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XiAn ~ China ~ Filled With Incredible History + Culture

Yay! This year I finally made it to Xi’An in China!

For some time, I’ve been wanting to share some of my own travel experiences as a way to share what I do with my time away from the wedding world and maybe as a way to give you some travel and honeymoon ideas. Although Xi’An is not a blue sea – blue sky  destination but for the history and culture loving couple, this is perfect. Three to four days is enough if your aim is to just see the world famous historical sites. This was the city of crazy fun and was such an adventure! I have never soaked up so much history in my life  and not for one second did I miss what our personal tour guide taught us. It was just too interesting and everything was such an eye opener. Paul and I loved every second of being there.

I’ll never forget the very first journey we took from the airport to the hotel. The city was concrete grey, it was red lantern colourful and it was crazy like I’ve never experienced before. It was mesmerising. It was madness. It was wonderful!

Our very first visit was to the Ancient City Wall – it’s the most complete wall in China and one of the largest ancient military defense systems in the World.

I loved watching some of the local people play Mahjong in the streets!

Katie Melua once sang there are 9 million bicycles in China… true or not, here’s two of them 😉

Spring had truly arrived. It was so pretty!

Before we visited the real Terracotta Army Museum, we had the opportunity to visit a factory where they created replicas as tourist souvenirs. It was great to watch the people hand make them. What was incredible to see was how long it takes them to make each one today, so when I think to how the life-size army was created thousands of years ago… how did they make them all by hand?!

Inside Pit One – I have seen thousands of photos in brochures and magazine prior to our visit but nothing had prepared me for how breath-taking and the vast size that it was when we stood right there. Pit Two and Three were just as incredible in their own unique way. With excavation still on-going, I wonder that if I ever get the chance to visit again some years later,  would the excavation be complete.  Each and every warrior had such intricate detailing and every face was unique. Such creativity from 3000 years ago!

The magnificent Bell & Drum Tower in the city of Xi’An which was originally built in 1384. This now sits proudly in the centre of the city where busy traffic of cars, people, motorbikes and lorries manoeuvre around day and night.  That was an experience in itself!

In the evening we watched the Tang Dynasty Show – fabulous colours, culture and we were treated to delicious dinner as we soaked up the atmosphere!

Me and Paul at The Wildgoose Pagoda – an ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists.


Thank you Xi’An for such an incredible trip and opening my eyes to what amazing history this world has. I loved every second of my trip and one city I’m so, so glad I’ve had the opportunity to visit. We drank copious amounts of Chinese tea, we ate some fabulous local food and with my limited understanding on Mandarin, we had some language barriers when we were minus David our tour guide. But it was all part of the fun and exploring more of the country where my ancestors originated from.


My Must See Places When In Xi’An –

  • Terracotta Warriors
  • Bell + Drum Tower
  • Ancient City Wall
  • Ban Po Village
  • Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Tang Dynasty Show



My Advice + Tips –

Arrange for an English Speaking tour guide and attempt to book on private tours with minimum group numbers, especially if your trip is no more than 3 days. We paid a little extra to have a fantastic tour guide {Thank you David!} who was not only knowledgeable, he spoke perfect English {a must for my hubby and friends!} and was more than accommodating throughout our time in Xi’An. There’s so much history and a lot to see in the city, don’t waste your precious time by going in a big group. There was only the 4 of us and it meant we didn’t waste time waiting around for others. I personally booked with a Chinese travel agent in Birmingham – United Travel on Ladywell Walk who were very good and they were great at organising our Visa’s too.

Make sure you carry your own tissues with you everywhere you go and drink bottled water only. Ordering food can be a struggle if you don’t speak Mandarin – luckily I got by with some simple Mandarin phrases I already know but at times it can be difficult.

Otherwise, enjoy your trip if you’re heading to one of the most historical cities in the world!


Come back soon to see more of my second destination – my second home. Hong Kong! xoxo


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  • LucyL - So envious! We almost made it to Xi’an a few years ago, but we missed the overnight train from beijing, lol.

    Would love to go one day esp after seeing your post. Where did you book David from? Sounds like a great idea! 🙂June 7, 2013 – 11:12 am

  • Carms - What a shame you missed Xi’An… but I guess another night in Beijing wasn’t bad?! I would love to go Beijing next. You must go Xi’an, the city is just incredible. I booked David through United Travel in Birmingham xJune 8, 2013 – 2:20 pm

  • LucyL - Yeh Beijing is amazing, so def have that on your list to visit 🙂
    Thanks for the info on David!June 10, 2013 – 10:58 am

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