Saturday, July 9, 2011

Central China: Xi'an and the Terracotta Army.

Entrance to the Muslim Quarter.
An old dude trying to beat the heat.
I must apologize for my latest rant.  It's just that I was extremely dissappointed about not being able to reach Tibet.  I mean for me, that was the highlight of this whole trip.  Unfortunately I must now relegate my hopes of visiting Tibet to the oh so cliche saying, "There's always next time".  However, life goes on and I know that there's still a lot of China left to explore.   So, as I was saying before, today we reached Xi'an city in Shaanxi province. 
The Muslim Quarter.
Some steaming device used to make a sort of traditional Muslim Pastry.
Chantra and the aforementioned pastry.

Man is it hot here.  I had no idea China was going to be this hot.  It's been at least 90-95 degrees every day since we reached Xi'an.  The first thing I noticed about the city is that there is a very strong Muslim influence.  So the first thing me and the wifey did was explore the Muslim Quarter.  This district is made up of winding alley's filled with street stalls and locals.  Luckily for us the prices on food weren't ridiculously over inflated.  So we were able to fill our bellies with lots of lamb and mutton, which is pretty unique since most Asian countries don't eat much mutton.  

Dates and such.

Path to the Great Mosque.
Entrance to the Great Mosque.
The front courtyard of the Mosque.
The central Pagoda of the Mosque.
The main hall of worship.
After exploring the Muslim Quarter a bit we tried to find the Great Mosque, which I believe is the first Mosque ever built in China.  It's a rather large complex but we couldn't quite find our way there.  All the alley's seem to blend into one another in this area.  However, it appears as if the locals in Xi'an are much friendlier than those in Shanghai or Beijing.  The locals here seemed much more willing to help us find our way.  When we did find the Great Mosque, I found it to look completely different than I had imagined.  I thought there would be huge domes with crescent moons flying overhead, but the structure I found looked much more like a traditional Chinese building.  In fact if it wasn't for the Arabic inscriptions and the Muslims that walked the grounds I wouldn't have known that it was a Mosque.  Never the less it was a pretty cool place.

Pit 1
The soldiers they're trying to fix.  It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The next day, we saw the Terracotta army and the tomb of the first emperor of China.  It was kind of expensive and I didn't particularly enjoy it as much as say exploring the Muslim Quarter but Chantra really wanted to see them.  So we went. 

An older Muslim man walking the grounds of the Great Mosque.

This guy had a huge steamer full of buns.

A cheap plate of delicious vegetarian food.  Stir fried string beans, poached slices of potatoes, some spicy and very salty Mapo Tofu, and sauteed Opo squash with chili.  Pretty good and just under a dollar.

Some crazy wiring on the outskirts of town.  Can anyone say fire hazard?

An exhibit at the Shaanxi Museum.

This was the skewer guy whose stall was just outside our Hostel.  Man he had skewers of beef, lamb, mutton, and chicken wings.  Each skewer was only like a 10-20 cents.  Score!

A muffin filled with cucumbers, daikon, lettuce, and pieces of roast duck.  Topped off with some sweet duck sauce.

Me and Chantra's first actual sit down meal at a restaurant in China.  Sizzling sweet and slightly spicy beef, hot and sour soup, and more Mapo Tofu.

The Drum Tower.
The steps in front of the Drum Tower where me and the wife chilled out and people watched.

These guys are crazy.  They're at least 10 stories up and that harness doesn't quite look safe to me.

1 comment:

  1. The Superbreak website offers terracotta warriors booking and location information for over 100 London hotels, many terracotta army within minutes' walk of the British Museum.