Tag Archives: Shaanxi

Huaqing Hotsprings: A place where the Emperor once took a bath.

Huaqings Hotspring is our last and final stop during our 2 day Xian trip. Due to the unexpected intense heat that surrounded Xian that day, we almost decided to skip this attraction. The thing we didn’t know was that this place is an astonishing opportunity to see the extravagance of Emperors and their concubines.

It was during the Tang dynasty that this palace was created. Stating that this is a historical place is an understatement. It has 6,000 years of history wrapping each wall and every corner of this marvelous attraction.

Entrance of the Huaqing Hotspring

Upon entering the gates of this Huaqing Hotspring I found myself dumbfounded, I didn’t know that this is such a serene and picturesque place. I learned from my previous research that this was the bathing place of the emperors and their concubines but I didn’t imagine it to be such a grand and charming place. Now I’m murmuring to myself “I wanna be an Emperor of China!”

Near the entrance is a  man-made lake with floating water-lilies, while palace pavilions greet you with their usual lively colors. Walking further, you will find a white statue of a woman looking reserved yet exudes a beautiful vibe.The statue seems to invite you to dip your worn out feet in one of the bathing area of this wonderful place.

yang guifei
the statue of Yang Guifei

That statue depicts  one of the four most beautiful women in the Tang dynasty. She is Yang Guifei one of the concubines of the Emperor. She is the most loved concubine among them all.

the emperor's bathing area

Our tour guide brought us to three bathing areas. The first one was said to be where the Emperors dip their body in the naturally heated water. The second was said to be where the concubines have their skins rejuvenated and the last was where the officials nearest to the heart of the emperor enjoys the utmost treatment.

the concubines' pool
the pool for officials and head chef

One thing I noticed, was the three bathing areas are connected with each other, the water flows down to the Emperor’s down to the officials’ bathing area. So, whatever dirt was scrubbed down from the Emperor’s skin will be conferred to the other two bath areas… But before, it wasn’t a problem, since they believe that touching the Emperor is like touching God… so I think the officials and the concubines never complained on such kind of setting (because if they complain I think they will go directly to heaven… )

other view of the hot springs (in the right corner, people are drinking water from the hotspring since it is said to have healing powers)

This is one of the oldest Hot Springs in China and one of the revered beautiful places in the country. I think, this is one of the place which a person shouldn’t miss, especially if visiting Xian. It is said to be part of the 100 most beautiful gardens in China.

Moreover, it also gives you a glimpse to the history and the way of life of the emperor, empresses and the concubines.

My Mom and the beautiful Huaqing Palace

By the way, the lake transforms into a stage during a performance… I just forgot to take a close-up picture of it. I don’t know if this is the lake or other lakes in the area.

By the way, the Emperor who is very in love with Yang Gufei, took a bath here more than 30 times! 🙂

How to get here DIY? (acdg. to Travel China Guide)

  • Admission Fee: CNY 80  P560.00 $13 USD (Dec. 1 – the end of the next Feb.);
  •                              CNY 110  P770.00 $17 USD (Mar. 1 – Nov. 30)
  • Performance Fees : CNY 218-988 P1526-6916 $35-$160 (The performance of The   
  •                              Song of Unending Sorrow)
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00pm

How to get here:

  • From Xian,
    1. Take Tourism Bus No.5 (306), the special route bus from Railway Station to the Terracotta Warriors via Huaqingchi Station, at the East Square of Xian Railway Stationand get off at Huaqingchi Stop.
    Bus fare: CNY6
    Estimated Travel Time: 45mins.
  • 2. Bus 307 from the south gate of Tang Paradise to Huaqingchi Station.
    Bus fare: CNY 7
  • 3. Bus 914 and 915 also run to Huaqing Hot Springs and Terra Cotta Warrors, but they are not suggested to take.
    From Lintong, Take bus 5101 from Lintong Bus Station to Huaqingchi Stop.

Xian City Wall: A wall that reminds the ingenuity of the Chinese

During the time where the city of Xian was still the capital; the 1st Ming Emperor  created a big, massive wall which will help him fight against prodigious intruders. However, that isn’t the only trivia in the creation of this wall, but it is also for the protection of the power that the Emperor holds.

The Archer's Tower

One hermit advised the Emperor to build high walls if he wants to retain power, in which the Emperor dutifully followed.

The wall served as a good military defense system especially during those times when bows and arrows are one of the weapons.

In the picture above, it was said to be the archer’s lair, where the soldiers threw speeding bows and arrows to the enemy, and where piles of bows and other weapons were stored.

As a stratagem, the outside wall is surrounded by a deep moat. It will hold the enemy in getting near the walls. Moreover, the walls are thoroughly prepared to be one of the strongest and hard-to-breach walls during those times. Leaving the intruders’ to only have one choice, which is, to break through the main gate.

My Brother, the wall and the Tower; take note, he is standing in the outer wall

Another good defense strategy made was that the wall encircles the outside, then another wall in the inside. When the enemy got through the outside wall, they will be greeted by another wall full of archers. But, sometimes, what the Emperor’s soldiers do was to let them inside and then they close the main gate. Where the unknowing enemies will be greeted by archers and a battalion of soldiers. I t is a war strategy, it is a trap!

I, having watched a lot of Chinese period movies, (Red Cliff, Red Cliff 2, Three Brothers), I was amazed on how erudite the Chinese in terms of war strategies. The Chinese people during those times do not only attack but they plan their every move. Just like as depicted in Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

This place, the Xian City Wall, is one of the ingenious war defense systems I saw in my entire life. It was carefully planned and made for the protection of the city and for the protection of their Emperor. However, not long enough after the creation of this wall, the Emperor decided to transfer the city to Beijing.

Before transferring the ancient capital, the Emperor, also from an advice from a hermit, put some dragon-sons in the moat in order for his alleged “bad luck” not to follow him. Which the Emperor dutifully followed. These ancient dragon-sons were found on the moat. Today, these dragon-sons are displayed in one of the archer’s tower. You are also allowed to touch it for good luck.

Nowadays, where the city of Xian had expanded outside these walls, it is clear that this wall doesn’t serve anymore as a great bastion for the City of Xian however, this wall will still remain as a part of the ancient past which the Chinese remembers and will always cherish. And as tourism came by, this will serve as one of the great legacies that the history had given to the Chinese people.

I definitely recommend each and everyone of you who are coming to Xian to visit this place, it may only look like a park but imagining on how great a fortress it is, will definitely serve as a good experience.

How to Get here:

  • You can always ride the taxi, especially if your hotel is in the city center, it will only be a short-ride
  • To the South Gate: Take bus no.6, 11, 12, 23, 46, 215, 239, 302, 600, 603, 608, 713, 910, K600, K618, or Wulong Special Line…and arrive at South Gate Station.
  • To the East Gate: Take bus no.8, 22, 27, 29, 33, 37, 43, 45, 102, 203, 218, 232, 235, 252, 300, 527, 602, 604, 714, or 903…and arrive at East Gate Station
  • To the North Gate: Take bus no.6, 26, 28, 33, 37, 39, 104, 107, 117, 205, 206, 208, 214, 216, 229, 236, 238, 310, 336, 506 or 511…and arrive at North Gate Station.
  • To the West Gate: Take bus no.4, 10, 15, 23, 31, 201, 205, 206, 215, 221, 222, 223, 300, 302, 407, 504, 611, 701 or K630…and arrive at West Gate Station.

  •  South Gate:08:00-22:00 (April 1-October 31); 08:00-19:00 (November 1-March 31)
  • East/North/West Gate, Wenchang Gate,  Heping Gate:08:00-19:00 (May 1-October 31);  08:00-18:00 (Novermber 1-April 30)
  •  Shangde Gate, Little South Gate, Hanguang Gate:08:00-18:00 (January 1-December 31)
  • The Greeting and Entering Ceremony at the South Gate (Suspension Bridge Square): 09:30
  • The warrior formation performance at the enceinte of the South Gate: 10:30, 16:30