Bycicle riding on Xian Ancient Wall
Xi’an is one of the ancient cities in China, and among various attractions in Xi’an, the ancient city wall is a scenery spot that worth spending time on it. The ancient city wall has stood there for over 600 years and witnessed rising and death of different dynasties. It’s the most preserved and complete ancient city wall in China. Travelers take bus to get to the one of four great gates, such as South Gate, and walk up to the ancient wall from Yongning Gate. Standing on the city wall, watching the whole ancient town, people feels the historical vibe and the adamancy of the wall. It has been over 600 years but it’s still standing still and firm. The whole wall is almost 14 kilometers, it has many green trees and antique buildings, and outside of the city has modern buildings. Entering Yongning Gate, the South Gate, and travelers will first arrive at a barbican entrance in front of the wall. In ancient times, after enemy made a breakthrough at the front gate, they would be attacked at the barbican by the army inside the wall like a turtle being caught in an urn.
To experience the ancient wall’s charm, it’s better to rent a bicycle to ride around the wall. Generally speaking, it takes about two hours for a circle. If you don’t want to take a circle, you can experience a half or a quarter. Bicycle renting individual bike is CNY 40 per person within two hours. Tandem bike is CNY 80 for two people within two hours. A deposit of CNY 200 – 400 is necessary. DCT recommend bicycle riding is arranged at afternoon when sun sets. That’s an amazing moment riding a bike on the ancient wall and enjoying sunset scenery. Except bycicle, travelers can choose bettery car to take a round on the wall, which spends two hours for a circle.
Starting at South Wall and then to East Wall, a quarter ride, and then West Wall and finally North Wall, thus a circle. When riding, eyes are appreciating the buildings under the wall and afar. There are some special military installations attracted my attention. The first one is enemy broadcasting station. It’s built in Ming dynasty; it has one in the interval of every 120 meters. It’s specialized for killing enemies that climbs up to the wall, and in the half of distance between these stations is just within the effective firing range. There are 98 stations. The second one is gate tower. In the age of cold weapon, gate tower is the only way to enter and get out the city; therefore, it’s a defensive focus for the military. Four gates in East, West, South, and North all have 3 gate towers. The sluice floor first, to hold the suspension bridge and the middle is embrasure watchtower, and there is some small window up there for soldiers to shoot arrows. The third one is turret. There are turrets in four corners of Xi’an City.
It’s unbelievable that the entire wall was built in 600 years ago. Riding around the city, travelers even pictured some war scene happened in the ancient time in mind. It’s indeed an amazing achievement in architecture and military.