Route I: Xi'an-Famen Temple-Taibai National Nature Reserve-Guanshan Grassland
Situated about 10 km north of the county seat of Fufeng in Shanxi province, and 118 km west of Xian (the provincial capital), Famen Temple is a famous Buddhist temple which holds the genuine relics of Gautama Buddha (Sakyamuni). Patronized by a succession of emperors, this temple became one of the four most sacred Buddhist sanctuaries in China. It is said that the temple was first built in the tenth year of Emperor Ming Di's reign (67 A.D.) in the Eastern Han Dynasty, and was once named "Cheng Shi Dao Chang". Later its name was changed to "Famen Temple" by the Tang Emperor Gao Zu (Li Yuan) in 625.
Taibai National Nature Reserve
Mt. Taibai is a famous mountain in China since time immemorial. The highest peak is at an elevation of 3767 meters. It is teeming with ancient architecture, temples, stone steles, iron steles; iron Buddha statues, wooden statuaries, iron bells and iron furnaces. Every year, shoals of tourists come here to see the wonders: the impressive sea of clouds, the ice cave, mirror-like lakes, snowcapped peaks, hot springs, omniform granite gneisses, the splendid sea of stones, the rivers of stones, glaciers sites and lofty trees, or survey the hillsides (in June) flames with azaleas from the cable cars.
This national forest park is a natural botanical garden and zoological garden. The floristic here is about 1850. The rare single-leave grass grows on here. The high grade herb Taibai rice and Taibai ginseng also yield on this mountain. It is home to more than 230 kinds of birds, 1690 species of insects and over 40 beasts, such as the rare animals: giant pandas and the golden monkeys etc.
To visit Mt. Taibai is very convenient, because there are touristry cars get there. It is just 110km east of Xi'an. There are nineteen guest houses and one foreign hotel are available there.