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Xi'an

Written on: Sunday November 11th, 2007

A journal entry from: Around The World Without A Plane

Xi'an is one of the nicest cities that we've visited in China, comparable to Tallinn in Estonia, probably because it too is a walled city with the main hubbub happening within those walls.

Once again, upon arriving we were set upon by hundreds of Chinese all wanting us to stay at their particular hostel or hotel. One guy was so intent on us staying at the hostel where he receives his commision from, he even got on the bus with us to the other end of town and tried to convince us that his hostel was the one in our guide book that we wanted to stay at.

The Chinese food I'm happy to say was still proving to be great nourishment and great value, especially in an area of Xi'an called the Muslim Quarter, where food vendor after food vendor yelled at you to come and buy their food. This ranged from Walnuts, to baked unleavened bread, to some sort of meat served in a sheeps skull!

We arose relatively early the next day and jumped on a bus to visit the Bampo Museum, a 6000 year old Neolithic excavation centre, then on to the Terracotta Warrior factory, where there produce replicas of the Terracotta Warriors, of all shapes and sizes, then finally the highlight of the day (after yet another great lunch), the Terracotta Army itself.

The first Chinese emperor, Qin Shi Huang had the Terracotta Army built over 2,200 years ago to protect his tomb when he eventually died, and although many of the warriors have been taken out to be restored in time for the tourist influx next year when the Olympics come to China, the vaults themselves are something to behold. The cool thing about the Terracotta Army is that is was only actually discovered about 30 years ago, by some random farmer guy digging a hole. He's now a national icon, and often sits in at the museum signing copies of the guide book.

After getting back to the Shuyuan International Hostel, one of the nicest hostels we had stayed at so far, we headed straight back out to book our train tickets for the next day and south of the city walls to the Big Goose Pagoda for a foutain display. We thought it would be a good idea to stand inbetween the fountains to capture the show from right in the middle and get a little wet at the same time.

 

From Linda Walters on Nov 11th, 2007

Fantastic photos!Thanks too for the postcard. School trips and tudor ball seem very tame in comparison with your activities. Take care.