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  Chinese Way>Life

Western capital holds surprises for foreign visitors

2013-08-19 14:47:45

(China Daily) By Lance CRayon


The Guanzhong Folk Art Museum has a classy array of ancient residences relocated from different areas of Shaanxi.

When visiting Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province and starting point of the legendary Silk Road, it's common to visit historic destinations in the 3,100-year-old city such as the City Wall, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and of course the Teracotta Warrior Museum.

But two popular destinations with Chinese tourists that are not usually on the radar of visiting foreigners are the Guanzhong Folk Art Museum and the mountain known as Huashan.

Huashan is one of China's five main peaks, and one of the country's tallest at 2,160 meters. It is near the small town of Huayin about 120 kilometers east of Xi'an.

Visitors can take a gondola ride to mid-mountain or they can walk all the way up on the stairs built around it. In the morning the gondola lift is not encumbered with long lines, so it's best to get there early if that's how you want to go up the mountain.

The only disadvantage to arriving early is the heavy mountain mist. About 2 pm it begins to clear and surrounding peaks become more visible.

Plan on spending the whole day there, you won't regret it. Food, water and other beverages are provided all the way up the mountain at various small restaurants and food stands.

The distance from Xi'an could be a detraction for foreigners, but bus transportation makes it very easy to get to and from the capital city. I went on a Saturday and the mountain was packed with Chinese hikers of various ages, but I did not see one foreigner outside of my travel group.

The other must-see destination, located at the foot of Wutai Mountain in Chang'an county not far from Xi'an, is the Guanzhong Folk Art Museum.

Founded by Wang Yongchao, a respected and distinguished Chinese scholar and historian, the museum's focus is to preserve, protect and rescue China's folk art heritage.

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