My three main goals in Xi’an probably were not that different from any other travelers: to visit Terracotta army, to climb mountain Hua and eat a lot of food.
The food was probably my favourite thing about Xi’an. Muslim quarter was full of food stalls and the variety of the delicious things on every corner. Two of my favourites were the sandwich lady and the frozen yoghurt man. A must try!
(By the way, does anyone know if those two people are still there?)
A few more moments from Muslin Quarter:
I stayed in the Ancient City Youth Hostel, which was in a perfect location and it was a pretty cool hostel. Even there I was spoiled for food. One day some guy brought me some really nice dumplings and the little boy gave me a piece of cake as it was his birthday.
A nice piece of cake (it was hard to find nice cake in China)
Anyway, enough talking about food. My mission in Xi’an was also to visit Terracotta Army and Hua Shan, which I successfully accomplished. Yay!
My friend Davy, with whom I did the same exchange course at the university in Nanjing arrived to Xi’an the day later and we decided to travel together for a bit.
One morning we got a bus for Terracotta army. We made a mistake and started going through the rooms in a wrong order, but then I guess our impatience was growing and we were really excited when we got to see the “real thing”. There were crowds of people in this big warehouse type of building and the soldiers seemed so far away.
We didn’t stay for long. Went back to Xi’an and spent afternoon riding bikes on the city wall (my third city wall in China!). We spent the rest of the day eating street food, wandering around and Davy even got a haircut, as he really needed one.
Next day we left hostel really early and caught a bus to Hua Shan. It is a stunning place and I wish you could properly see that from the photos. I caught my mind wandering around on the mountain peaks most of the time and even the amount of people on the mountain didn’t bother me.
I kind of had another exciting toilet experience there as well. I was in a queue when I found out that there were only one door for two squat toilets next to each other and if one person finished earlier, the entire queue could see what the other one was up to. I decided that me using the toilet would be too much of an entertainment for the crowd (oh no, so self-obsessed..) and had to wait until I’d stumble across another one.
Some moments from the mountain:
Smile you’re on camera
What also attracted me to this mountain was a plank walk. I always wanted to do it and I thought if I dared I would be so proud of myself, as I’m scared of heights. And hey, I did it. I was terrified at first, but then it just got so fun. I think the trickiest part was to pass people when they were moving to a different direction. Anyway, that was fun and nobody stole our kind of unattended luggage (wooohooo).
We also had some of the Baiju (very strong Chinese liquor) on the top of one of the peaks (West Peak if I remember it right, 2,086.6m) and some of the Chinese people seemed terrified of this idea.
It took us ages to find the way down (not because of Baiju!) and while trying to go back to the bus we spend couple of hours talking about Western food that we missed. I remember I was badly craving for a cheese toasty at that point of my trip.
Next day Davy left and I spent a day by myself, just wandering around Xi’an and taking photos. I got a haircut as well. I think Chinese woman was quite entertained and had fun cutting my long hair. I think I spent there four days and that was definitely enough for Xi’an (that is especially true if you don’t want to get fat).
Some moments from last day:
I also went to Shaanxi History Museum, which was definitely worth a visit.I liked the Terracotta Warriors there, as you could examine the from so much closer than in that massive warehouse museum.
Toffee Apple man outside the museum