ENTRY COST: 40 RMB Entry per person, 10RMB per person Rent a bicycle for 90 minutes
1 – Avoid,2 – OK if nothing better to do, 3 – Worth seeing,4 – Worth special trip, 5 – DO NOT MISS!
DESCRIPTION:Built in the 1300’s to replace a smaller Tang Dynasty defensive wall, the old Xi’an was completely surrounded by a high (12 meters) thick wall complete with interior rooms, turrets, parapets and wide enough (12-16 meters) for a sizable army to gather to defend the city. Today’s Xi’an spills far beyond the wall’s perimeter, but the wall remains as a link with the past and a tourist draw.
The interior rooms house a few interesting displays and shops. However, it is taking a walk (several hours) or a bike ride (a little over an hour if you do not stop too often and pedal at a reasonable pace) around the 13.5 km top that is the real attraction. While all the traffic and noise below goes on, you can have a peaceful city bike ride around the top and never worry about Chinese drivers.
OTHER COMMENTS: Note that on a hot day, the granite wall holds heat and if there is little breeze, the ride can be quite warm. Dress accordingly. Also note where you are as you ride so that if you get tired you can know if you are more or less half way around and which way to go. After a while it all looks the same and it is easy to get “lost” (although is you keep going you will be guaranteed to get back to where you started.
You also have the choice of renting single or double bikes.