Xi’an- Pottery Experience

A must do when in China is to go out to Xi’an which is in the Shaanxi province and be blown away by the sight of the Terracotta Soldiers. At the moment China Tours are doing great deals on a one day tour to see this fascinating piece of history which you shouldn’t miss in […]

A must do when in China is to go out to Xi’an which is in the Shaanxi province and be blown away by the sight of the Terracotta Soldiers. At the moment China Tours are doing great deals on a one day tour to see this fascinating piece of history which you shouldn’t miss in your trip to China. There is so much to see and so much to learn in regards to this location that one has to see it for themselves rather than looking up pictures in textbooks and the internet.  You can easily access Xi’an flights from Beijing at great prices or even catch a train to get to this exquisite location.

For years there were always rumours about there being terracotta figurines of some sort as tiles and pottery have been dugged up but it wasn’t until 1974 when some local farmers discovered this rumour to be true. It was found approximately 1.6 kilometres away from the Qin Emperors tomb which is located at Lintong. With this find, archaeologists flocked to this site to see what else could be discovered. In 1975 the museum opened up for all to see the biggest terracotta find in China, which covers the size of 16,300 square metres. The site is made up of three sections which are known as pits, they are made up of different soldiers and horses in each one. All up there are up to 7,000 terracotta figurines to see and be amazed by.

What you will see will be life sized soldiers assembled in battle formations and every soldier is unique and has their very own facial characteristics, which is amazing. Each arm and leg, torso and head were made separately and then assembled together. Also with the discovery of the soldiers, horses and chariots, bronze weaponry was also discovered which are made up of swords, spears, arrow heads, crossbows and dagger-axes. Considering these weapons were buried for roughly 2,000 years they are still in perfect condition, even the edges are still sharp.

 

This area is now a major tourist destination and is very accessible from the airport. There are also shuttles from Lishan Garden to the Terracotta Warriors, which are in fact for free. In 2010 it was declared the site to be known as Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Park which also includes smaller areas being discovered in relation to the pottery figurines. Lishan Garden should also be a part of the list to see whilst you are there. One can see the grave mound of the Qin Tomb, subordinate tombs and two museums at the same time. It is predicted that one can see the Terracotta site within four hours but it would be better off to spend the whole day and definitely include Lishan Gardens, would hate to think of missing out on anything.

The Terracotta Soldiers should definitely be in the top five sights to see and experience when planning a trip to China. This is one of the greatest discoveries in the 20th century and everyone should go experience this great location. Enriched with so much history of the Qin Dynasty and the fascinating individualistic soldiers one cannot say no. Xi’an Tours would be the best way to go to plan this great adventure, so do it NOW!!

Bell Tower Travel Tips

On September 2, 2011, in Historical Relics, Other Places of Interest, Tours, Travel Info, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Bell Tower is the most magnificent and complete construction of Ming dynasty at present.  As the symbol construction of Xi’an, located on the junction of four streets stretching to four different directions, the splendid and magnificent building is called as “bright pearl of the ancient city”. Best time to Visit Bell Tower Belonging to warm […]

Bell Tower is the most magnificent and complete construction of Ming dynasty at present.  As the symbol construction of Xi’an, located on the junction of four streets stretching to four different directions, the splendid and magnificent building is called as “bright pearl of the ancient city”.

Best time to Visit Bell Tower

Belonging to warm temperate semi-humid continental monsoon climate, Xi’an is a city which has four distinct seasons.  Climate in spring is changeable; summer is hot and rainy; autumn is wet and cool; while because of the shortages of rain and snow, winter is dry and cold.  The average temperature is 13℃.  So the best time to visit Bell Tower is from April to May; from September to October.  In the crossover points of spring, summer and autumn, sunshine is bright and beautiful; weather is warm and pleasant.  The two periods are perfect for the visitors to have a taste of Xi’an.

Bell Tower Tickets

The performance of Bell Tower will be put on six times every day.

Start time of the performances: 9:00am; 10:30am; 11:30am; 15:00pm; 16:00pm; 17:00pm.

Ticket price: 20RMB/person.

Student ticket: 30RMB/coupon ticket.  There is not preferential single ticket.

Warm Tips: 1. Pay attention to your valuables, such as purse, mobile phone and camera.

2. Take legal taxi when you visit Xi’an.  Taxi in Xi’an has the cheapest price in China.

3. The Wild Goose North Square is a distributing centre of Xi’an.  Connect local travel agency and pay 30RMB for the bus and tour guide.  Then you can visit Xi’an in a routine line.  On the way, you can visit the attractions which you prefer.

How to get to Bell Tower

By bus: take bus line603, line 43, line611 and line 205, get off at Bell Tower Station.  Moreover, there are many bus lines going across Bell Tower:

Line300           Line600               Line205           Line46

Express Line605         Express line 600             Express line 606

Express Line630                   Express Line618

Line29               Travel Line7                  Line 236

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Bell Tower

 Bell Tower in Xian, built in 17th year during the reign of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in Ming Dynasty (AD 1384), is situated in the center of Xian City. There is a big bell hung in it, therefore it is named as ‘Bell Tower’. It is the biggest and most complete one of Chinese ancient bell […]

 Bell Tower in Xian, built in 17th year during the reign of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in Ming Dynasty (AD 1384), is situated in the center of Xian City. There is a big bell hung in it, therefore it is named as ‘Bell Tower’. It is the biggest and most complete one of Chinese ancient bell towers. Xian is the most important military city in Ming Dynasty. In terms of scale, historical value and artistic value, Xian Bell Tower is the champion of similar buildings. Bell Tower is a three-floor building, built on a square base with bricks and woods. It is 36 meters high. The base is 8.6 meters high. Each side of the base is 35.5 meters long. Its total area is 1377.4 square meters. The overall style of Bell Tower is typical Ming architecture. There is a spiral staircase leading to the top of Bell Tower. The roof is covered with bottle-green glazed tiles and the wall is painted with golden pictures. The rooms of the Bell Tower are decorated with painted pillars and carved beams. And each door of the tower was carved with eight embossments. Each embossment represents an ancient story. The copper-gilt pinnacle is shining under the sunray. From the Bell Tower stretch out four roads in the east, west, north and south. The four roads separately connected with the eastern, western, northern and southern gates of the Ming City Wall. The original site of the Bell Tower was at Guangji Street. In the middle of each side of the base, there is a cave about 6 meters high. It used to be the pass way, as the four roads crossed there. But now it can’t meet the need of traffic flow, so it was closed. Instead of it, around the Bell Tower built highway turntable and under the Bell Tower built souterrain. The Bell Tower in ancient China was used to tell the time, now it becomes one of the symbols of Xian. The bell in the tower, named ‘Jing Yun’, was built in the second year of Jingyun during the reign of Emperor Taizhong in Tang Dynasty. The bell is 2 meters high and 1.5 meters in diameter. It is over five thousand kilograms. The bell was carved with flying cranes and dragons. You could hear the ring of the bell from ten miles. It was first set in the Bell Tower at Guangji Street, afterwards it following the Bell Tower moved to the recent site. The bell we saw is a copy. The real one is in the Shanxi Historical Museum. The ring of the bell was recorded and broadcasted everyday in the Xian Baohua Building.

Bell Tower Story

1.   Why the Bell Tower Moved

It was moved in the 9th year during the reign of Emperor Wangli. In that year, a great earthquake happened in Xian, the Taoist priest Gao Chengzhi said that the earthquake was caused by a ten thousand years old turtle under the earth. So the local government moved the Bell Tower to the entrance of the turtle’s cave in order to threat the turtle. Afterwards earthquake never happened in Xian. The antithetical couplets in the front of the Bell Tower recorded the story.

2. Blow Xiao (a vertical bamboo flute) to attract phoenix: one of the stories on the carved doors

It is a love story about Xiao Shi and Nong Yu. As the story has a mysterious relationship with music, it is very special in the love history of China. It was said that Xiao Shi was a person in the reign of Qin Mugong during Spring and Autumn Period, and he was very good at blowing Xiao. The beautiful sounds can attract the cranes. The loved daughter of Qin Mugong, named Nongyu, was zealous about the music Xiao Shi blew. So she married Xiao Shi, and learned how to blow Xiao like the sounds of phoenix from her husband. Several years later, the sounds she blew really attracted phoenix coming to their house. Qin Mugong heard of that, built a tall building named ‘Phoenix Platform’ for them. In a morning the couple ridded a phoenix and flied away. In memory of the unique couple, people built a temple, named ‘Feng Nv temple’. It was said that sometimes you could hear the sound of blowing Xiao from the temple.

3. Diao Chang: one of the stories on the carved doors

Diao Chang is one of the Four Great Beauties in Chinese ancient time. She was a servant of Wang Yun, who is an officer loyal to the emperor in East Han Dynasty. But the emperor was under the control of a bad officer, named Dong Zhuo. Wang Yun was very worried about that Dong Zhuo will take the throne. Diao Chang told him that she want to share his worries. As Diao Chang was unbelievably beautiful, Wang Yun asked her to seduce Dong Zhuo and his adopted son, Lv Bu, and sow dissension between them. As a result, Lv Bu killed Dong Zhuo in order to get Diao Chang.

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Shanhe Weir Travel Tips

On August 24, 2011, in Historical Relics, Other Places of Interest, Xi'an, by Jack Li

As the old saying goes, ”Bread is the staff of life”. However, the climate in Hanzhong is not optimal for agriculture with Qinling Mountain shielding off rainfall. To ease the water shortage, the people of Hanzhong built a weir at the mouth of Baohe River to guide water into their fields. This ancient weir in […]

As the old saying goes, ”Bread is the staff of life”. However, the climate in Hanzhong is not optimal for agriculture with Qinling Mountain shielding off rainfall. To ease the water shortage, the people of Hanzhong built a weir at the mouth of Baohe River to guide water into their fields. This ancient weir in Hanzhong is now known as Shanhe Weir.

 Best time to visit Shanhe Weir

Between March and April, when yellow rape flowers cover the fields in full bloom.

 Shanhe Weir best routes

There is no recommended routes for the tourists going to Shanhe Weir. Due to the fact that this scenic spot covers a relatively  small area, so it will not take visitors much time here and visitors can make their own decision with regard to the tour routes.

Shanhe Weir tickets

Free

How to get to Shanhe Weir

Travel Bus Hanzhong–Nanggukou at the Shanhe Weir Station

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Shanhe Weir

Located in Hedong Dian Town in Hantai District, Shanhe Weir was a great water conserving project in Hanzhong, Shaanxi Province in ancient China. It is as famous as the Zhenguo River and Baigong River in Guanzhong and the Dujiang Weir in Sichuan Province. “Shanhe” refers to the current Baohe River. According to historical records, the […]

Located in Hedong Dian Town in Hantai District, Shanhe Weir was a great water conserving project in Hanzhong, Shaanxi Province in ancient China. It is as famous as the Zhenguo River and Baigong River in Guanzhong and the Dujiang Weir in Sichuan Province. “Shanhe” refers to the current Baohe River. According to historical records, the Shanhe Weir’s construction was entrusted to Xiao He and Cao Can when Han Emperor Liu Bang was still a minister governing Nanzheng for his king. The Hanzhong Government Record mentions that Shanhe Weir actually contains three weirs: the first one called Iron Stake Weir is 1.5 km away from the city of Bao; the second weir, also the major one, is called Official Weir and is situated outside the east gate of Bao City; and the third weir is the source, 1 km away from the second weir. This well-known weir has a long history and plays an important role in developing the agriculture of Hanzhong, thus to some extent it is a critical factor in winning military battles. No wonder so many rulers attached great importance to it. During the Three Kingdoms Period, Zhuge Liang and his army stationed in Hanzhong maintained the Shanhe Weir. It was badly damaged in the Song Dynasty but repaired several times afterwards.

Shanhe Weir Attractions:

Shanhe Weir—the Three Weirs

Shanhe Weir Story:

1.   “Be prepared for what you will do.”

This saying originated from the story of a literati and painter named Wen Tong, a magistrate in the North Song Dynasty. He was fond of painting bamboos and writing poems about them. In fact, his painting style was known as Huzhou Bamboo School at that time. Wen Tong believed that before one started to paint bamboo, he must know for sure what exactly he was going to draw and how he would do it. Only in this way could a painter create an excellent work of art. Due to the fact that Wen Tong was not only an outstanding painter but also a good official who gained the respect and support of his people, his ideological theory about bamboo painting spread rapidly all over the country. Since then, Wen Tong has become a good example of preparing oneself to accomplish any given goal.

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Emperor Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses Travel Tips

On August 24, 2011, in Historical Relics, Terracotta Warriors, Tours, Travel Info, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Best Time to Visit Emperor Qin’s Warriors and Horses Xi’an is located in the middle of Guanzhong Plain of the Yellow River area. It is the center of China and in Xian’s south is Qin Mountain, and in the north is Wei River. Xi’an is an area with warm temperature and a semi-humid monsoon climate. […]

Best Time to Visit Emperor Qin’s Warriors and Horses

Xi’an is located in the middle of Guanzhong Plain of the Yellow River area. It is the center of China and in Xian’s south is Qin Mountain, and in the north is Wei River. Xi’an is an area with warm temperature and a semi-humid monsoon climate. It has four seasons with average temperatures of 13℃. It is very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. The best seasons to visit Emperor Qin’s Warriors are spring and autumn because the temperature is moderate.

Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors and Horses Tickets

From December 1st 2010, the Qin Mausoleum will use all-inclusive tickets (Qin Emperor Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Qinshi Huang’s Tomb, the Heritage Park of Qinshi Huang’s Tomb, hundred opera warriors’ pit and stone armour warriors’ pit):

Peak season: (from March 1st to November 30th) 150RMB. Students: 80RMB

Off season: (from December 1st to the end of February of next year) 120RMB. Students: 60RMB.

How to get to Qin’s Emperor Terracotta Warriors and Horses

by bus:

Special tourist line: you can take bus number 306 or 307 in the east of the train station square and get off at “Qin Terracotta Warriors” station. The price of both buses is 5.5 yuan. Departure time: running from 7:00am-18:00pm, every 10 minutes.

Driving:

Drive 24km along the Lintong highway (fee: 10 yuan), when you arrive at Lintong, drive another 3km and you will see the Tomb of Qinshi Huang. Keep going 4km and you will arrive at the Qin Terracotta Warrior Museum. The roads are in good condition. At quieter times of the day there are fewer cars on the roads. You can drive 60km/h, and you will arrive to Lintong in just 30 minutes. There is a parking lot in front of the museum and parking fees are usually 6yuan/car. Distance: 42km and takes 90 minutes.

Qin Terracotta Warriors Museum

On August 24, 2011, in Museums, Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Qin Terracotta Warriors Museum has became a sensation since it opened up, and it is known as “the eighth wonder of the world” and is one of the most important archaeological finds. No.1, 2, 3 Warriors pit are a group of pits which buried with Emperor Qin. The three pits have about 8000 pottery warriors […]

Qin Terracotta Warriors Museum has became a sensation since it opened up, and it is known as “the eighth wonder of the world” and is one of the most important archaeological finds. No.1, 2, 3 Warriors pit are a group of pits which buried with Emperor Qin. The three pits have about 8000 pottery warriors and horses, like a vast underground army, and is also an ancient sculpture art treasure house. After the museum opened, it caused a great impact in society and aroused people’s strong interest. The museum attracted many people and it very popular globally. The enormous size, the splendid scenes, the scientific level and artistic level of the museum amazed all the people, and the ancient city—Xi’an has become one of the most important tourist cities in China because of the museum. Domestic and foreign visitors all come here to visit the museum. Most of the foreign leaders and guests usually include visiting the museum to their agenda. So far, Qin Terracotta Warriors Museum has received more than 40 million visitors with about 4 million people are foreign visitors. More than 100 guests from foreign countries including many important leaders. 250 foreign presidents and Prime Minister have visited the museum. This included the famous American Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. The French Presidents Francois Mitterrand and Chirac as well as the British Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ came to Xi’an. Other important visitors were the German President Zuoke, the Prime Minister Kohl, the Japanese Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita and Murayama. Also Emperor Akihito, the Prime Minister of Singapore Guangyao Li, and Secretary General of the United Nations Ghali all have visited the museum.

Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Emperor Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses

On August 24, 2011, in Historical Relics, Must-sees, Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors and Horses are statues of the first Qin emperor, located 1500 meters away from the east side of the Qin tomb. There are three pits of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. They were built facing west to east. The number one pit was the earliest to be found. The pit is […]

Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors and Horses are statues of the first Qin emperor, located 1500 meters away from the east side of the Qin tomb. There are three pits of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. They were built facing west to east. The number one pit was the earliest to be found. The pit is like a rectangle, which is 230 meters long from east to west, 62 metres wide from south to north. The number one pit covers an area of 14,260 square metres, with sloped doorways on all four sides. There is another pit on the left and right side of this pit, called number two and number three. After being discovered the pits were named with a number. The pits are properly designed with extraordinary layout. Inside the pit, there are load-bearing walls built every 3 meters between which terracotta warriors and horses stand.

The terracotta warriors are strong and handsome. They are sculptured with different facial features, hair styles, body gestures and expressions because they stand for different ethnic groups. Also all the terracotta horses look unique. Some of them hold up their ears, some open their mouths ‘neighing’ and some just stand still. All these are very attractive. A lot of people thought that ancient sculptures were introduced to China following the Buddhism spread in the South and North Era(420—589). However Terracotta Warriors and Horses proved they were wrong. Sculptural technologies were quite mature in the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), which helped to develop the sculptural architecture.

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses provided plentiful precious materials for military, cultural and economic research of the Qin Dynasty. Its excavation is hailed as one of the biggest discoveries in archeological history. On December 1987, Terracotta Warriors and Horses were included in the world heritage list by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors and Horses Attractions

Qin Terracotta Warriors Museum

Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors and Horses Story

1.   Why did ancient Chinese people build the Terracotta Warriors and Horses?

When the first Qin emperor reunified China at the age of 22, he sent an order to build his tomb. He selected the location to the north of Lishan Mountain for the tomb because it had a beautiful landscape and good feng shui. The emperor got together over 700,000 criminals and a great amount of farmers from Shandong and Henan (central China) to build him the tomb. During the construction, the emperor ordered his prime minister Li Si to levy thousands of virgin boys and girls. These children would be buried alive with the emperor when he had his funeral. Li Si was astonished by this scary order. He couldn’t stop thinking about it and finally came up with a better idea. He recommended that the emperor used terracotta figurines instead of real boys and girls, for if that many children were buried alive, it would cause riots. The first Qin emperor thought it made sense, so he changed his idea. He then told Li Si to call up skillful craftsmen all around the country to start making terracotta figurines of honour guards which were the same size of real warriors and horses.

The Qinling Mountains Travel Tips

On August 24, 2011, in Mountain Areas, Other Places of Interest, Travel Info, Xi'an, by Jack Li

The Qinling Mountains stretch from Gansu in the west to Huaiyang in the east. Because of the movement of faulted zones, the north part of the Qinling Mountains is short but steep. There are seventy-two valleys among the mountains. These valleys have fastflowing waters and deep ravines. The south part of the Qinling Mountains is […]

The Qinling Mountains stretch from Gansu in the west to Huaiyang in the east. Because of the movement of faulted zones, the north part of the Qinling Mountains is short but steep. There are seventy-two valleys among the mountains. These valleys have fastflowing waters and deep ravines. The south part of the Qinling Mountains is long and gentle slopes. The Qinling Mountains have basins too. These mountains, valleys, and basins connect together and are surrounded by clouds and frost. That’s why the views are extremely fabulous.

Best Time to Visit the Qinling Mountains

The Qinling Mountains enjoy a wet subtropical monsoon climate. There is no cold winter or hot summer here. It is warm and wet all year. In summer and autumn, it rains a lot. Spring and winter is relatively dry. The annual average temperature is 13.5℃. The average amount of precipitation is 800 mm to 100 mm a year, with 180 frostless days. Among the mountains, Mount Bashan often has torrential rains. Travelers can choose suitable timetables according to the weather. Flowers blossom in the warm spring. The sky is clear and the weather is cool in autumn.

Qinling Mountains Tickets

Qinling Wild Life Park: 86 yuan per person

Qinling National Botanical Garden: In season: 55 yuan per person ; Out of season: 33 yuan per person

Mount Taibai: 50 yuan per person

Qinlong Deep Pool: 20 yuan per person

How to get to the Qinling Mountains

Public Transport:

1.Take the coach from Xi’an to Mei County at Panjiacun from the Long-distance Passenger Terminal, and get off at the Changxinglukou stop. The coach leaves every 30 minutes from 7:10 to 18:00 and the ticket is 15 yuan. Then take a medium-sized bus to go to the Mount Taibai. The bus ticket is 4 yuan.

2.Travels can rent the bus privately from Xi’an to Houzhenzi Village or Yingtou Town to get to the Mount Taibai. The fee is 500 yuan. Maybe you can get a bargain price of 300 yuan. It takes 5 hours to get there.

3.Take the long distance bus from Xi’an to Mei County and get off at the kuiya stop. The ticket is 9 yuan per person. Then take the bus at the Tangyukou stop. The ticket is 1.2 yuan per person.

4. Take the train from Xi’an train station to Tangyukou. There is only one train a day. The ticket is 9.5 yuan per person. It leaves Xi’an at 15:00 and arrives at Tangyukou at 18:00.

By car: Drive along Xibao Express for 1000 metres before the Weizhang Entrance and pay 50 yuan.

The north part of Mount Taibai

  1. It usually takes two days to climb the mountain. Walk for almost 90 kilometres from Yingtou Town, Zhouzhi County to visit Zhongshan Temple, Baiyun Temple, Dadian Pavilion, Ping’an Temple, Wengong Temple and Baxian Tai.
  2. It takes a day to go from Zhouzhi County and Daban Temple to Baxian Tai.
  3. It takes two days to go from Yingge Town and Taibai Country to Baxian Tai. The route is about 90 kilometres.

Qinling Wildlife Park

On August 24, 2011, in Other Places of Interest, Parks & Gardens, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Xi’an Qinling Wildlife Park is the first Wildlife Park in the northwest of China and it is also the center scenic spot of the key construction project of ecotourism in the north of Qinling Mountain. The Safari Park is located in the Luan town of the Chang’an district of Xi’an. It is about 28km to […]

Xi’an Qinling Wildlife Park is the first Wildlife Park in the northwest of China and it is also the center scenic spot of the key construction project of ecotourism in the north of Qinling Mountain. The Safari Park is located in the Luan town of the Chang’an district of Xi’an. It is about 28km to the center of Xi’an and it was officially opened on May 1st 2004.

The park covers an area of about 2000 mu. It exhibits and cultivates animals from all over the world that represent their home countries. There are more than 300 kinds and nearly 10000 animals. Included in Qinling’s treasures are golden monkeys, leopards and the largest panther population in China. White tigers, dogs with three types of coloured fur, African cheetahs, sheep and some other kind of wild animals were first introduced from foreign countries.

In the park you can see thousands of animals living in a very beautiful environment which has old trees that are 100 years old. There are quiet roads , and clear waters which reflect the mountains. You can listen to the birds singing and see the animals wander in the jungles and flowers there. The ancient city of Xi’an is a good leisure place with fresh air, happy valleys and a scenic resort for people.

The “Swan Lake” is the most beautiful spot in the park. It covers an area of 30000 square meters and it is one of the most important scenic spots. The lake glitters with groups of swans, mandarin duck, flamingos and other waterfowl cruising along in the water, at their leisure.  Sometimes they make wonderful sounds. There is a waterfall behind the huge lake which is controlled by people. It seems magnificent when it is opened and combined with the glittering lake you will see a splendid picture. In Cuiwei Garden in the Park, more than 2000 beautiful peacocks stroll on the lawns graciously and you can intiate contact with them.

Qinling Mountains (Qinling)

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