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Located 30km away from Xian City, right close to the picturesque Mount Li, Huaqing Pool (Huaqing Palace) is adjacent to the Terracotta Warriors, was a temporary resort palace for the emperors of Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang Dynasties. It is famous for its hot spring resources since the ancient time, a landmark site to learn Tang Culture in China.

Besides the breathtaking natural beauty and the classic Tang architecture, the historical events, imperial love stories, and literature works are what made it even better-known.

Emperor Xuanzong and His Consort Yang Guifei

The romance between the emperor Xuanzong of Tang dynasty and his consort Yang Guifei is arguably most famous behind Huaqing Palace since the ancient time. Yang Guifei used to be the beloved concubine of emperor Xuanzong and for her he renovated Huaqing Palace and bestowed upon her the honor of bathing with him at the Huaqing pools. It was said that Emperor Xuanzong came to the palace over 36 times during the course of his 44-year reign in order to spend time with Yang Guifei. However, the peaceful years soon got shuttered by An Lushan’s rebellion and on their way fleeing to Chengdu, Yang Guifei was forced to commit suicide by the imperial order which was made by the guards, and the emperor was forced to permit that. This tragedy was recorded by the famous poet, Baijuyi at that time, known as “the song of everlasting sorrow”. Inside Huaqing Palace, Yang’s statue and the imperial pools still remain to commemorate Yang and the history.

Xian Incident

Besides the romance and love stories, it is also the site where Xian Incident took place during the China civil war period, and the head of Republic of China at that time, Chiang Kai-shek was kidnapped by former warlord Zhang Xueliang and forced to participate in a United Front with the Chinese Communist Party to oppose Japanese encroachment on China. Huaqing Palace was the place where he was under house arrest.

King You of Zhou and Baosi

As the favorite concubine of King You of Zhou Dynasty, Baosi barely smiled to the King. To please her, the King You order to lighted the beacon fire on Mount Li, and later the other dukes all came to defend the capital after noticing the war signal. However, they found out that they got fooled and there was not any invader and supposedly his obsession with Baosi proved to be his downfall.

Huaqing Pool The Statue of Yang Guifei Huaqing Pool Monument of Xian Incident Huaqing Pool Ancient Beacon Tower at Mount Li

Places to Visit at Huaqing Pool (Huaqing Palace)

The Huaqing Palace consists of many cultural sites like Tang Dynasty Imperial Hot Spring Relics Museum, Xi’an Incident site, Five Rooms Hall, Jiulonghu Lake and Furonghu Lake scenic spot, Tang Dynasty Pear Garden Relics Museum and many landmark buildings, such as Feishuang Hall Wanshou Hall, Longevity Hall, Huan Garden, etc. 

Museum of Imperial Pools 御汤遗址博物馆 Pinyin: yù tāng yí zhǐ bó wù guǎn

Inside the pool museum of Huaqing Palace, there are many mainly five hot spring pools remaining, like large-sized tubs on the ground. Namely, the Lotus Pool and Star Pool were for the emperor, and the shape of the Lotus Pool just looks like a lotus and the star pool has no roof where the emperor could enjoy the stars while bathing in the hot spring. The Haitang Pool is shaped like the Haitang flower (crab-apple flower), also called Guifei Pool, which was the private pool for the Consort Yang Guifei. The Prince pool was for the princes and the Shangshi pool was for the awarded officials.

Furong Garden 芙蓉园 Pinyin: fú róng yuán

Furong Garden is a traditional Chinese garden featured the style of Tang Dynasty. It mainly includes the Palace of eternal life (长生殿),the statue of Yang Guifei, Furong Lake, some pavilions, etc.

Nine Dragon Lake 九龙湖 Pinyin: jiǔ lóng hú

Next to the Furong Garden, the Nine Dragon Lake, the artificial lake is just next to the Furong Lake, and the nine-dragon bridge stretches over the lake and separates the lake into two parts. However, there are only 8 dragon cravings on the bridge and the ninth one was placed under the pavilion of the lake.

Pear Garden 梨园 Pinyin: lí yuán

Located near near the nine dragon bridge, Pear Garden was founded by the Emperor Tang Xuanzong where he gathered the musicians and dancers and had recreation events with his beloved consort Yang Guifei. Many songs and dances were composed there. It is regarded as the home site of Chinese opera arts.

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Huaqing Palace Haitang Pool of Yang Guifei Huaqing Palace Landscape of Huaqing Palace Huaqing Palace Nine Dragon Bridge

Enjoy Huaqing Hot Spring

Nearly every Chinese has recited this ancient poem at school, “In the chilly spring, she enjoys the hot spring; the spring water flows over the skin of the tender.” This famous poem describes the famous concubine Yang Guifei in Tang Dynasty enjoys the hot spring at Huaqing Palace with the Tang’s emperor. The love story of them known by every household of china and profound epic poem behind the Huaqing Palace have made the hot spring there extremely special and famous in the history of China. Though the ancient pools are kept only as the relics to appreciate rather than putting into use, the good news is you can also try the imperial hot spring there at Huaqing Palace Resort & Spa (华清御汤酒店), which is located in the west of the scenic site and you can enter Huaqing Palace freely if booking a room at this hotel. Since there are only 95 rooms in total, you are recommended to book it in advance if you would like to try the hot spring.

Huaqing Palace Hot Spring Site at Huaqing Palace Resort & Spa in Winter

Watch The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

This show was the highlight of the evening at Huaqing Palace. Based on the love story between Emperor Tang Xuanzong and his consort Yang Guifei, the large-scaled Tang dynasty show, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, the same name of the epic poem of this romance written by Baijuyi, is an unmissable show to learn about the history of Tang Dynasty. The show is performed against the mountain, offering brochures so you can familiarize yourself with the story in English. There are totally 10 scenes, telling the story of Yang’s growth, encountering with the emperor, bathing at Huaqing Pool, enjoying the court life, getting forced to commit suicide, reunion with the emperor at heavens. With the picturesque Mount Li as backdrop and Tang styled dance, classic Chinese Music, and poetry narration, you can feel the rich cultural atmosphere of the prosperous Tang Dynasty. Since the official performance in 2007, it has been performed for more than 2,500 times and 3.5 million audiences have watched the show, including many foreign heads and leaders, highly praised by the audiences. Some review says the show is so real that he can even smell the fragrance when the Consort Yang starts to bath in the scene, feel the scorching of the war and the drizzles after Yang’s death during the war. If you are planning to watch it, you are recommended to book the ticket in advance,especially during the peak season in July and August.

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow The Song of Everlasting Sorrow The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

It is performed every year from April 1st to October 31st. Each performance lasts about 70 minutes.

There are buses serving after each performance to deliver you from Huaqing Palace to the downtown area. The duration is about one hour, and you need to book your seat in advance near the West Gate.

The First Performance: Ticket Checking from 19:30pm at Wangjing Gate (West Gate); Performance Time: 20:10pm - 21:20pm

The Second Performance: Ticket Checking from 21:40pm at Jinyang Gate (East Gate); Performance Time: 21:40pm - 22:50pm

Ticket Price: According to the seating area, the ticket price ranges from CNY 238 yuan to CNY 368, and the VIP area from CNY 588 to CNY 988.

*Note: If it drizzles, the staff will distribute free raincoats to every audience to watch the show. If encountering heavy rain, hail and other bad weather and the performance are announced to be cancelled because of it, you can change your tickets or get refund from the ticket office.

Entrance Fee and Opening Time

Opening Hours: 07:00am - 19:00pm (March to November); 07:30am - 18:00pm (December to February)

Entrance Fee for Huaqing Palace: CNY 120

Combo Ticket for Both Huaqing Palace and Mount Li: CNY 160

Cableway Ticket for Mount Li: CNY 30 (one-way); CNY 60 (Round Trip)

Nearby Attractions

Terracotta Warriors 秦始皇兵马俑 Pinyin: qín shǐ huáng bīng mǎ yǒng

▶ Address: East of Qinshihuang Mausoleum, Lintong District, Xian City 西安市临潼区秦始皇陵以东

▶ Entrance Fee: CNY 120

About 9km away from Huaqing Pool is buried the Terracotta Warriors and horses, which are known as one of the great archaeological finds in China, the iconic site of Xian created to accompany the first emperor of China, Qinshihuang (259~210 BC) into the afterlife. There are more than 200 heads of countries who have visited Terracotta Warriors. Since the terracotta warriors unearthed are placed indoor and comfortable to visit even in the hot summer. Since it can be the most popular site in Xian and many people flood into Xian during holidays, you are recommended to get to the Terracotta Warriors early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid the crowd.>>Learn More about Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors Terracotta Warriors

Mount Li 骊山 Pinyin: lí shān

▶ Address: No. 38 Huaqing Road, Lintong District, Xi'an 西安市临潼区华清路38号

▶ Entrance Fee: CNY 160

Right next to Huaqing Palace is Li Mountain or Mount Li. Since it belongs to Huaqing Palace, you need purchase combo tickets for entering the Huaqing Palace and Mount Li and additional ticket for its cableway (CNY 30 for one-way ticket). Walk from the west gate of Huaqing Palace (Wangjing Gate) about 200 meters to the west, you can reach the cableway station and get on to the beautiful peak of Laomudian.There are many cultural relics and beautiful natural scenery on the mountain, which are all over the beacon tower, halls, pavilions, bridges, caves and many other famous scenic spots.The altitude of Lishan Mountain is 1302 meters, and the sunset there is very beautiful.

Mount Li Mount Li Behind Huaqing Palace

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How to Get to Huaqing Pool (Huaqing Palace)

Located in the same district, Lintong District, Huaqing Palace and Terracotta Warriors are always two sites people would like to travel together. You can either get to Huaqing Pool from the downtown area in Xian or leave for it from Terracotta Warriors.

From Xian Downtown to Huaqing Pool

It is about 30km from Xian downtown to Huaqing Palace, about 1h by car. There are direct buses departing from Xian downtown to Huaqing Pool at the east Gate of Xian Railway Station, namely Bus 914, 915, 306 and Tourism Bus No. 5. Besides, you can also take bus 307 at Exit B at Wanshou Road Station (万寿路) of subway line 1, and the duration by bus is about 1.5 hours.

From Terracotta Warriors to Huaqing Pool

It is about 10km between the two attractions. The Huaqing Palace is on the way between Xi'an and the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses (home of the Terracotta Army), so it makes for a perfect stop on your way back to Xi'an. The tourist bus that goes between Xi'an and the museum stops at Huaqing Palace, so you won't need to take a taxi there or switch buses.

Exit Terracotta Warriors Museum from the North Gate and you can find the Bus Stops (Terracotta Warriors Stop 兵马俑站) where you can take bus 307, 306, 915, 914, and Tourism Bus No. 5, and the whole duration by bus is about 30min to 50min.

Huaqing Palace Location Map Huaqing Palace Location Map (Click to Enlarge)
Huaqing Palace Tourist Map Huaqing Palace Tourist Map (Click to Enlarge)

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How to Plan Your Xian Tour

As the ancient capital city of China for 13 dynasties, ruled by 73 emperors, Xian has left massive cultural heritages and relics for you to explore. Within about two days, you can finish visiting the main sites, which include the incredible man-made wonder, the Terracotta Warriors, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Muslim Quarter where you can get to try the local cuisines. Besides, biking around the Ancient City Wall and tracing back the history at Shaanxi History Museum and watching the Tang Dynasty Show, all of these activities are definitely unmissable for your stay in Xian. Now, it is available to have 72 hours Visa-Free Transit in Xian, and you can go for a history and culture tour or photography tour to explore all the stunning attractions in the city even without applying for a visa.

If you have more time, you can head to Luoyang, Hukou Waterfall, and the famous Mt. Huashan, which is about 120km away from the city area. Besides, you can start your silk road trip from the terminal Xian and travel along the route Marco Polo has visited, or you can regard Xian as your midway in China and start your trip from Beijing, Shanghai and even Lhasa to the west of Xian. China Discovery has designed many classic China tour packages including Xian for you. Let us customize one for you.>>Contact Us Now

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