Adventure to Xi'an

Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
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10
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Trip End Mar 28, 2010


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Where I stayed
Shuyuan Hostel

Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Friday, November 27, 2009

As my second weekend trip, I had a better expectation for what traveling was like in China.  And again, I really enjoyed the experience.  Xi'an is the historic capital and one of most significant places for gaining a cultural understanding of the country.  One major difference and benefit of my trip was staying in a youth hostel where there were many others making the same adventure.

The easiest way to recap might be to write my own condensed Wikitravel on what I did.

Terra cotta warriors - This is what everyone comes for.  And justly so... they were amazing.  I don't know if I would call it the 8th wonder of the world though.  I think that's a bit too hyped.

Muslim Quarter - This is a must-do.  Lots of places to get mini-meals (xiao chi, 小吃) and test out local delicacies.  I tried a bunch of foods.  They sell many other cultural items such as clothing and artwork.  Bustling at nighttime and more tranquil during the day.  Nearby we stopped in the Great Mosque which was interesting too.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda - Interesting to see... nice to relax in the surrounding parks.  As a Buddist monument, it is quite peaceful.

Biking on the city wall
- One of the best highlights was taking bikes literally around the city on the wall.  Just imagine a fort that is 8 miles of laden brick (which can be bumpy at times).  From the wall, you can look down into the city and wonder what it would have been like to be a sentry from the ancient times.

Overall, I liked Xi'an's simplicity.  The people were practical and not too complicated.  The streets were arranged in a grid and easy to navigate.  But surprisingly, the weekend was enough to complete what I wanted.  And I am glad to be back in Beijing because I feel like it has more facets to it (and a metro).  Maybe I enjoy the chaos of it all...
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