29th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics
July 13 - 18, 2014, Xi'an, China

About Xian


XianGeneral Introduction
Geography
Climate
View Spots
Culture
Traditional Arts and Handicrafts
Snacks
Public Safety
Transportation

General Introduction

Xi’an, the historic city, enjoys equal fame with Athens, Cairo, and Rome as one of the four major ancient civilization capitals. It records the great changes of the Chinese nation just like a living history book. During Xi’an’s 3,100 year development, 13 dynasties such as Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui and Tang placed their capitals here, it was called Chang’an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi’an is home to the world-famous Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, which are praised as “the eighth miracle of the world”. Xi’an’s City Wall is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defense system in China. The Bell Tower of Xi’an is the largest and best preserved of wooden towers in China. Hua Mountain, the highest of China’s five sacred Taoist mountains, is located 100 km away to the east of Xi’an. Xi’an is also the eastern terminus of the well-known Silk Road. Now it is one of the most famous tourism cities in China.

Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses

Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses

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Geography

Xi’an is now the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the southern part of the Guanzhong Plain, a flood plain created by the eight surrounding rivers and streams. The city has an average elevation of 400m above sea level. The urban area of Xi’an is located at 34°16′N 108°56′E. The city borders the northern foot of the Qinling Mountains to the south, and the banks of the Wei River to the north. Not far to the north is the Loess Plateau.

Location of Xi’an in China

Location of Xi’an in China

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Climate

Xi’an has a temperate climate that is influenced by the East Asian monsoon, classified under the Köppen climate classification as situated on the borderline between a semi-arid climate and humid subtropical climate. It has an annual precipitation of about 553mm, most of the annual precipitation is delivered from July to late October. Snow occasionally falls in winter but rarely settles for long. Monthly mean temperatures range from around the freezing mark in January to 26.6°C (79.9°F) in July, with an annual average of 13.7°C(56.7°F). Except the colder winter, any season is relatively suitable for traveling.

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View Spots

As a magnificent city with a long history, Xi’an has many famous buildings built in ancient dynasties, for example Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Ci’en Temple, Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Jianfu Temple, City Wall, Bell Tower, Forbidden Garden of the Tang dynasty, the “Three Han Palaces” of the Han dynasty, namely Changle, Weiyang and Jianzhang Palaces, and many others. Now from these architectural sites people still can imagine the general picture of what Chang’an City was like. Xi’an also has some magnificent mausoleums built by the emperors of ancient dynasties. Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum, for example, is the earliest example of a grand mausoleum for an emperor in ancient China, and his Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are one of the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century.

City Wall

City Wall

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

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Culture

The culture of Xi’an descends from one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Qinqiang(Voice of Qin), for example, is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Also called “random pluck”, Qinqiang has developed its own system of unique vocal music, spoken parts, facial makeup, posture, role, category and acting. Shadow puppetry or shadow play, an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment originated during the Han dynasty, is now still very popular in Xi’an.

Shadow puppetry

Shadow puppetry

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Traditional Arts and Handicrafts

The traditional arts and handicrafts in Xi’an are very famous. Some excellent offerings specific to Xi’an include: paper cutting, Tri-Colored Pottery of the Tang Dynasty, Chinese calligraphy rubbings and paintings, and many others. Paper cutting is an ancient folk art in China, this traditional art form with special patterns can be dated back to 2000 years ago, which reflects the simple and pure feelings of working people. Tri-Colored Pottery of the Tang Dynasty or Tang San Cai was the essence of Tang dynasty art that can be easily seen or bought in Xi’an.

Paper cuttings Paper cuttings

Paper cuttings

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Snacks

The characteristic snacks in Xi’an are also very tempting and well-known, such as the Chinese hamburger, cruded pancake in mutton soup, steamed dumplings, Biangbiang noodles, sliced noodles, cold rice noodles, Hu Lu Tou, dumpling dinner, persimmon cake, etc. Moslem Street (Huimin Street) is the most famous place for these local snacks, where tourists can easily enjoy most of the characteristic snacks of Xi’an.

Snacks in Xi’an

Snacks in Xi’an

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Public Safety

The public safety situation is very good and the crime rate is very low in Xi’an. Every year countless tourists from all over the world come to this famous historic and cultural city, they are very warmly welcome by the hospitable hosts, and visitors can easily get help from the enthusiastic people here, this is already part of the culture of the civilized tourism city.

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Transportation

Xi’an has formed a transportation network of air routes, railways and highways. Xi’an Civil Airline Service has opened 95 domestic airlines to 44 cities, two regional airlines to Hong Kong and Marco, and the international airlines to some cities in Japan and Saudi Arabia. Highways, first and second grade highways, as well as the under-construction first grade highways and express ways continually increase the transportation capability of Xi’an.