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  • Languages Offered: English
Itinerary

Meet your private guide in the lobby of your hotel at 08:00 and transfer by air-conditioned car to Qian County, a journey of around 85 kms. Here you will visit the Qianling Mausoleum.

The Qianling Mausoleum is located on Mount Liang to the northwest of modern day Xi’an. As you approach the Mausoleum you pass along a ‘Spirit Way’ where you will see stone statues lined up along both sides similar to the later tombs of the Song and Ming Dynasties. There are also some unusual statues such as winged horses, lions, foreign envoys and even ostriches. The Mausoleum itself is the tomb of the Tang Dynasty Emperor Gaozong who died in 683 AD. Emperor Gaozang’s wife, Wu Zetian, became the only female emperor ever in China after she stole the throne, when she died in 706 AD she was buried alongside Emperor Gaozong in the same tomb.

The other tomb you will visit is that of Princess Yongtai who died in 701 AD. Princess Yongtai was the granddaughter of Wu Zetian and was a victim of Wu Zetian’s political purges when she stole the throne. Because of this Princess Yongtai was buried simply as Lady Yongtai, but much later after Wu Zetian’s death the Princess was exonerated and her status as Princess returned even though she had already died. There have been more than 1,000 artefacts excavated from the tomb of Princess Yongtai, including glazed pottery statuettes, gold items and murals. You can also see the outstanding carvings and paintings as well as the stone coffin of the Princess.

From the Qianling Mausoleum continue your journey to the Famen Temple further to the west. Originally built in the time of the Eastern Han Dynasty to house the finger bone relic of the Sakyamuni Buddha, the temple at that time was known as the Asoka Temple. The name was changed during the Tang Dynasty. The central building of the original temple complex is the 13 tiered pagoda, supposedly the location where the finger bone of the Buddha was found. There is also an excellent museum containing many treasures from the Tang Dynasty.

In 2009 a new building was erected to house the finger bone relic and this is the Namaste Dagoba. Designed by a Taiwanese architect, the Namaste Dagoba is claimed to be the tallest Buddhist Stupa in the world, standing at 148 metres high. At certain festival days and on Saturdays and Sundays it is possible to view the finger bone relic at the Namaste Dagoba.

After leaving the Famen Temple complex you will transfer back to your Xian hotel where and the end of your tour.

Overview

Visit the Tang Dynasty Qianling Mausoleum of the Emperor Gaozong and his Empress Wu Zetian. Join the pilgrims at the Famen Temple with its famous pagoda and museum. View the finger bone relic of the Sakyamuni Buddha in the modern Namaste Dagoba.

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Reviewed 14 June 2018
China & Tibet Discovery group tour

This was an excellent tour in every aspect, wonderful food, accommodation and organisation. It was led by the best tour director we have come across (we have traveled extensively). Tony Li looked after his "family" very carefully and showed great skill in handling an awkward...More

Thank Nick S
Reviewed 7 June 2018
incredable xian

For me this was my highlight, I have waited over 30 years for the excavation of the tomb and it was not to be but it took nothing away form the breath taking site of the warriors in all there mystic. The excitement kept giving...More

Thank paulmhines
Reviewed 16 May 2018
The "wow" factor - Exquisite China with Wendy Wu

We recently returned from the most amazing 14 day tour - "Exquisite China" with Wendy Wu. It was exceptional in every way - the overall organisation of the tour; the selection of daily activities and experiences which were breathtaking; the 5 star hotels; learning so...More

Thank lydiaw10
Reviewed 12 November 2017
Magnificent China

I want to express my appreciation for the fine job our national tour guide Ivan did leading our tour. The logistics were nearly flawless due to his attention to detail. His coordination of the air transport, luggage, and boarding passes could not have been any...More

Thank rlasala
Reviewed 7 November 2017
Highly recommend Wendy Wu

We had a two week tour with Wendy Wu called 'Glories of China' during which time we got to see a lot of China's highlights. We had a Chinese tour guide the whole time - Hebe, who was babysitting 25 British adults! She was brilliant;...More

1  Thank Becki R
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