Beijing & Xi’an

When planning our fall trip in 2015, we knew we wanted to head back to Asia. We had only been to Asia once back in 2013 when we spent two weeks in Thailand and Cambodia. Asia is a hard place to go for a week because the transit time is so long from Ohio. We decided we would focus on 1-2 cities which would take out some of that time lost in transit. We made a list of 10 different Asian cities which included Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and several other cities. We had decided whichever flight was cheapest was the city we would head to. Beijing ended up being the cheapest by quite a bit so we booked the flight round trip to Beijing. While we could have spent just a week in Beijing, we saw several itineraries that included Beijing and Xi’an so we looked into it. After realizing the Terra Cotta Warriors were just a high speed train (or overnight train) away, we decided to split our time between the two cities.

Beijing has a surprising amount of things to do and we barely scratched the surface of things to do while in town. We basically hit the big sights and that was it in the 5 days we were in Beijing. We spent 1.5 days in Xi’an and really didn’t see a lot of the city other than the Terra Cotta Warriors and the City Walls. There are quite a few attractions in Xi’an but they seemed pretty spread out and thus hard to see them in a short time frame. You would definitely need at minimum three days to really see the majority of attractions in Xi’an. But we were more than happy with how we arranged our time as the primary reason we went to Xi’an was the Terra Cotta Warriors.

Day 1 (arrival in late afternoon): Donghuamen Night Market

Day 2: Day trip to the Great Wall (Hiking Jiankou to Mutianyu) and Olympic Park

Day 3: Forbidden Palace, Bell & Drum Towers, Lama Temple & Confucius Temple, and Cooking class

Day 4: Bullet train to Xi’an arriving in afternoon, Big Goose Pagooda, Food Tour

Day 5: Terra Cotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, City Walls (overnight train back to Beijing)

Day 6: Food Tour in Beijing, Summer Palace, Beijing at night

Day 7: Old Summer Palace, 798 Art District, Peking Duck Dinner

Day 8: Temple of Heaven

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My Beijing & Xi’an Guides: Planning, Summary, Food, and Wrap Up