Shaanxi was the center of Chinese civilization, and Xian is a magnificent window through which to view it. Two centuries before Homer penned the Iliad and the Odyssey (and Rome was founded), five centuries prior to the Buddha's enlightenment, Xian was already a classic world city.
Today Xian is understandably one of China's major tourist attractions. The big draw card is the Army of Terracotta Warriors, and there are countless other sights scattered in and around the city. An Islamic element is found throughout the city, with mosques and marketplaces tucked away in back alleys.