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If You Only Have Three Days in Xi'an

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Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
The story of the Emperor Qin reads something like Game of Thrones, with hostages, feuding brothers, wars, and the ultimate unification and creation of what we know as China today. Wanting to protect himself in the afterlife, Emperor Qin created an...
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Yanta W Rd, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710007
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a very cool historical site to visit in Xi'an. It was built in the seventh century to house Buddhist scriptures, statues, and other relics that were brought back to China by the Buddhist scholar and traveler Xuanzang....
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91 Xiaozhai E Rd, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710061
Built in the grand architectural style of the Tang Dynasty, the huge Shaanxi History Museum offers a comprehensive overview of the history of the ancient capital. The museum houses over 370,000 precious relics unearthed in Shaanxi Province....
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127 E 1st Rd, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Xincheng Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710005
Muslim noodle restaurants are ubiquitous all over China, but Xi'an, with its large Muslim population, has a far better class of them. Most restaurants have photos of the various dishes on the wall, and all you have to do is point. My personal...
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Shuyuanmen Pedestrian St, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
You must, must, must visit this street in Xi'an. Every shop sells either art or art supplies, such as these calligraphy brushes. I went there almost every day and tried to peek into every nook and cranny, but it's just so big. The neighborhood is...
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Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Lianhu, Xi'an, China, 710001
You can't visit Xi'an without having a dumpling feast. Defachang is considered one of the best dumpling houses in the region. Call ahead to request the 18-course dumpling banquet so you can sample the many varieties. One of my favorites is this...
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66 Defu Alley, DeFu Xiang, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
Defu Lane is peppered with eateries and bars, but aside from being a good option to enjoy Xi'an's nightlife, it's also home to Fubaoge, a five-story traditional Chinese teahouse. Rest your feet after a long day of exploring and sip hot cups of...
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China, Shaanxi, Xian Shi, Beilin Qu, ZhongLou ShangQuan, 下马陵
Xian's art district is called Shuyuanmen, 书院门, and there are some local artists here that sell paper cut art. Paper cutting began as a major art form in Xi'an around the seventh century, which was the city's heyday. People in China place cut paper...
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
A most delicious snack, and a street food you must try when you're in Xi'an, this is probably the oldest burger you'll ever encounter (it dates back to the Qin dynasty). Roujiaomo is a sandwich of savory meat (usually pork, though beef or lamb in...
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Xi An Zhong Lou, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
The Bell Tower of Xi'an is one of the city's most famous attractions. Cities of Ancient China each had their own bell tower and drum tower, which were used to tell time. Bells were rung at dawn, while the sound of drums signaled dusk's arrival....
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80 Nanyuanmen, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
You can't talk about Xi'an without talking about biangbiang noodles, a unique Shaanxi food. The character for biang is one of the most complex, consisting of 58 strokes. With all the hype about the giant character, I was expecting the noodles to...
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Want to know more about Taoism? About 70km west of Xi'an, in Tayu Village, is the Louguantai Temple, where it's said that Lao Tze, the founder of Taoism, wrote the Tao Te Ching and set the fundamentals for the religion. Built over two thousand...
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
This Shaanxi staple is a must-try while in Xi'an, especially if you're there during the height of hot, sizzling summers. Liangpi, or "cold skin" noodles, are thick cold rice noodles doused with savoury sesame sauce and crispy, thin shreds of...
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Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Lianhu, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, 710001
Located in the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, China is the Great Mosque, the country’s oldest and most renowned mosque. The mosque dates back to 742 AD. From all outward appearances, it looks like a Chinese temple and not a mosque; pagodas have replaced...
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Lianhu, Xi'an, China, 710014
Xi'an's old city wall stretches about 14 kilometers around the city and has been carefully restored. Built to help defend the city, and wide enough to allow four carriages to travel along it side by side, it's been kept pretty much empty except...
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Tumen Shangquan, Lianhu, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
We call this yang rou pao mo. It's a bread and lamb stew. It has a terrific smell and a terrific taste. Have a try, or your trip to Xi'an will be worthless.
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China, Shaanxi, Xian Shi, Weiyang Qu, 范家南村54号 邮政编码: 710016
The Muslim Quarter of Xi'an is famous for its vendors of dried fruits and nuts. These aren't just any old packs of nuts. They are of the finest quality, selected and dried by hand. A pound of shelled walnuts goes for the equivalent of around $10....
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Take advantage of your time in Xi'an to really see what it was like to live like an emperor. About 27 miles outside of Xi'an is the Taiping National Forest Park. The Taiping Palace was built by an emperor in the Sui Dynasty, and the park also...
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Located near the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, this market is complete with stall after stall of curios, furniture, accent pieces and handicrafts, perfect for an afternoon of treasure hunting. Though beautiful and attractive, you'll need to search...
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In Xi'an we not only ate dumplings (jiaozi), we learned how to make them. Chef Jin makes about 3,500 dumplings a night, which explains why her super power is to make dumplings lightening fast. Seriously, if you blink you’ll miss it and you all of...
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Nanliu Alley, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
There are many night markets in Xi'an. One of the best is in the ancient city, near to the old Drum and Bell Towers. It's the perfect starting point for an evening walk through town or just a great option for fresh, authentic, and cheap food.
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Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Going to watch a landscape opera in Xi'an feels like the Chinese version of going to Shakespeare in the Park (minus the dialogue) in New York. The performance is set amidst the ruins of Hua Qing Palace. I went to see The Song of Unending Sorrow,...