Xi’an hidden beauty: Taiping Park

Xi’an is not only the Terracotta Warriors

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

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.

太平森林公园

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 cable car – if you are too lazy

The villagers of Taiping Valley

The local villager taking a curiouse look at us

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

Taiping forest park – The park keeper

Typical house in Taiping Valley village

Typical house in Taiping Valley village

 

The facts

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

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.

Food:

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

Delicious local kitchen – A small breakfast

What we liked the most , was the chicken in special sauce.

Deliciouse local kitchen - All parts of the one chicken in one bowl

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.

Deliciouse local kitchen - Sweet and dry pancakes

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.

Deliciouse local kitchen - Mientiao (or just noodles)

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

Bus schedule from Taiping Park Gate to the bus stop of 921

 Bus to Taiping Park Gate


Bus to Taiping Park Gate

 

Also the 921 bus route map can be found here.

 

The bus stop of bus 921 near the Taiping Valley

The bus stop of bus 921 near the Taiping Valley

Print this or save in your smartphone to show to the taxi driver, bus driver or tickets office.

Taiping-how to get there

Taiping-how to get there

Internet site of the park :  http://taipingpark.cn/index.asp?lang=1

 

Where is it?

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6 Responses to Xi’an hidden beauty: Taiping Park

  1. This looks great and we want to go later this week. I wondered whether Taiping is the final stop on the 921 or do we need to know when to get off to catch the other bus to the national park?

    Thanks!

    • Hi James.
      No Taiping Park is not the final stop of 921 bus.

      You can ask people in the bus where to get off (that’s what we did).
      Also you can show to them the name of the park in Chines (look above) in the post. After you get off you need to catch one more bus that goes to the park gate.

      Also there are a lot of taxis, but it will be more expansive (20 RMB instead of 8) to use them.

      Good luck.

  2. Hello from Finland.
    This park looks like a great place to visit,thank you for the information.
    From the English site I could find a map with a trail.Is this the trail of 5km?Are there other trails?Are there English signs?Can it be done in one day from Xi´an using public transport?
    All the best,Janne

    • Hi Janne,

      There are several trails in the park.
      This on described in the post is the one with waterfalls, and I am not sure about its length.

      As we remember they do have English signs, but not everywhere.
      It is better to reserve 2 days for the park visit, as we did.
      Then it will be not so stressful.
      As we described in our report they have nice accommodations there,
      outside and inside the park.

      Thank you

      Gadi & Tun

  3. Thanks for the reply.
    Also found this page with some general maps:
    http://www.qlzns.com/en/
    Janne

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