Article by XIANEASE
There are a few places around the world that, this time of year, are afire with foliage—the leaves on deciduous trees changing colors in response to the change in seasons. Xi’an is, unfortunately, not generally considered one of them. That doesn’t mean that we’re without some fall beauty, however. The ginkgo tree, native to China, gets its most spectacular foliage in mid-to-late autumn (late October/early November) and many locals are making plans to go see them in all their splendor. So, whether you’re missing the fiery leaves of home or want some fall feelings before winter sets in, take a trip out to one of these places to see the famed golden leaves of the ginkgo biloba before they all drop.
South of the TV Tower, in an area called Feng Yu Kou, you’ll find Guanyin Temple. It’s not super well known to foreign travelers, but has a centuries-old ginkgo (1400 years, apparently) that’s alleged to have been planted by Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong. While you’re there checking out the unbelievable golden carpet of leaves that forms beneath their famous tree, you might also drop by the nearby Dong Da Hot Springs or the local nong jia le for some authentic, delicious country food.
Opening Hour: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Address: Luo han Dong Village, Feng Yu Kou, Chang an District. (西安市长安区沣峪口罗汉洞村)
Buses: 922, 921, 916, Round Hill Tour Line 1
lou guan tai
If you’re impressed by a 1400-year-old tree, then hold onto your shorts: Lou Guan Tai’s famous ginkgo is said to be planted by Laozi, the founder of Taoism, nearly 2600 years ago. Aside from this, those interested in ancient Chinese culture and beliefs will find a lot of reasons to check out this ancient temple just outside the city, where Laozi is alleged to have written the Tao Te Ching.
Opening Hour: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Address: Lou Guan Tai National Park, Zhou Zhi County, Xi’an. (西安市周至县楼观台国家森林公园)
Bus: Round Hill Tour Line 1
HANYANG TOMB AND MUSEUM
Just 20 kilometers north of Xi’an you’ll find the Hanyang Tomb, built and then inhabited by Han Emperor Liu Qi. If you’re into archaeology (especially stuff like the Terracotta Warriors), you’ll find a lot of reasons to visit and enjoy this museum. If you go this time of year, you’ll also find several ginkgo trees in all of their golden trappings.
Opening Hour: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Address: Xian Yang Yuan, Hou Gou Village, Zhang Jia Wan, Zheng Yang Town, Wei Cheng District, Xian Yang City.
Buses: Tour Line 4
Price: 90RMB on season (mar-nov)
65RMB off season (Dec-jan)
TANG RELIC PARK AT
THE BIG WILD GOOSE PAGODA
Though you might spend your fair share of time around the Dayanta (especially if you’re a fan of drinking at one of the area bars), you probably don’t often drift eastward to the Tang Relic Park, adjacent to the main plaza. While it’s a nice, quiet stroll any time of year, this time of year your excuse for the excursion is, like all the other places on this list, to fill your eye holes with the shimmering yellow of dying ginkgo leaves.
Opening Hour: Unlimited
Address: Ci En East Road, Yanta District, Xi’an.
Buses: 224, 30, 408, 500, 41, 19, 400
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