For visitors who travel to Xi’an there are lots of cultural highlights to see during the day. If you want to go out in the evening one recommendable activity for all travelers regardless of age is the musical water fountain at Fountain Plaza at the foot of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The well-preserved pagoda itself, built over 1300 years ago, is worth being included in your Xi’an Tours during the day (it is not open to visitors at night). It is situated in the Da Ci’en temple complex which is of great importance for Buddhists.

The most popular show is in the evening because the lights create a wonderful atmosphere against the dark night sky. The last show starts at 8:30 pm during spring time although some homepages or guidebooks indicate different times. It might be best to ask your local hotel staff for the exact time because they might change depending on the season.
In any case it is advisable to get there half an hour to one hour in advance for the evening show because with many visitors who want to see the spectacle it gets pretty crowded. From a platform north of the pagoda you get a great view over the fountain complex and for that reason those spots are particularly popular and not easy to get.

Before or after the fountain show it’s nice to walk around in the area surrounding the fountains, especially on hot days when it slowly cools down after the heat of the day. With the illuminated Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the background and the lights of the city there is a nice scenery to have dinner in this area. There is no entrance fee for the show; the plaza is open to the public and doesn’t have any entrance gates.

The show is announced by speaker in Chinese and in English, it lasts about half an hour and has great effects with the fountains in different formations with light effects to the sound of music. The music is mainly instrumental but partly includes some singing. It is a good international mixture reaching from traditional Chinese music to classical and modern pieces of music. This show is just a great way to end an exciting day with something that you don’t get to see all the time.

Especially in the evening many vendors offer to take pictures with the fountain in the background. You need to decide for yourself if you think this souvenir is worth the money, but if you decide to, bargain and don’t go with the first price the photographers offer. Since the pagoda and the fountain are located about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from downtown Xi’an you can either take the bus or a taxi to get there. After the show it’s pretty crowded around the plaza and not easy to get a cab so you should consider taking the bus back to your Xi’an Hotels or be prepared to wait a little while. Either way, you shouldn’t miss this ecxiting and unique show!

Jack Li
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