Xi’an Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Great Mosque
Xi’an Small Wild Goose
Pagoda and Great Mosque
Aside from making its mark as the Silk Road’s terminus, downtown Xi’an is historically brimming.
Home to dynasty sights of immense importance, it is what’s happening within their
city wall that is seen as a stimulus to add more nights to your itinerary.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Xi’an dates back over 3,000 years and provides visitors with a living history book of antiquities and culture. Located in central north-west China, Xi’an was the capital of 13 dynasties including the Qin Dynasty, which first unified China, as well as the Tang Dynasty, often considered to be China’s golden age.
Its vibrant Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque are a memento of a time when the city was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and attracted cultures whose religions and art changed the country for ever.
08:30 - 17:00
Guests are warmly welcomed by an English-speaking guide at one of the city’s downtown hotels before the exploration of Xi’an commences. A myriad of streets and alleys, all capturing the essence of happening China, your driver for the day navigates with ease towards our morning stop.
Located in the heart of the city, Muslim Quarter draws explorers from around the world. Soak up the atmosphere of the area that has become known for its street food and restaurants that include kebabs, dumplings and one of Xi’an’s most famous dishes, paomo – steamed bread in a lamb or beef stew – while also gaining a deeper understanding into local Islamic culture.
Within the old quarter, the Grand Mosque takes centre stage. As the largest place for Islamic worship in the whole of China, it is hard not to be awestruck by the Great Mosque of Xi’an. Originating from 742, the complex was significantly expanded during subsequent dynasties and now comprises more than twenty buildings spread across four courtyards. As well as being historically and architecturally impressive, the mosque still serves the spiritual needs of those who live in Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter and can accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers at any given time. Lunch is included at a local restaurant.
After enjoying our hand-picked local lunch address, the afternoon is all about taking one’s time to admire a leading spiritual landmark inside downtown Xi’an. As one of two important pagodas in Xi’an, Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built during the Tang dynasty in 652 to pay homage to Emperor Zhongzong. Almost hidden in the surrounding parkland, learn about the structure’s fascinating history and how at one point it stood at 45 metres tall but after the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake, it now stands at 43 metres. Also discover its cultural importance in the area; it was one of the main centres in Chang’an that translated Buddhist texts.
It is time to head back to your hotel at the end of this fabulous day through hectic Xi’an.