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Traveling to Xian
Xiâ€™an is also known as the â€œGateway to the Westâ€ because of its location, in the geographical center of China. In general there are 3 ways to travel to Xiâ€™an.
Xiâ€™an is very easy to get to by plane. Although the Xianyang airport is located 50km from the center of Xiâ€™an, there are 5 shuttle-bus lines to bring you in no time to every place in the city. Everyday there are flights to 68 Chinese cities and 10 Asian cities (Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand). Since 2005 there also have been opened 25 International connections by a transfer in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong-Kong/Macao with Xiâ€™an.
Xiâ€™an is geographically located in the center of China. This is the reason why Xiâ€™an long-distance-bus-terminal is one of the best in China. The bus-station is located at the south-west of the railway station. The terminal-station connects Xiâ€™an with 18 provinces, to total 300 cities and counties. Although the bus is a cheaper way to travel than by plane or train, it is recommended to do long-distances by train or plane, when possible.
Xian is the â€œGateway to the Westâ€ not only because it has a lot of connections by plane, but also when it comes to railway traveling. Xiâ€™an is the main connection between east and west China and the southwest and northwest.
The fastest train from Beijing West Railway-station will take you to Xiâ€™an in less than 12 hours. The trains are very clean and are standard to any European luxury, therefore the prices are also more European, but you are able to choose out of 4 possibilities. Because you will travel for 12 hours or more it is recommended to have a â€œsleeper-ticketâ€. You can choose between 2 different sleepers: a hard-sleeper and a soft-sleeper. A hard-sleeper starts at 33 Euro for this trip, single road and a soft-sleeper is 51 Euro. It has to be said that Chinese soft-sleepers are more equal to European hard-sleepers.
Besides this you can also choose to stay in a soft (30 Euro) or hard-seater (20 euro) during the night. The soft sleepers are placed in 4 persons cabins, with the beds above each other. Each person has its own TV-screen and light-switch. There is enough space to store your luggage and it is silent enough to have conversation and to get some rest. The toilets are clean, although standing-toilets, there are sinks with hot-water and mirrors. Furthermore every train contains a small restaurant and there are employees walking by to offer you some snacks or drinks. Smoking is only allowed in the space between the railway-carriages.
During my trip the air-conditioning was not working at all so inside the cabin it got pretty hot, also the TV-screens were also not working. The employees were very helpful and in spite the hot-temperature in our cabin, I slept very well.
The railway-station of Xiâ€™an is located in the north-west next to the city-wall. When you arrive at Xiâ€™an the first thing you see are these walls. Before you get attracted to go walking on it, it is recommended first go buying a train-ticket for your trip back.
The ticket-window to buy tickets back to Beijing is not situated in the station itself. An English-speaking Chinese girl took us, just 100meters walking to the right, when you leave the station.