in Shaanxi, such as the 2,160-metre-tall Mount Hua, which offers numerous peaks for climbing and hiking. Alternatively, head to the 1,302-metre-tall Mount Li to enjoy an immersive hike through scenery associated with ancient Chinese mythology.
You’ll want to spend a few days or more exploring the sights of Xi’an, such as the towering Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built in the 7th century. The Fortifications of Xi'an are also worth visiting, thanks to the imposing gates and unique cycling path atop the walls. Elsewhere in the capital city, you can explore the Ming dynasty-era architecture of the Drum Tower of Xi'an.
Nature lovers shouldn’t miss visiting Qinling Country Botanical Garden, home to 43 hectares of themed gardens, including the Hundred Flowers Garden and Herb Garden. The Heihe National Forest Park is located nearby and offers unique natural scenery and a wealth of native animals, such as forest musk deer, golden monkeys and giant pandas.
Getting around Shaanxi
Shaanxi is best accessed by flying into Xi'an Xianyang International Airport or catching a high-speed train from most major cities in China. You can easily explore the capital using bicycles, taxis, buses or the subway. Use buses, trains or a hire car to explore the rest of the precinct.