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Uncovering the Vibrant Past of Xian, China

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In central China, at the east end of the Silk Road, the alluring city of Xian (pronounced shee-EN) has been a cultural capital for thousands of years. It’s most famous for the Terracotta Army, an astounding collection dating back to 211 B.C. But there are plenty more ways to immerse yourself in Xian’s rich history, from visiting the enchanting Wild Goose Pagoda to sampling the traditional flavorful soup. Here are five favorites to send you on your way.
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Every destination has its iconic dishes, whether it’s pizza in Naples or bagels in New York. In Xian, it’s yangrou paomo, a soup with fragrant mutton meat, chilies, caraway, pickled garlic, and pieces of flatbread. In traditional restaurants, you’...
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
The story of this towering pagoda begins with a holy man named Xuanzang, who spent nearly two decades walking the Silk Road from ancient Xian to India. Along the way, he collected Buddha statues, relics, and holy sutras and eventually returned to...
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Impressive and imposing, this 8.5-mile fortification encircles historic Xian, 40 feet high and nearly 60 feet thick at the base. It counts 98 ramparts, four complex gate structures, and a deep moat. The wall’s construction began in the Ming...
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91 Xiaozhai E Rd, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710061
In a country as vast and storied as China, it’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed. The Shaanxi History Museum is the perfect antidote—a place to get oriented and brush up on thousands in a single setting. Inside, tour guides shed light on the...
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Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Back in 1974, in a moment out of an Indiana-Jones movie, construction workers building a well struck something far greater than fresh water: They accidentally discovered one of the world’s most significant archeological sites. Researchers went to...