Explore 360

Xi'an & Terracotta Army

- Great Wall Trip Extension

  • Where?

    China

  • Altitude

    400m

  • Duration

    4 days days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P1

  • Technical

    T1

  • P1 - Gentle walking over relatively flat terrain. A light day sack up to 4kg may be required to be carried. Suitable for those with minimal exercise experience.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T1 - No technical skills are needed.  A good steady walking ability only is required.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs

Overview

Xi’an, the ancient capital of China: a terminus of the Silk Road and a fusion of cultures and religions. The city captures the essence of ancient, magnificent dynasties and as you explore you can feel China’s 5,000 years of  history present in its time-worn palaces, emperors’ mausoleums, city walls, towers and relics.

After our trek on the Great Wall, we’ll catch the overnight train to Xi’an. From here, we’ll discover the mysteries surrounding the Terracotta Army, an eternal guard of warriors, built to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife. This life-size silent army of thousands has been standing guard over the Emperor’s soul for more than 2,000 years.

We’ll also visit the Muslim quarter, a maze of narrow lanes where a myriad of vendors still cluster, and cycle along the Ming era city walls, still intact and standing 12 metres high. Surrounded by a dry moat with a perimeter of almost 14 kilometres, the Xian City Wall was built for protection, and encompasses the Bell and Drum Towers whose purposes were for chiming and sending messages.

The extension trip is a fantastic opportunity to really maximise your experience in China and make the most of the journey to this stunning and diverse country.

 

Find out more
Xi'an & Terracotta Army, - Great Wall Trip Extension Xi'an & Terracotta Army, - Great Wall Trip Extension

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.

A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Price (excl. flight)

Price (incl. flight UK-UK)

Start: 28 September 2020
End: 02 October 2020

Price without flights:  £780

28 September 2020

02 October 2020

5 days

£780

N/A

Start: 26 September 2021
End: 30 September 2021

Price without flights:  £780

26 September 2021

30 September 2021

5 days

£780

N/A

Included

  • Local guides and a 360 guide (depending on group size)
  • Accommodation in 4-star hotel in Xi’an (See FAQ’s)
  • Airport transfers and escort
  • All accommodation based on two people sharing
  • All meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • Bike hire
  • 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

  • International flights (please see the costs for the Great Wall of China trek to include flights to this itinerary)
  • Personal equipment
  • Staff/guide gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Trip insurance
  • Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry,
    room service, etc.
  • Unscheduled hotels and restaurant meals
  • Visas
  • Airport transfers when not booking on with flights
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets

 

Please note that if international flights are booked, a surcharge may be payable if costs increase due to the current situation with Covid-19.

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Beijing to Xi'an

The morning will be spent at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven. A UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the temple was built in 1420 alongside the Forbidden City. It was the most important of Beijing’s imperial temples, where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped. The whole Temple site is nearly 270 hectares, but all of the main buildings are central to the park and we’ll be able to spend a good couple of hours exploring. One of the most popular buildings is the striking, three-tiered Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests – the architecture is stunning.

After our time here, we’ll have a variety of options to choose from for lunch at the train station (lunch is at your own expense), or there’s also a buffet car on the train if you want to sample some local railway cuisine! We’ll board the afternoon high speed train from Beijing to Xian – it’s much like a British intercity train, the journey will take us about 5 hours. On arrival in Xian we’ll transfer to our central hotel to check in, and head out for dinner in a local restaurant.

(BD)

DAY 2 : Xi'an

We have the day to explore Xi’an, and we start our morning with a visit to the Provincial Museum. It has a fascinating array of dynastic artefacts which help put the Terracotta Warriors and everything we see in Xian into context. After a few hours at the museum, we’ll visit the Wild Goose Pagoda. Later, we’ll head off for an hour’s evening bike around the City Wall of Xian, bike hire is included.

(BLD)

DAY 3 : Terracotta Army

After breakfast, a 25km drive out of the city takes us to the astonishing vaults of the Terracotta Army: an estimated 8,000 strong army protecting China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Each warrior’s face, expression, hairstyle and armour is unique. It is one of the most important archaeological finds in the world.

After lunch we head back into town for a visit to the Great Mosque, and then time to wander around the markets of the fascinating Muslim quarter and be captivated by the fusion of Chinese and Middle Eastern architecture of the Drum and Bell Tower. The Muslim markets are next up to explore, and when it’s time for dinner there’s amazing street food on offer at the markets, or a plethora of restaurants, both local and Western. Xi’an’s cuisine is strongly influenced by Islamic food and flavours so you can be sure that whatever you choose will be a delicious, fragrant and spicy affair.

(BL)

DAY 4 : Depart Xi'an

A free day for you to continue your exploration of this “Eternal City”. There is so much to see: pagodas, museums, temples and tombs or just soak up the scents and sounds of the city’s historical past. There’ll be time to get your last souvenirs for family and friends, or take a last visit to the city walls.

We’ll let you know what time you’ll need to return to the hotel for our transfer to the airport if you have flights back to the UK booked with 360.

(B)

DAY 5 : Arrive UK

If you’re booked on the flight with 360, you’ll arrive back in the UK after the scheduled overnight flight.

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

No additional kit is needed further to that we recommend for the Great Wall Trek, though we’d advise you bring a few extra pairs of underwear and a clean set of ‘city clothes’ if you’d rather not wear the clothes you’ve been wearing to trek.

Please see the Great Wall of China kit list for everything you’ll need, and give the office a call if you have any questions!

FAQs

Food and Water

What is the food like in the hotels?

The food in the hotels is generally made up of traditional Chinese food, usually presented in a buffet style. You will be able to help yourself to as much as you like and you are encouraged to try as many different things as possible. The meals are very varied with lots of different meat and fresh vegetarian dishes available, steamed rice, noodles and soup.

If you are ever unsure about what is on offer, there are always hotel staff, as well as your expedition leader and local crew, available to answer your questions.

Can allergies be catered for?

Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account and passed on to the local teams.

Where does the drinking water come from?

Bottled water is provided each morning in the hotel, and on the day trips.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

The accommodation in Xi’an will be in twin rooms, all with en-suites in a modern, 4-star hotel. You can expect all of the usual mod-cons of 4-star accommodation you would find in Europe.

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag or liner?

The hotel in Xi’an will provide adequate bedding so there is no need for a sleeping bag. Do check the FAQs for the Great Wall of China trek, as though there is bedding provided, you may prefer to have your own sleeping bag liner for extra comfort or if you particularly feel the cold.

What are the toilet facilities like?

You will find western style toilets in your hotel in Xi’an, and also around the cities, but you will also come across squat toilets in many places which are very typical to this part of the world.

Will there be flushing toilets and hot water for showers?

Yes, your hotel in Xi’an has en-suite bathrooms in each room, all with flush toilets and hot water available at the accommodation each evening.

Communication

Will there be WIFI in the hotel?

The hotels in Xi’an will have internet access and many restaurants and bars in the city will also offer WIFI access.

Will there be phone reception during the days?

There is generally a good mobile phone signal in the cities however depending on your network and SIM, 3G and 4G connections might not always be possible.

What plug sockets will the hotels have for charging?

China generally uses the “I” type (3 prong – also used in Australia & NZ) but most hotel outlets will also accommodate the “A” type from North America (2 prongs, no earth wire).

Health and Safety

What happens if there is an issue on the trip, someone falling ill, for example?

360 Expeditions have conducted detailed risk assessments and put the necessary plans in place to  cope with any accidents or illness whilst out on the trek.

 

Our expedition leaders are highly qualified and experienced mountaineers who hold expedition first aid qualifications and are used to working in remote environments. Their training, coupled with the experience and knowledge of our local Chinese crew, allow them to deal with any situation quickly and safely.

Throughout the trek before your time in Xi’an, and then also in the cities, should someone find themselves requiring further medical attention, the leader will organise for that individual to be transferred to the nearest hospital. The leader and the 360 office team will also be on hand to offer guidance and support for insurance claims and contacting families.

What vaccinations do I need to have?

None are currently required for entry, but the following vaccinations are recommended for travel to China:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

This list is not absolute and inoculation requirements can change frequently so it is important you visit your GP or local travel clinic for the latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations. A health certificate regarding COVID-19 may be required.

Weather

When is the best time to travel on the GWC and to Xi’an?

The best time to trek on the Great Wall of China is September to October and April to May. The weather in Xi’an follows a similar pattern!

How cold can it get in the day and in the night?

You’ll likely find that the temperature variations are not as severe in the cities as those on the trek. We can expect daytime temperatures of between 15-20C on a clear day with evening temperatures dropping to around 5C.

Kit

What happens to my kit from the trek?

You’ll be able to leave your trekking kit in the hotel – we’d advise bringing a small daysack for each day.

What should I carry with me in my day sack?

Your day sack should contain only the essential items you will need for a day of sightseeing and your aim should be to keep it as light as possible. We’d recommend you carry at least: a warm layer, waterproof jacket, your packed lunch and snacks, spending money, water, camera, sun cream and personal medication.

Do I need a down jacket?

A down jacket is not essential. Though we’d recommend bringing a good thick fleece or jumper for evenings on the trek – please see the kitlist for the Great Wall Trek. In Xi’an, it may be cooler in the evenings so a light layer is recommended.

Entry Requirements

Do I need a visa?

A visa is essential for travelling to China and must be obtained prior to travel. This can be done through the Chinese embassy and currently costs approximately £35. Please chat to the 360 office team if you have any questions.

How many months do I need to have left on my passport?

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the final day of travel and you should have at least two blank pages in your passport.

Finance

Should I bring dollars or Yuan?

It is possible to obtain Chinese Yuan in the UK but it may be necessary to give plenty of notice to your bank so they can order them for you.

It is possible to change money at the airport in Beijing and also at the hotel. Generally, it is easier to exchange dollars than sterling and small denominations are preferable.

How much spending money should I bring?

You will have plenty of opportunities while in Xi’an to buy souvenirs and small gifts. You will also be able to buy soft and alcoholic drinks in the evenings. We would suggest that you bring £200-£250 spending money for your whole trip, including the trek, to cover tips, some small souvenirs and drinks, plus meals not included in Xi’an as per the itinerary.

There are some fantastic shopping opportunities in Beijing and Xi’an also so if you are likely to indulge in some retail therapy, more money may be required!

Tipping – how much is considered standard for a tip to the local crew? Should this be in dollars or Yuan?

Yuan is better than dollars when it comes to tipping, although both can be used.

For an average sized group, we would generally recommend $15-20 per person which will be split between the team and local guides.

Language

I understand there is little English spoken – how do I communicate?

Your local guide will be a native Chinese speaker with a very good command of the English language. He/she will be more than happy to teach you some basic Chinese words and phrases to help you communicate and to get more from your experience in China. Your guide will also be available to translate for you if there is something you need help with.

We would also recommend buying a Chinese phrase book and doing some reading prior to arriving in China.

Key words:

Hello – Ni hao

Thank you –  Xie xie

How much? – Duo shao qian?

Where is…? – Zai na…?

The organisation of 360 was second to none. The attention to detail every step of the way was exceptional.

More Testimonials

Team Tesco climb the Great Wall of China

Read Blog