We’ve celebrated the Year of Pig with some great light shows in Xi’an. Attracted over 16 million visitors from all over the globe.
EF Xi’an celebrated a year of incredible growth with the End of Year Gala on January 21st.
The night was full of wonderful surprises, awards, performances from staff and food aplenty.
The night allowed all to let their hair down and congratulate one another on their achievements in 2018.
Congratulations go to all award winners! See you all next year!
August has been an extraordinary month. The success of our Summer session; the grand opening of school 6; relocation of school 1 and of course the One Day Trip!
Thanks to Lou Guan Resort for hosting the retreat.
Relaxing by the pool, a trip to the nearby water town~
Party, music and awards! What a great way to end the summer!
Go EFers, work hard, play harder!
So, for my blog post, I decided to brace the hot and humid streets of Xi’an to do some sightseeing at the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (not to be confused with its daughter structure, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda).
Currently, I am taking a short breather at a Burger King meant to resemble ancient temples of Xi’an, located in the north side of the park, as I have spent the better part of my morning walking in awe of the grounds surrounding the pagoda, as well as the ornate Buddhist temples within the inner walls (and of course the Pagoda itself!).
This is probably a good time to dish out some facts about this must-see, so here you are:
- The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a staple attraction to Xi’an, due to its history as a center for translating the sacred sutra scrolls which are integral to the Buddhist religion. These texts, as well as many Buddhist relics, were carried along China’s famous Silk Road, and found their way to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda during the Tang Dynasty (that makes the pagoda over 1,300 years old!).
- The temple’s structure has a square foundation, which was a popular architectural style during the Tang Dynasty.
- When it was originally constructed, the pagoda had only 5 floors; Currently, however, for a breathtaking view of the entire ancient city, one must ascend seven flights of steep, wooden, spiraling stairs. The climb is easily doable for all ages (even in this dreaded heat!), but visitors with certain conditions may need to take precaution before visiting.
- As you climb the towering pagoda, you can learn about various relics and texts, located on each of its seven floors. For example, some of the Buddhist texts were written on ancient Pattra leaves, due to a lack of writing paper. According to my Google research, there are approximately 657 Pattra scrolls, which were stored in the basement of the pagoda. These scrolls are considered to be very rare because less than 10 people in the world can understand Sanskirt- the language of the scrolls.
One can also witness the Sarira, which is a relic considered to be a holy object, used for worshipping in Buddhist rituals.
Visitors must absolutely stay until mid-afternoon or evening for the famous (and FREE!) fountain show that occurs all-year round, just outside the inner walls. It is Asia’s largest water show, and is synchronized to a one-hour orchestral performance. It is a particularly spectacular show at night, due to the multicolored lights that accompany the show. It was really exciting to watch, and honestly my favorite part of the visit, besides the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda.
There is also much to see beyond the inner walls. One can stroll through both the East and West Gardens, and take photos of the sandstone statues scattered throughout. These statues depict various icons of China’s history, such as Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde, two generals of the Tang dynasty, who escorted Emperor Taizong for his entire lifetime. As well, one must walk to the South Square and witness the large statue of Monk Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty. For my shoppers out there, across from the statue is the Great Tang All Day Mall.
As impressive as it is inside, it was really an adventure just to walk up the strip outside this building, as there are many historical and culturally significant installations, donated to the area. These statues ranged from life size depictions of various, prominent, Buddhist monks of the Tang Dynasty to whimsical, Alice in Wonderland-esque, features.
All in all, I would give this location a five star rating because of its well-maintained park, cultural significance, unique entertainment, and amenities.
Thank you to all those that attended the pub quiz last night, raising money for the Xi'an Small Animal Center. And congratulations to the winners from EF5; recipients of the very first Confucius Trophy! Look after it and be prepared to defend your title as champions next time!
EF Xi'an recently celebrated another successful year with the annual end of year gala. The night was a great success with food, drinks, awards and performances from our multi-talented staff.
Highlights included a performance from EF3 teachers of 'Let It Be', a banjo duet from David and Johan and as ever the highly anticipated dance from the Marketing department.
We look forward to next year's event!
*China residents - please use VPN to view.
EF Xi'an is always thinking of ways to acknowledge and reward its staff for their dedication to teaching young minds! Check out a few photos below of this year's annual retreat to Lou Guan Yin Xiang - southwest of Xi'an.
EFers' competitive spirit was on show in some morning team games followed by lunch, dinner and awards, recognizing the outstanding achievements of all our brilliant staff!
See you next year!
Check out the new photos from Senior Teacher David Sidoux! This time, David takes in the classic tourist sites of the Bell and Drum Towers, the Small Goose Pagoda and the South Lake zip-line... All well worth the visit!
Xi’an’s diverse heritage is supreme…and then there’s the biggie: the Army of Terracotta Warriors, celebrating 30 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
Xi’an is vast, but a relaxed tempo reigns and recent openings have boosted an already superb accommodation market; throw in a crop of new bars and cafes plus the 72-hour visa-free policy.
There’s never been a better time to visit.