Xi'an Huaqing Hot Spring 华清池

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Huaqing Hot Spring 华清池

Huaqing Hot Spring (huaqing chi), located 30 kilometers east of Xi’an at the foot of the Lishan Hills, is a popular retreat for Emperors more than 2500 years ago because of the clear, mineral water. Today, this site, offering a unique and diverse history, is enjoyed by many Chinese tourists.
There is a very romantic story that takes place here; one that is the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. It is the story of the Emperor Xuan Zong and his concubine Yang Guifei, who was a poor girl whom the Emperor took a fancy to and promoted to the position of "lady". Legend has it that he was so entranced by her beauty that he could not do his job as Emperor. The Empire was endangered and the court threatened to kill the concubine, blaming her for the Emperor's incompetence. In order to sacrifice for her love, Yang hung herself to save the country and her lover's name. The springs were renamed the Huaqing ("The Fair") to honor Yang Guifei and her beauty.
The buildings at the springs resemble classic Chinese architecture with many frescoes adorning the walls. It is usually flowing full of tourists drawn here by the romantic story. You can bath in the 43 degree C water. There is a "Hot Springs Bathhouse" which is rather like a private bathroom in a five star hotel as well as a cheaper community bathhouse.
To get there: The easiest way to reach the Huaqing pool is to take bus No.306, 307 at the east of the railway station (30 minutes is enough); or an "Eastern Tour" from Xian or the Green Bus from the Bell Tower which operates every 10 minutes and can get you to Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleums and The Terracotta Warriors.
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