One of my latest discoveries of magical Chinese travel destinations is the ancient capital of Xi’an. While it is far from unknown already to about a million foreign visitors per year, as well as a staggering 30 million Chinese visitors. After Shanghai and Beijing, this is the third most considered “must-see” destination on those who have the the few extra days to spend. Although quite far, located in the western parts of China it is easy to access by high speed train from all major cities. Also there is an international airport with direct flights from many corners of the world. And best of all, it’s not as crowded as many of the bigger cities, even the air is much cleaner in beautiful Xi’an.
Wondering the streets, I haven’t seen many musical performances. Instead, you have to go and look for them from one of the many Tang Dynasty style theaters that have the most amazing plays. The one that caught my particular attention is the one in Tang Dynasty Show. However, there seems to be several options from many different theaters scattered around the city. Some of which claim to have the Tang Dynasty Show, and then there are others, such as Thirteen Dynasties and A Song of Everlasting Sorrow which is located in the outskirts of the city. The best website to make your pick of the performance you want to see for the night is Show Xian: a nightlife guide with loads of good information.
The stories are incredible and you can really dive into the ancient world of dynasties and emperors. Many of which are already very famous tales for the Chinese. But as a musician what gripped me the most was the traditional live orchestra that accompanied the whole performance. Situated in two floors besides the performing stage, there were a few dozen of participants in the orchestra. With some of the most interesting instruments heavy on the strings. Sometimes creating soft ballads, or even hard war scenes were well managed by the group. And you can even purchase the soundtrack of the show afterwords which is a must.
The other place worth visiting in Xi’an, is the Terracotta Army which depicts the army of Qin Shi Huang. A massive funerary art piece that leaves you gasping for air. For it’s shear size as well as the mystical atmosphere. After that you have a chance to the Huaqing Hot Springs to relax and stay for the night before going back to the city to play. If you are lucky enough you can catch the impressive Song of Everlasting Sorrow here. Although it is mostly catered towards the Chinese and has many scenes in the Chinese language. I will definitely make put it on my list of things to do during my next visit to Xi’an.
Not to mention, what tops of any active day is along foot massage. They use acupuncture points in the soles of your feet that might sometimes hurt. But trust me, it’s all good for you and opens up locks in your body.. making you feeling all strange from the relaxing sensation. I hope that my experience has been a helpful introduction to this wonderful city, that will make others to consider this musical destination of my Chinese dreams..