After a very long overnight train from Beijing we were happy to get off in Xian. Our sleeper compartment was okay and it was clean but neither one of us slept. The train made a lot of noise and every so often it would slam on the brakes and the kettle from the table almost hit Gordon in the head while he was trying to sleep.
When we arrived at our hotel it was only 9AM and they were so nice to let us check in at that early hour! The doorman spoke great English (he went to University in Ottawa) and he helped us with some directions, the rest of the staff really didn’t speak much English but they tried hard to communicate with us. After we got settled in our room we walked to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which is surrounded by a large park. There was a huge water fountain in front of the Pagoda that had a great fountain show and we arrived there just in time to see it.
The next morning we woke early and took a bus to see the famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Wow! It was unreal to be looking at an army of life size terracotta warriors all lined up like that. It’s just incredible to think of what work it took to make this army because they aren’t all the same, some have different hair styles, some are thin, some are stalky, and the faces are different too. The Emperor, Qin Shi Huang built this army to protect him and allow him to continue his rule in the afterlife. It’s unbelievable that a farmer digging a well stumbled upon this army that had been buried for 2000 years.
Late afternoon we headed down to the bell and drum tower square to check out the night market and grab some dinner. It was so crowded that it was difficult sometimes to even walk. We tried a few of the ‘safer’ looking choices from some of the stalls.
On our last day in Xian we visited the Grand Mosque, it’s a Chinese style Mosque so it’s quite different than the typical style mosque’s that you would normally see. It’s one of the oldest and most renowned Mosque’s in China.
After the Mosque we took a walk along the city wall, it’s the most ancient and preserved city wall in China.
Seeing the wall lit up at night was stunning.
In the evening we took in the Tang Dynasty Cultural Performance and had a dinner of many different kinds of dumplings. The dinner was delicious and the show was probably the best cultural show we have ever seen. The dancers were incredible and the lighting and costumes were really fantastic.
Xian is a really great city to visit and it’s very easy to get around to all the sights by local bus, we certainly enjoyed our time here.
Where we stayed: Atour Hotel – Yanta Branch
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel