When you say “Xi’an”, the first people’s reaction is: “Have you seen the Terracotta Army?”.
Yes, we have seen them, and yes this is the place that made this city a popular tourist’s destination in first place. But… We also had a chance to go where no other tourists go – beautiful Forest Parks in Qinling Mountains on south of the city. We’ve already written about CuiHuashan, which we liked very much.
Qingling mountains in the haze
Using only Google maps and searching internet for couple of hours, we’ve discovered that Xi’an is surrounded by a lot of big and small mountain forest parks and reservations. We’ve visited till now only four of them: Huashan, CuiHhashan, Xing Ying and TaiPing. Huahsan Mountains is the most famous but, we can say it now for sure, not the most beautiful among them.
Taiping National Forest park: The Waterfalls Kingdom.
It may be interesting to visit places where the emperors where buried, but it can be even more interesting to go to the places where they had the best time of their lives.
Taiping Forest Park – The Dragon Waterfall
As the internet site of the park states: “ Taiping Valley got its name from the royal Taiping Palace of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, with the peculiar scenic spots inside, it was a natural paradise for the emperors to watch flowers and stay away from the hot weather.” Well, today it is opened not only for the emperors. And by numerous visitors on one sunny Sunday, we can say that the park is quite popular among locals. And again, we didn’t see at least one laowai (foreigner) there.
Taiping Park – 5km of artificial walking path
The park is unique in its beauty. There are 12 beautiful waterfalls with fairy names like “Rainbow Waterfall”, “Rosy Clouds Waterfall”, “Dragon Waterfall”, etc. The Rainbow Waterfall is the largest among them and it falls down a total distance of 160 meters. But all of them are unforgettable sight.
Taiping Forest Park – Waterfalls
We could sit there for hours just gazing at the waterfalls, and it made a soothing and calming effect on us, after the noisy Xi’an life.
We are in Taiping Park
The Taiping Yuhe river is flowing through all the Taiping Valley and sound of her crystal waters can be heard everywhere.
Taiping River – crystal clear and freezing cold
The water looks so clean that we wanted to jump into it all the time. But two facts stopped us: it is very cold and it is forbidden to swim in the river inside the park.
Taiping Yuhe river – water is crystal clear
Enjoy the sound of the waterfall in this short video.
There’s also a cable-car if you are too lazy to climb the stairs.
The cable car – if you are too lazy
The villagers of Taiping Valley
The local villager taking a curious look at us
The local people are looking very interesting to our western eye. We can describe them as welcoming, simple, real and strange. We guess they look at us with the same interest and curiosity as we look at them.
Taiping forest park – The park keeper
Typical house in Taiping Valley village
Entrance Fee: 50 RMB/person
Accommodation: If you will decide to stay there for the night, you have plenty possibilities to choose from. Outside the park there are a lot of villages with little hotels, where you can rent the room for just 50 RMB for two persons.
Standart room in local hotels
For our surprise, in some of this hotels, there was even free and fast WI-FI. Inside the park we’ve found only one place so far, the price is the same but the rooms are less comfortable.
All the small hotels are held as a family business, and all of them have their own kitchen. They all make a delicious local-style food.
Delicious local kitchen – A small breakfast
What we liked the most , was the chicken in special sauce.
To our amazement, there were all parts of the chicken inside of the bowl, including head and legs, but the dish still was very yummy.
Warning: Always ask for menu and look at the prices. Please, make sure you know the price of the dishes ,before you are going to it them. There’s a belief among locals, that foreigners are stuffed with money, and they tend to make “special” prices for them.
Delicious local kitchen – Mientiao (or just noodles)
How to get there: Of course you can take a taxi from Xi’an, but it will probably cost you around 200 RMB. Our advice is to take bus 921 from the Xi’an Xi’an Long-distance bus station （市长途汽车站, also called Shuisi bus station（水司汽车站）, just outside the city wall on the southwest edge of it. It is close to the corner of Fengqing road (丰庆路） and the Western Ring road （城西路). The price is only 7 RMB, and if you are not afraid of one hour and half of “REAL Chinese public transportation experience”, it will take you there. The bus will take you to the bus stop near Taiping, where you will need to take another bus, which goes to the park gate. Here is its schedule and phone of the driver that we got from the hotel owner .
Bus schedule from nearby village to Taiping Park Gate (bus stop of 921 is his first stop)
Bus schedule from Taiping Park Gate to the bus stop of 921
Bus schedule from Taiping Park Gate to the bus stop of 921
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We are Gadi and Tun - the midlife runaways. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We've decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe” with the world.
Hi there! We are a couple, and we like to travel. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We’ve decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe”.