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Huaqing Palace

Take Time to Relax in Xian

Huaqing Palace also referred as Huaqing Hot Spring, is a complex of hot springs located at the northern foot of Lishan Mountain in Lintong District, Xian, facing the Weihe River in the north. Huaqing Hot Spring is famous for its breathtaking scenic views and mild weather, which why it became the recreational palace for the emperors of the Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang dynasties during the harsh winters.

It was rebuilt in 723 CE by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty for his beloved consort named Yang Guifei (Concubine Yang)and was named “Huaqing Palace”. According to records, Huaqing Palace has a 6,000 year history of hot-spring usage, and 3,000 years imperial interest in the site. The springs are located 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) east of Xian and 5 miles (8 km) from the renowned Terracotta Warriors, the Eighth Wonder of the World according to some. It was listed into 5A national tourist scenic area on May 8, 2007.

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The Hot Spring Scenic Area is comprised of 4 hot springs originating from Shiquan Cave, which is endowed with crystal clear water. Standing in the water, you can hear the gurgling water flowing past your feet. The average temperature of the spring is roughly 109 degrees Fahrenheit making it incredibly relaxing. The water is also home to many mineral substances that are known to be good for your health, such as lime, sodium carbonate, silica, alum and sulfur. Water in the Huaqing Hot Spring is not only good for bathing but can also help to relieve arthritis and skin ailments. The entire bathing area occupies roughly 1,100 square miles (3,000 square kilometers), and 100-plus bathing rooms are equipped and could host 400 persons for bathing.

Walk into the gate of Huaqing Palace and the first thing you are likely to see are the two towering cedars and two imperial structures standing on both sides symmetrically. Move forward, and you will see the new bathing pool. Turn right, and you will see Nine-Dragon Lake. The surface of the lake is just as tranquil as a mirror, on which the reflection of the willows and pavilions surrounded are cast. On the eastern bank of the lake lies the Hall Palace, and on the northern bank, Feishuang Hall. Then you would be greeted by Xu Pavillion, Nine Dragon Bridge, Sunset Pavillion and the Guifei Pool architecture complex.

In more recent times, Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek (1887 – 1975) stayed at the palace and was where the “Xian incident” occurred in 1936.  This was a momentous event in modern Chinese history as it marked the end of the Chinese civil war as the Nationalists and Communists chose to create a united front against the Japanese prior to the outbreak of war in 1937.

How to get there:

From Xi’an:
1. Xi’an Railway Station: Take  bus 5 (306)/ 914/ 915 to Huaqingchi Station.
2. South Gate or West Gate of Tang Paradise: Take bus 307 to Huaqingchi Station.
3. Xi’an North Railway Station: Take your train ticket on the arrival day to take the shuttle bus to any attraction in Lintong at no cost.

From Lintong:
Take bus 101 from Lintong Bus Station to Huaqingchi.

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