Em­per­ors’ play­ground

XIAN

Hong Kong Tatler - - Great Escapes -

The cap­i­tal of 16 dy­nas­ties, Xian is awash with his­tory. As well as the famed Ter­ra­cotta Army, it’s home to palace ru­ins, tem­ples, an­cient city walls and much more. And it’s not just a must-visit spot for his­tory buffs; it boasts hot springs, beau­ti­ful moun­tains, bustling night mar­kets and a de­li­cious mix of cui­sine in­flu­enced by its key place on the Silk Road.

Stay

The 403-room Angsana Xi’an Lin­tong, which opens this month, is only five min­utes from Huaqing Palace and 15 min­utes from the Ter­ra­cotta Army. With 25 out­door hot springs, it of­fers a range of treat­ments, in­clud­ing a holis­tic hy­dro­ther­mal spa ex­pe­ri­ence called Spring For­est. Streams, gar­dens and lakes on the prop­erty make for a truly tran­quil at­mos­phere. angsana.com

Ex­plore

The Ter­ra­cotta Army, whose dis­cov­ery in 1974 put Xian on the global map, com­prises thou­sands of life-size war­riors and horses buried 2,200 years ago with Em­peror Qin. The mu­seum also fea­tures an­cient ve­hi­cles, weaponry and more.

Re­lax

Huaqing Hot Springs, at the foot of pic­turesque Li Shan, is said to be where Em­peror Xuan­zong ro­manced Yang Guifei in the 8th cen­tury. Cedar trees, lo­tus flow­ers, stat­ues and Nine-dragon Lake pro­vide a peace­ful set­ting for the an­cient hot springs

Eat

Xian is known for its food. Lo­cal dishes in­clude de­li­cious dumplings and roast duck pan­cakes. Sam­ple the flavours of the Mus­lim Quar­ter at Lao Sun Jia, which opened in 1898. Be sure to try the lamb dumplings and steamed buns with mince, broth and noo­dles. Tel: 029 8742 1858

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