Huaqing Palace and Huaqing Hot Spring in Xian

Why is Huaqing Palace and Huaqing Pool So Special?

  1. Romantic Love Story
    This is the actual site of romance of Emperor Xuanzang (685-762) and Lady Yang (719-756 ) at the Pear gardens in Tang Dynasty ( 618 – 907 ). There were hot spring pools built for the emperor , concubine for leisure and recreation. It is an interesting insight and perspective into Chinese history and culture.

  2. A Park with Nice Landscape Gardens and Buildings
    The park is a history repackage of the former royal gardens with traditional Chinese architectures. There is a peaceful Nine Dragon Lake, pavilions, palaces, fruit gardens and hot springs with the backdrop of the picturesque Lishan Mountain.

  3. The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Evening Show
    The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show is presented on the real-scene in Huaqing Hot Springs with the backdrop of Lishan Mountain and the ponds, pavilions, corridors and palaces in the background.

Brief Introduction of Huaqing Palace

Huaqing Palace, also known as Huaqing Hot Springs, is a well-known historic site and an AAAAA tourist attraction of China. It gets its fame for being the place where the romantic story of Emperor Tangxuanzong of Tang Dynasty (618-907) and his beloved Yang Guifei (or Concubine Yang) took place.

As a matter of fact, the site had been as an imperial palace for emperors’ short stays away from the capital for more than 3000 years. Emperors of Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang dynasties spent the winter at this place every year. Emperor Zhouyouwang of Western Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-771BC) is said to be the first emperor who ordered to build a palace at the site. In the following dynasties, the palace was repaired and expanded for several times, given the name of “Hot Spring Palace” and finally denominated “Huaqqing Palace” by Emperor Tangxuanzong. The palace was constructed above hot springs, hence the site is also called “Huaqing Hot Springs”.

History of Huaqing Palace and Huaqing Pool

Li Palace was first built during the Western Zhou Dynasty (1045 – 256 BC) at the foot of Li Mountain, a branch of the Qinling Range, which divides north and south Shaanxi. Standing 1,256 meters high, it is covered with pines and cypresses and looks very much like a dark green galloping horse from a long distance away. In ancient times, Li meant a pure black horse, and this is how the mountain and then the palace got their name.

In the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206 BC), a stone pool was built and was given the name Li Mountain Hot Springs. The site was enlarged during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and was once again named Li Palace. During the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), firstly Emperor Taizong ordered enlargement of the palace. Then Emperor Xuanzong, his successor, then had a walled palace built around Li Mountain in the year of 747. It was then known as Huaqing Palace, or Huaqing Hot Spring, because of the hot spring there.

The Tang Emperor Xuanzong used to spend his wintertimes at Huaqing Palace in the company of his favorite concubine Yang. Yang, who was recognized as one of the most enchanting ladies in ancient China, was spoiled by the emperor. He cavorted with the beautiful lady all day and night and neglected state business. He built the luxurious palaces in this area purely for their personal pleasure.

Main Attractions of Huaqing Palace

Royal Soup Site of the Tang Dynasty (唐御汤遗址)

The Royal Soup Site of the Tang Dynasty is found in April 1982. Through 3000 years exploration, there are five royal soup sites discovered including lotus soup, hitom soup, stars soup, prince soup and food soup.

Furong Garden (芙蓉园)

Furong Garden is an imperial garden with static sightseeing which combines with full-bodied style of the Tang Dynasty. There are more than 10 landscapes including Palace of Eternal Life (长生殿), Hot Spring Goddess Pavilion(温泉神女亭), Furong Lake(芙蓉湖)and so on.

Nine-dragon Lake (九龙湖)

Nine-dragon Lake is next to the Furong Lake scenic area and it is an artificial lake built in 1959 . The lake is divided into two lakes, and there is a nine-dragon bridge stretch across them. Nine-dragon bridge has eight dragons spitting water over the bridge and one dragon under the bridge, then the name nine-dragon came out. To its south and east coast, there are palaces like Chenxiang Palace, Feishuang Palace and Yichun Palace. All these palaces are decorated with red colour and matched with pine, cedar, willow and lawn.

Book Wall of Song of Regret (长恨歌书墙)

Song of Regret, a famous poem written by the Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi to describe the love story between the Tang Ming Emperor and Yang Guifei, was loved by Mao Zedong (the top leader of the People’s Republic of China from 1949-1976) deeply. He wrote this poem on the wall which is today’s Book Wall of Song of Regret. The book wall is spectacular and magnificent with about 10 meters in length, 20 meters in height.

Tang Operras and Recreations (梨园)

Tang Operras and Recreations is the first royal music art school in Chinese history which was created by the Tang Emperor Xuanzong. It is a center gathering music, dance and drama. It is regarded as the founder of Chinese opera arts.

Everlasting Song of Sorrow Evening Show

The performance is presented on the real-scene in Huaqing Hot Springs. It is adapted on the same name poem written by the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772-846) retelling the lament of the court concubine Yang  Yuhuan (719-756) and  Emperor Xuanzong (685-762) .

In the story,  Emperor Xuanzong fell deeply in love with his beautiful concubine Yang Yuhuan ( Yang Guifei ). His love diverted his focus on his ruling duties and caused much trouble to his country that led to a military coup. The ministers and the soldiers around Emperor Xuanzong thought that it was  the concubine Yang  Yuhuan who had caused the chaos. Later under the pressure,  Emperor Xuanzong had his favorite concubine Yang Yuhuan killed to save the country.

The poem-turned drama is presented in four parts with a preclude and 10 scenes. The four parts include “Fall in Love”, “A Sweet Couple”, “Goodbye to Love” and “Meet again on Fairyland”.

  • Show Time:
    Twice performances a day ( Valid from April through October )
    20:00 – 21:10; 21:40 – 22:50
  • Entrance Fees:
    RMB 220 ( east or west side area); RMB 260 ( central area);
    VIP area: RMB 988/888/588

How to get to Huaqing Palace

Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)

If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to the Huaqing Palace and Huaqing Hot Spring in Xi’an in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Traveler

  1. 1. Xi’an Railway Station: Take Tourist bus 5 (306)/ 914/ 915 directly to Huaqingchi Station. It takes about 1 hour.
  2. South Gate or West Gate of Tang Paradise: Take bus 307 to Huaqingchi Station.
  3.  Xi’an North Railway Station: Take your train ticket on the arrival day to take the free shuttle bus to any attraction of Lintong. The bus also takes about 1 hour.
    Notice that you need to go to Tourist Service Center to get a boarding pass/card with your train ticket, and the center is on the underground of North Station.
  4. If you start from Lintong, take bus 101 from Lintong Bus Station to Huaqingchi.

Useful Travel Tips

  1. Tourists are not allowed to use hot springs in this scenic area. If you really want to have such an experience, many hotels near the scenic area welcome you all year around. They have hot springs for you to enjoy. With an even temperature of 43°C (109°F), the ever-flowing water here contains minerals and organic materials that have therapeutic effects on the skin. You can experience the same comfort as Emperor Xuanzong or Yang Yuhuan did.
  2. How to get to the surrounding scenic spots
    The Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses: Take bus 307, 914 or Tourism Bus 5 (306) to Bingmayong Station.
    Mount Li: Visitors can find the entrance of the Mount Li from the back door of the Huaqing Hot Springs.
  3. Combo Tour of Terracotta Army
    Both Huaqing Hot Springs and Terracotta Army are on the same eastern travel route from Xian’s city center, which can be combined to have a day trip.
  4. Stay Overnight in Lintong
    Lintong District is one of nine districts of Xi’an. The Terracotta Army and Huaqing Hot Springs are both located in Lintong. If you have enough  time in Xian, you may stay overnight in Lintong after a heavily scheduled combo tour of Terracotta Army and Huqing Hot Springs.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月