The easiest Bus Connection is to take Tourism Bus No.5 (306), which is the special route bus from Xi'an's Railway Station to the Terracotta Warriors. This Tourist bus leaves from the East Square of Xian (Main and only) Railway Station to pass through Huaqingchi Station and connect to the site of the World Cultural Heritage "Terracotta Army".
Once you have boarded Bus No.5 at Xi'ans' Train Station, simply enjoy the ride and and get off at Huaqingchi Stop, a place that could not be mis-identified.
The Bus fare for this route currently stands at: CNY6 and Travel Time is around 45minutes depending on traffic.
The second way to travel by Bus to the Huaqing Palace is to board Bus 307 which leaves from the south gate of Tang Paradise and connects directly to the to Huaqingchi Bus Station and the Huaqing Palace.
The Bus fare for this route stands at: CNY 7
A Third mode of Bus travel to Huaqing Palace is offered by Bus Route 914 and 915 also run to Huaqing Hot Springs and on to the Terra Cotta Warrors, however these are local bus routes with many stops and traveling time is much longer.
HUAQING PALACE BY TRAIN:
One can also travel by train from Xi'An Station to the Town of Lintung. To Travel from Lintong Station to Huaqing Palace or from anywhere in the Town of Lintung itself, simply Take bus 5101 from Lintong Bus Station to Huaqingchi Stop.
Anyone who would rather travel by themselves can choose from several available options. Either travel from Xi'An by Bus, or hire yourselves Taxi for a day to organise your own schedule. Make a combination with visits to other historic sites in the vicinity or stay at the Huaqing Palace for a day or more to try out the comfort of the warmed waters yourself and/or exploring the sceneries of the Lishan Mountain after the taking the cable car to its very top.
Welcome to Xian Report's online guide to the Tang Dynasty Era Hua Qing Palace (华清池) of Xian, located at the Foot of Lishan Mountain outside the provincial town of Lintung.
The Huaqing Palace is one of the most famous scenic spots to be found outside of the city of Xi'an and excursions from the city can be easily combined with a visit to the amazing army of Terracotta Warriors of the Ch'In Shi Huangdi (259 B.C. – 210 B.C.), the notorious and famed "First Emperor of China".
The Huaqing Palace itself is situated in a geologically active area and was first constructed well over two millenia ago, centered around a small series of natural hotsprings which were noted for their ability to provide soothing warm baths for the Emperor and his court ladies all year around, something which was unheard of in most parts of the world at that time.
An on-site Map of the reconstructed Huaqing Palace that can be visited today.
History of the Hua Qing Palace & Hot Springs :
According to Chinese Historians a Palace was built at the site of the current Huaqing Palace for the first time during the reign of King You, a ruler of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century B.C. - 711 B.C.). After his conquest of the regions it was China's First Emperor Qin (Life: 259 B.C. -210 B.C.) who made his Capital Xianyang near Xi'an and also made use of the Palace with the Hot Springs. After the Fall of Qin the Huaqing Palace subsequently befell to Emperor Wu, who made use of it during the Era of the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 24 A.D.). Later on, during the Sui Dynasty (-- Ad-618 AD) the site once more became the location of a winter place to serve the feudal rulers.
In the year 644 A.D., or the 18th year of the Zhenguan (Li Shimen) Reign of the Tang Dynasty, in turn, the site became the location of the Tangquan Palace of the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.). Upon the completion of the Palace, the Emperor held a magnificent ceremony in celebration.Later when his grandson Xuanzong ascended the throne of the Tang dynasty, the palace was enlarged and renamed Huanqing Palace.
The Hua Qing Palace is renowned in China for The Story of Emperor Xuan Zong of the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.) and his most beloved Concubine, the Lady Yang Kuei-Fei, , "Precious Consort" who was been remembered as China's most riveting beauty of Old Time.
As a Tang Dynasty poet from that era so accurately described her effects on the Emperor; "If She but turned her head and smiled, then were cast a hundred spells, and the powder and paint of the Six Palaces crumbled into nothing".
The Emperor Xuan Zong (Reign: 712 A.D. - 756 A.D.) himself is hailed as one of the Tang Dynasties' greatest Emperors, becoming known in history as "The Brilliant Monarch".
This page was last updated on: June 6, 2017
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Hua Qing Palace & Hot Springs - How to Get There :
The Hua Qing Palace & Hot Springs are situated just outside of Lintung, a provincial Town set along the highway at about 30 kilomters from the old city of Xi'an westward towards the Yellow River (Huang He).
HUAQING PALACE BY BUS:
One of the easiest ways to get to see the Huaqing Palace is simply to wait until your arrival in Xi'An and booking one of the readily available bus tours that include a visit to the Huaqing Palace. The Huaqing Palace is a standard feature of what has become known as the "eastern tour" among bus tourists and local tourism agencies.
There are also several ways in which to get to the Huaqing Palace by using publicly available Bus Lines.
. - 907 A.D.) and hence mentioned many times over in poems and literature, the Huaqing Palace of historical interest for three main reasons.
The first reason is that this Palace, Hua Qing was The Palace Home of one of the most succesful but also most illustrious of the Tang Emperor's, Xuanzong (唐玄宗), who reigned from the year 712 A.D. to 756 A.D. As the site of his pleasure palace, the Huaqing Palace became the home of this Emperors most beloved Lady, the concubine Yang Kuei-Fei (also: Yang Guifei), and so formed the back-drop for one of the most beautiful and unfortunate Love Affairs in Chinese History.
Yang Kuei-Fei is often remembered as one of the four most riveting beauties in all of Chinese Feudal History and today it can be said that the Palace remains dedicated to her beauties and the life she lived in these surroundings.
The second reason why the Huaqing Palace is noted is because in 1900 and 1901 A.D. it also became the home of China's most notorious Feudal Lady, the Empress Dowager Hzu Tsi (Cixi), who stayed at this Palace after the utter failure of the so-called "Boxer Uprising" and the resulting invasion by the "7 Allied Western Powers" had forced her to flee the Imperial Capital at Beijing.
While Beijing was looted by "Barbarian Intruders" the "Old Buddha" as she was known to her intimi, stayed on at the Huaqing Palace in order to ride out the political storm in reasonable comfort.
Last but not least, the Huaqing Palace once more stood at the center of Chinese Political life when it became the location of one of the most bizarre political events of Chinese Civil War Era and the struggle against Japanese Imperialism. At the end of 1936 it was at the Huaqing Palace that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Chek was captured and taken hostage by some of his own troops, the Manchurian Army led by their commander the "Young Marshall" Zhang Xueliang. It was one of the turning events in modern Chinese History eventually which finally forced the Nationalist Overlord Chiang Kai-Chek to alter his longstanding policies of appeasement with the Japanese, instead actively engaging the Japanese invasion of Chinese Territories while declaring war on them. These events are still well remembered through the Peoples' Republic of China today.
As a result of all this History, today the Huaqing Palace is counted as one of the "Hundred Famous Gardens" in China, having the status of a National Cultural Relic Protection Unit and a National Key Scenic Area.
Hua Qing Palace & Hot Springs Today :
Being counted as among the 100 most famous historical gardens in China, today the Huaqing Palace is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Xi'an. Although by far not as grandiose as the Temples of the City, the Terracotta Army and the various Imperial Tomb Mounds found in the vicinity most visiting tourists will include a visit to the Huaqing Palace in their itenerary.
In the past, tourists mainly arrived by bus to have but a quick look around and a short browse of this scenic site before being carted off to the Terracotta Army. However, today plenty of visitors chose to spend some time at the Palace in order to appreciate the historic Palace as well as linger in the warm waters of the prozaic Huaqing Pool(s). The restored Palace and its pool, are situated within their own scenic area which includes the Lishan Mountain and surroundings forests.
Since the year 2005, part of the Huaqing Palace has been refurbished and is now available as a high end hotel.
Opening Hours: 09:00 AM to 17:00 PM, all year around.
During the tourist high season (Apr.1 to Oct.31.) a special Tang Dynasty Era themed show is held several times each day.
The current rate for viewing this show is CNY218 for seats in the west and east zones, and CNY258, CNY588, CNY888, or CNY988 for seats in the central zone.
As usual the best seats are also the most expensive.
During the show "The Song of Unending Sorrow" performed in tribute to the love of Lady Yang Guifei and Emperor Xuanzong.
Statue of Yang Kuei-Fei as she is mostly remembered; a lucious and voluptuous lady who's extraordinary physical beauty made the Emperor forget all 2000 of his other concubines, as well as the handling of Government affairs. Photo: Huaqing Palace at Lintung November 2003.
Delicate symaterical decorations inside one of the main halls of the Palace. Photo: Huaqing Palace at Lintung November 2003.
In the South Tang Era China extended into the Indo-Chinese Peninsula, aka Vietnam, Burma and Laos. In the middle of all of this vast collection of adjoined territories stood the Palace of the Emperor Xuan Zong, host and master of China living in the Grand Capital, the city of "Eternal Peace" Chang'An. Under Xuan Zong Chang'An was the "city of all Cities", the great center of its world. Over 1 million people lived within the 22 miles of the City Wall of this Capital, and it was one of the most cultured and civilized places in all of the world. With another 1 million people living in the "suburbs" surrounding the Wall and Moat of the gargantuan Capital, Chang'An is estimated to have been the largest city on earth of its time.
From far away Foreigners, traders envoys, religious students and other traveled to come and see this Great City, and most people marveled at its many wonders. Foreigners took away Chinese customs and forms of Buddhism to introduce them among their own people, and some nations adopted the Chinese Script for use in official transcripts and Government communications. With good right the Chinese then, considered themselves to be a grandiose success. They were incredibly rich, their system flourished and the nobility could bathe themselves in luxuries.
And so it was that during his reign, the Emperor Xuanzong spent dizzying amounts of his funds to build a luxurious palace at the site of the Lintung Hot Springs. When it was finally complete, the Emperor had its name altered, renaming it to Huaqing Hot Spring or Huaqing Palace, the name that it still caries today.
Over the course of the 41 years of his reign as Emperor, Xuanzong is known to have visited and stayed at the palace at least 36 times. It was his favorite Palace, and the Emperor and his courtiers enjoyed its use as the crowning of their magnificent success.
Unfortunately however, although success had indeed been achieved, it would not last since the seeds of misfortune had already been sown.
Although well hidden from the general public and kept behind the walls of the Chang' An's Palaces, trouble was developing behind the scenes. Not only did the nobility loose touch with the poor and still often destitute peasantry, at Court a scandal had been in the making since the year 736 A.D. In that year the Lady Yang Kuei-Fei, who would stand at the center of the controversies, was first introduced to the Emperor. Although hailed since as one of China's Epic love stories, the affair of Lady Yang Kuei-Fei with the Emperor would become the "poisoned arrow" that would not only doom the Imperial Rule of Xuan Tong, but was also the first stage of the disintegration process that led up to the final demise of the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.).
Under the lengthy reign of their Emperor the Tang reached a new highpoint of Chinese Civilization, with vast territorial gains established , far reaching trade to span the Silk Road and reach Egypt, and a splendid Capital in and around which new cultural heights were achieved. At this time, Chang'An, the ancient Capital once again became the true center of the Asian world. Most probably, it was the most brilliant place in the whole world.
As prepared in the relatively short span of the previous one hundred years, in the reign of Xuan Zong the Tang Dynasty Empire reached its zenith with all of the previously lost territories restored to the Empire.
Thus, in the West the Tang Empire spanned across the Tarim Basin including most of what today is the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region previously held during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.), for the first Time the notoriously antagonistic Tibetan Tribes were brought in the a tributary role as subordinates of the Xuan Zong Emperor (712 A.D. - 756 A.D.), and beyond the Chinese controlled much of the land-bound Silk Road, dominating the cities of Buchara, Tashkent and Samarkand in current day Uzbekistan.
In the far north-east, the Tang controlled a large part of Manchuria and were able to subdue the Korean States, for the first time uniting them and bringing them into subjugation versus the vast Chinese Empire.
Apart from the ancient history and the glory days of Chang'An during the Tang Dynasty, the Huaqing is also famous for the events that occurred here and in nearby Xi'An during the month of December 1936. At that time, the Generalissimo of the Kuomintang, and the overall ruler of Nationalist China, Chiang Kai-chek was captured on the mountain behind this Palace, after finding himself beleaguered by his supposedly own Loyal troops, the Manchurian troops of the "Young Marshal" Zhang Xueliang.
Statue of Yang Kuei-Fei at the main pond of the Huaqing Palace set in front of a backdrop of Palace Pavilions and the Tiger Mountain.
Eversince it occurred, the illicit love affair of Lady Yang Kuei-Fei and the "Brilliant Emperor" Xuan Zong has been the subject of many tales, legends and poems.
An inspiring but in the end unfortunate story the true historic events played themselves out after Yang Kuei-Fei, aged 18, was married to one of the several sons of Emperor Xuan Zong. Thus having become an Imperial Bride, as was the custom, she was presented to the Emperor himself at the day after her wedding, an event that - as rumored still- left a lasting impression on the much Older Emperor Xuan Zong who was 51 years old.
Due to the long time past, no exact facts are known about
immediate months and years thereafter, but it is said that the Emperor started his affair with Yang Kuei-Fei not much after this initial meeting. It was however not until some years later, in the year 741, that the Emperor apparently was willing to risk the giant scandal that would come with the "purloining" of his own son's wife, which he orchestrated. In that year Yang Kuei-Fei repudiated her marriage vows, officially in order to be able to join a Taoist Nunnery and live her life in seclusion as an ascetic, however in reality she and the Emperor became secret lovers. aturally, the clan members of the now humiliated Son of Xuan Tong were not a bit amused.
When in the year 745 A.D. the now aging Emperor bestowed the official title of "Precious Consort (Kuei-Fei)" upon his favorite concubine, the outrage of court was arranged to be tempered by marrying the son to a new woman.
In the aftermath, the Emperor was delighted with the situation. Finally assured of his own happiness he fell completely under the spell of the pleasures provided by Yang Kuei-Fei. He soon began to neglect Government affairs, instead opting to arrange lavish banquets for his many nobles and leasuring and playing with his favorite Lady and entourage of pretty girls. Where previously dilligence was the hallmark of his reign The Emperor abondened his morning audiences altogether, being too exhausted after having preoccupied himself with music, dancing and feasting.
Every year Emperor Xuanzong would transpose his court to the Huaqing palace to spend the winter there with his favorite concubine, now "Imperial Lady" Yang. All winter long they would be soothed by the warm waters springing from underneath the Tiger Mountain, and there - as classical literature and poetery would have it - the lustful Emperor could admire and enjoy the sight of the naked Lady Yang bathing in the steaming waters of the Star Pool.
As the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi described the scene in his long poem Everlasting Regret; "She bathed in glassy water of the warm-fountain pool, which laved and smoothed her creamy skin when spring was cool."
During that period, all domestic and diplomatic affairs of state were handled at Huaqing Palace, which thus began to flourish as an important political center.
Amidst all the partying and feasting at the Imperial Court , whenever he was able to be in the City of Chang'An, a special place was always reserved for the grace of the Grand General, An Lushan, a man of great will who not only was one of the prime commanders of large borders territories in the North, but also personified the "international" and multi-racial nature that the Imperial Court liked to present. The father of An Lushan had been a Sogdian (i.e. the regions west of the Tianshan (Heavenly Mountains) that form the current border of China (P.R.C.)) from Buchara and his mother was of Turkish descent and despite of his non-Chineseness, the General had made it all the way to the top regions of the ruling Elite. An Lushan was a model of ethnic integration made possible under the Tang Rule and thus had quite a popular following and was highly regarded. However, in a series of rather odd events he would allow himself to be humiliated, instead becoming the "Clown of the Court", someone who was laughed at by the General Public.
An Lushan ....
By 747, An Lushan had become greatly favored by Emperor Xuanzong due to his military achievements and his willingness to flatter Emperor Xuanzong, Consort Yang, and her family members.
By 748, Consort Yang's cousins Yang Guozhong, Yang Xian (楊銛) and Yang Qi (楊錡), as well as her three sisters (who were created the Ladies of Han, Guo, and Qin), had become exceedingly wealthy and powerful due to the favors that Emperor Xuanzong showed them. It was said that their wealth topped all households in Chang'an. It was also said that by 749, the empire was so wealthy that Emperor Xuanzong viewed treasures as expendable and so awarded them without limit
Shaanxi Province Shematic Map 2A
A Schematic overview Map of Shaanxi Province entire and large parts of neighboring regions. Find Lintung along the main route leading West out of Xi'An.
Architecture of the Hua Qing Palace & Hot Springs :
The Huaqing Palace is set on the northwest side of the Lishan Mountain just south of the town of Lintong and is centered around a group of thermal hot springs.
Entering the gate which bears the inscription 'Huaqing Chi' (Huaqing Hot Spring) written by Guo Moruo, a noted literary in China, visitors are greeted by two towering cedars. By continuing inward passing two symmetrical palace-style plunge baths and turning right, one will see the Nine-Dragon Lake. Despite the fact that the lake is artificial with an area of 5,300 square meters (6339 square yards), it constitutes one of the main enchanting sceneries in the Huaqing Palace.
The Nine-Dragon lake is the location of the white marble statue of famous beauty and "Precious Consort" Yang Guifei which stands tall in the middle of the lake as its voluptuous and eye catching centerpiece set against a backdrop of the surrounding gardens and the Tiger Mountain behind.
The Palace Pavilions include the acclaimed Frost Flying Hall (Feishuang Hall) in the north, Yichun Hall in the East and Chenxiang Hall in the West, and the Palace is completed with the Nine Bend Corridor and its Dragon Marble Boat.
It was the magnificent Frost Flying Hall which is said to have been in use as the bedroom of Emperor Xuanzong and Yang Guifei, with red supporting pillars and fine-patterned carving.
Walking southwards through Dragon Marble Boat and several pavilions, one will reach the Site of the "Imperial Pool", which is the only such pool ever to exist in China. The water temperature in the pool is around 43 degrees Celsius, and the water contains a variety of rare elements said to be conducive to human health. There are in fact not one, but five pools in total all of which served their own seperate purposes in what one might call an intimate royal "bathing feast". These pools are are known as the Lotus Pool, Haitang Pool, Shangshi Pool, Star Pool and the Prince Pool.
The lotus-like Lotus Pool was made to serve exclusively as the Emperors' bath, whereas the Haitang Pool resembling a Chinese Crabapple was intended for concubines. The Shangshi Pool then, was a "lesser pool" designated for the entertainment of high officials. It is said that the former Star Pool had no roof and nothing to cover its four sides. It is said that this bath was used by Yang Kuei-Fei upon occassions when the Emperor truly wanted to experience the eternal beauty of Yang Guifei.
Huan Garden is the former garden of the Huaqing Palace. Inside of it lie the Lotus Pavilion, Viewing Lake Tower (Wanghu Lou), Flying Rainbow Bridge (Feihong Qiao), Flying Glow Hall (Feixia Ge), and the Five-Room Hall (Wujian Ting).
In popular legend, the Flying Glow Hall was once the places where Yang Guifei would overlook the scenery and cool down her long hair. The current Five-Room Hall was built in the late Qing Dynasty (1644 A.D. - 1911 A.D.) and in the years 1900 and 1901 it became was the shelter of Empress Dowager Cixi after the Eight-Power Allied Force captured Peking.
Much later, long after demise of the Qing Dynasty possibly due to its great symbolic significance, the Flying Gown Hall was also chosen as the temporary residence of Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party when he came to Xi'An in December of 1936.
The Huan Garden also features a large-scale mural carrying the inscription 'Yang Guifei Was Summoned to Serve the Emperor in Huaqing Hot Spring'. Composed of 90 white marbles, the mural is 9.15 meters (30 feet) long and 3.6 meters (11.8 feet) high. Depicting the scene of the feast in which Emperor Xuanzong summoned Yang Guifei, it reflects the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty.
Odes of Huaqing Hot Spring are also witnesses of past politics, economy and art.
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In the sources left from historic records and accounts Xuan Zong is described as a shrewd and determined man, the dynamic kind of Emperor that is needed to make sweeping changes and make unsurpassed and historic progress. And so he did.