Answers from Our Experts (1)
Offering loads of outdoor activities, great food and mystical sights, Xi’an is a city that kids will love exploring as much as you will. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the five best things to do with kids in Xi’an:
1. Take a City Wall Bike Ride. A leisurely two- to three-hour ride around Xi’an’s ancient 40-foot-high walls is a great way to spend a morning – get an early start because there’s little to no shade once you’re up there. You can rent bikes near the South Gate, and during your ride stop to look at the statues, inspect ancient weaponry and even enjoy an ice cream. Bring liquids and sunscreen, even if you’re up there in the morning.
2. Visit a Cave Dwelling Village. Owned by farmers who live in the caves, the inhabitants of China’s cave-dwelling villages practice a more simple, eco-friendly way of life, still living in the caves, cooking over a fire and sleeping on platform beds – and more people do it than you might think, with upwards of 70 million people living in these caves. A day tour from Xi’an to one of these friendly villages provides a memorable, eye-opening experience for kids and adults alike.
3. See the Terracotta Army. Though the historical magnitude of this archaeological gem may be lost on youngsters, kids of all ages will be fascinated by a tour that leads them through an ancient tomb straight out of an Indiana Jones movie filled with thousands of intricately carved soldiers, horses and chariots. Get there early in the morning to avoid the masses that descend on this spectacular site daily.
4. Play in Tang Paradise. We hear you: You didn’t drag your kids all the way to Asia to visit a theme park. Fair enough, but this Chinese-style theme park is quite different than its Western counterparts. The 165-acre Tang Paradise is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Xi’an for Chinese travelers, who come here to marvel at the park’s appealing (and surprisingly thorough) recreation of the Tang Dynasty’s arts and culture. Kids will have a blast running wild here – and be amazed by movies that are projected onto a screen made with water.
5. Enjoy the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Water Show. Every night at 8:30 p.m. a water shower erupts from this, the largest musical fountain in China. Though at 45 minutes long adults may think this spectacle drags some, kids will be mesmerized throughout and probably ask to come back again the next night.