Trip Start Sep 04, 2007
25Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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We celebrated Matt's 65 th birthday at supper, the highlight being an out of control Chinese birthday candle in the centre of the table. After supper, we went to the Muslim Night Market where we visited the 400 year-old Ancient-Styled Folk House. The brick and wood Folk House buildings cover 2512 square metres and consists of 86 rooms; 56 are open to the public. In one of the rooms, we watched a traditional shadow puppet show and marionnette performance
The following morning, we waited about an hour outside a bank while numerous people on the tour completed their transactions. During this time a woman tablecloth seller bargained enthusiastically with other tour members. She helped pass the time and provided many laughs with her antics and facial expresssions. The next stop was a visit to the city wall and its Bell Tower. More information here;
Lunch was delicious as we were able to eat freshly-made noodles, and some of us had snake wine. Snake wine is rice wine that has had snakes added to the wine storage bottle and was allowed to ferment. David says it reminds him of Austrian Schnapps, only sweeter.
After lunch, we visited the Little Goose Pagoda. The Pagoda has square brick construction and is 45 meters high, but missing it's top, which was shaken off by an earthquake! The pagoda is uniquely and delicately shaped with a hollow inside and was originally built to house Buddhist scriptures and relics. In the park where the pagoda was situated, was a replica of a bell cast in 1192 and was in the Bell tower on the city wall
A highlight of the day was a wonderful dumpling dinner where each serving of the steamed dumplings was different. Some were shaped like ducks with duck filling, others were shaped like pumpkins, walnuts, pigs, etc., and filled with the matching food. After dinner, we had front-row seats at the wonderful Tang Dynasty dance show, which gave us an idea of what entertainment the Emperors would have enjoyed long ago.
The next day, we visited the Terra cotta Warriors and Horses. They are a collection of 8,099 larger-than-life Chinese terra cotta figures of warriors and horses located near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor . The figures vary in height according to their rank, the tallest being the Generals. The height range is 184-197cm, or more than 30cm taller than the average soldier of the period. The figures were discovered in 1974 near Xi'an by a farmer digging a water well. He is now famous and makes money autographing books about the museum warriors. Read more here;
One kilometre away, we visited First Emperor Qin Shi Huang's tomb whch is 67 metres high and 512 metres square
The next morning we visited the Drum tower and Muslim market then went to the airport for our flight to Guilin. Unfortunately there was heavy rain and smog ( what else ) which delayed our flight for 8 hours. Through the outstanding efforts of Steve Liu of Chongquing China International Travel Service, email@example.com, we managed to leave by 11:00 pm and get to bed by 01:00.