Mount Li, Xi’an – Ticket, Opening Hours, HIghlights, and Tips

mount li xi'an

Mount Li, known as “Lishan” in Chinese (骊山), is a captivating and historically significant mountain located in the southern part of Lintong District in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China. This mountain is a prominent offshoot of the majestic Qinling Mountain Range and stands at an elevation of 1,302 meters, stretching approximately 25 kilometers from east to west. The name “Li Shan” translates to “the mountain that resembles a dark horse” in English, a fitting description of its undulating terrain and lush greenery.

Mount Li is a place of historical significance, natural beauty, and cultural richness. It holds a special place in Chinese history, offering visitors an opportunity to explore ancient legends, appreciate stunning natural landscapes, and reflect on the events that have shaped China’s past. This mountain is more than a geographical feature; it is a living testament to the layers of history that have unfolded on its slopes.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 3 hours
Opening Hours7.00 – 17.00
Ticket PriceThe entry fee is included in the ticket for Huaqing Hot Springs (120 RMB for adults)
Telephone Number0086-029-83812003

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Location and Transportation

Mount Li is located about 30 kilometers east of Xi’an city center and covers an area of approximately 60 square kilometers. The mountain range is part of the Qinling Mountains, which run from east to west across central China and are considered to be one of the most important mountain ranges in the country.

Bus: take bus 306 at the east square of Xi’an Railway Station, get off at the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor or Huaqing Hot Springs, and you will be standing at the entrance.

Subway: Take subway line 9 and get off at Huaqing Hot Springs to get to Mount Li.


Highlights of Mount Li

Historical Significance

What were the terracotta warriors

Throughout the ages, Mounti Li has been the stage for numerous significant events and legends. In ancient times, it was believed to be the location where the legendary goddess Nuwa repaired the sky by melting stones. During the late Western Zhou Dynasty, the infamous story of King You of Zhou lighting beacon fires to play a cruel trick on his vassals unfolded on this very mountain.

One of the most iconic features of Mount Li is its association with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. He chose the foot of this mountain as the final resting place for his mausoleum, a site that includes the world-renowned Terracotta Army. These life-sized, intricately detailed terracotta soldiers and horses are a testament to the emperor’s ambition and power, and they continue to astonish and inspire visitors from around the world.

During the prosperous Tang Dynasty, the mountain served as a backdrop for a poignant love story between Emperor Xuanzong and his beloved concubine, Yang Guifei. Their tale is celebrated in countless poems and paintings and is an enduring symbol of eternal love in Chinese culture.

Mount Li also witnessed significant historical events during modern times, notably the Xi’an Incident of 1936, when Nationalist General Zhang Xueliang and Communist leader Zhou Enlai were detained in an effort to negotiate unity against Japanese invaders. This event had far-reaching consequences for Chinese history.


Scenic Beauty

scenic beauty of mount li

The natural beauty of Mount Li is equally striking. It has been a renowned tourist destination since ancient times, earning a reputation for its breathtaking scenery. At its peak, the site known as the “Han Terrace” (汉露台) is a standout attraction, resembling the head of nine dragons when viewed from above. Standing at this location, visitors can marvel at the panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes.

The western part of Mount Li is adorned with lush cypress trees that have formed dense forests, providing a cool and refreshing atmosphere for those who hike the mountain on hot summer days. The scent of cypress trees in the air is both invigorating and soothing, creating an atmosphere of relaxation and enjoyment. When a gentle breeze rustles the leaves, it brings relief from the heat, making it difficult for visitors to leave the serene surroundings.


Fenghuotai (Beacon Tower)

hiking trails in mount li

One of the prominent landmarks on the mountain is the “Fenghuotai” (烽火台), which stands on the western Xiu Ridge of Mount Li. This structure was the original beacon tower where King You of Zhou played his deceitful beacon fires on neighboring states. In the past, the mountaintop was bare, lacking distinct features. However, in 1985, a replica of the ancient beacon tower was constructed using special bricks. It is over 13 meters tall with a base measuring 10 meters square, and it includes an observation pavilion at the top where smoke signals could be sent. Visitors can ascend the tower using internal stairs, reaching the top to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.


Vlog about Mount Li


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Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Early Bird Advantage: Arrive before 7:30 AM to take advantage of the free admission via the small mountain path. This allows you to bypass the ticket booth and start your ascent promptly.

Beware of Scams: Upon reaching the foot of Mount Li, be cautious of individuals offering to escort you up the mountain for a fee of 50 yuan per person. These offers are typically scams, as locals residing in the mountainous area can’t legitimately exempt you from paying the entrance fee.

Scenic Beauty: Mount Li offers breathtaking scenery throughout the ascent. You’ll experience a sense of vitality and lushness all along the way. The mountain’s terrain is conducive to climbing, with gentle slopes and well-placed steps. Even elderly individuals and children can comfortably ascend. It typically takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to climb to the summit and only 40 minutes to descend.


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