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Xi'an city

CHINA | Monday, 29 September 2008 | Views [3091]

Xi'an city was the alternative city considered for modern China's capital.  This is because of it's long history as a captial on the Northern provinces and also because of the wonderful preservation of ancient mixed with the modern city.

Xi'an also known as the theives city where it had a bad reputation for being dirty, having some scum and stealing, no longer really has this problem, but as I talk to locals - these comments are not far from their lips.  I guess their memory is long......

The old city has a wall surrounding it which was made around the time of the construction as the Great Wall of China.  Much of the wall is original, with great care taken to maintain it's beauty.

It is possible to walk around on top of the wall - or even hire a bicycle around it.  There is an entrance fee of 40RMB which if you have a student card is half price. 

The bike ride is awesome, where you get a chance to see around the whole old city.  The fun part was seeing the rooftops and the busy traffice where you are quiet and a bit far away - where normally you are squashed in the craziness!  We got a tandem bike which was fun.  We hadn't done that since my birthday a year ago.  Cost is about 40 RMB for 90min and you have to leave 200 RMB deposit or your passport.

The city is happening, but mixed with the old which makes it really charming.  It was fun to just walk around and see the buildings with the decorative rooftops.  The streets are wide and clean.  Plus there are some great local places.

Noodles are the main food here over rice as they grow much wheat in the neighboring farmlands.  Many places will make your noodles fresh when you order them.  We found our great eat - which was 5 RMB each for a big bowl of noodles.  You can choose wide, thin, thick noodles and have a choice of different soups or stirfries.  Not much menus in English, but it is worth to go in and point to what you want.

There are some interesting drinks here sold on the streets, warm apple something or other.  After midnight there are many street vendors to eat from which smells just delicious.  There are people doing ballon sugar sweets in different animal shapes.  Some of these people are really artists.

There are some fun markets with the usual art works, caligraphy and charms.  Always fun to walk thru these.  We actually got a lot of treats walking around because of the holiday season.  We saw some musicians, some cute people playing some ancient games (dunno what it is called but they use a string with a turning thing that is amazing).  We saw some gorgeous Chinese model doing a photoshoot.

There is quite a bit more to see in this city, but being rushed now for time we had to move on.  We actually got VERY lucky to at least get a hardseat on the train to beijing as many people were without tickets and were stuck - as it is the independence day holidays which seems to go on for 10 days.

Anyway Ciao for now

Tags: china, xian

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