Places in Shaanxi (Shǎnxī)
Xī’ān’s fabled past is a double-edged sword. Primed with the knowledge that this legendary city was once the terminus of the Silk Road and a melting pot of cultures and religions, as well as home to emperors, courtesans, poets, monks, merchants and warriors, visitors can feel let down by the roaring, modern-day version.
When the diminished communist armies pitched up here at the end of the Long March, it signalled the beginning of Yán’ān’s brief period in the sun. For 12 years, from 1935 to 1947, this backwater town was the CCP headquarters, and it was in the surrounding caves that the party established much of the ideology that was put into practice during the Chinese revolution.
Hánchéng is best known for being the hometown of Sima Qian (145–90 BC), China’s legendary historian and author of the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian). Sima Qian chronicled different aspects of life in the Han dynasty and set about arranging the country’s already distant past in its proper (Confucian) order.
Tours and activities
Tips and articles
Travelling in China with your family: what to know and where to go
China may not spring immediately to mind when choosing a destination for a family trip, but the Middle Kingdom is full of places that suit families with children of all ages...
The cave dwellers of 21st-century China
Cave dwellers' dwellings. Image by Daniel McCrohan / Lonely Planet...
Another view from the roof of the world: alternative Tibet in Sichuan
With epic mountain vistas, lively Buddhist monasteries, and grasslands peppered with yaks and alpine lakes as far as the eye can see, Tibet is, without a doubt, one of the most remarkable places to visit in the world...
Secret Macau: dives, designers and stilt houses
Macau is often described in terms of dichotomies: old versus new, Portuguese versus Chinese, flashy versus modest, and for a good reason – the city has plenty to offer from both ends of the spectrum...