With a rich and lengthy history spanning more than 3000 years, Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi Province is the undisputed root of Chinese civilization. Visitors to Xi’An will wonder at the many historical ruins, cultural relics and museums which tell the tale of the city’s ancient history, which was a capital for 13 dynasties and hosted 73 ruling emperors.
One of the most notable dynasties was the Tang dynasty, which used Xi’An as its imperial capital between 618 and 907. The Tang dynasty celebrated a high point in Chinese civilization, with a cosmopolitan culture rivaling that of the Han Dynasty and even the metropolis of Rome. It was the largest international city in the world, with foreign residents from other parts of Asia and beyond. Through the use of trade along the Silk Road and at sea, the Tang dynasty was able to gain access to new and exciting cultural practices, luxury, contemporary items and technologies.
What to see in Xi’an
There is so much to do in the ancient imperial capital, so visitors will need to stay a few days to see the best sights. A trip to Xi’An isn’t complete without seeing the Terracotta Warriors, which are a selection of sculptures known as the terracotta, which are the armies of Qin Shi Huang who was the very first Emperor of the great land of China. One can easily spend hours wandering through the attached museum, viewing many of the historical collections. If time permits, visitors can stop off at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in the afternoon, which was originally built in 707 during the Tang Dynasty rule. It is a World Heritage site, and one of two important pagodas in the city.
After a day of exploring these important sites, visitors to Xi’An can be delighted with a magical journey through the ancient Tang dynasty, with a music and dance dinner show at the Tang Dynasty Palace. The show is an impressive performance of song, dance and acting, which is supported by a magnificent live traditional orchestra. The show has roots in folk fetes, when dances were performed as rituals of prayer for a better life or good harvest. The dances became more artistic and delicate over a time, peaking during the Tang Dynasty, where they encompassed various forms of art from past dynasties and other ethnic groups throughout Asia. The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show accurately recreates much of the traditional entertainment from the Dynasty’s rule, with performers spending significant time studying relevant books, historical records and monographs. Tickets to the show can be bought for 238 RMB, or a dinner and show package for 388 RMB.
How to get there
For January and February 2016, the Tang Dynasty show is to be held in the Shaanxi Grand Opera House as the Palace is under renovation.
Address: 75 Chang’an North Road, Beilin District, Xi’an.
Subway: Yongningmen Station, Exit D2, then a 15 minute walk. Otherwise, you can take a rickshaw to the palace for 10 RMB.
Taxi: From the city, it will cost about 15 to 20 RMB to the theatre.