Information & Facts
Xi'an has a continental monsoon climate, with four separate
seasons. Summers are usually hot and wet, and winters tend to be
cold and dry. July to September is the wet season and the average
yearly temperature is 56°F (13°C). Spring and autumn are favourite
times to travel to Xi'an, though generally the weather is pleasant
Xi'an is easy to negotiate on foot, as it is relatively small
and compact. Buses run frequently, linking most attractions, as do
the smaller and more crowded minibuses. Taxis are plentiful but
visitors should ensure the metre is switched on as drivers can tend
to overcharge with 'fixed rates.' Hiring a bicycle is also an
option, though one should be careful on the busy streets.
The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are
hundreds of local dialects.
The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan
is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange
your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can
be exchanged only within China's borders. Travellers cheques,
preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in
cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger
hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners
will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit
cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments,
but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce
outside the main cities.
Local time is GMT +8.