Published: October 6th 2008September 26th 2008
Back on the sleeper trains The first of our four sleeper trains in China was to get from Beijing to Xi'an
, first impressions were that the Chinese sleeper trains were cleaner than the Indian ones (these trains had carpets, wow) and also more organised, our train actually left on time which couldn't be said for any of our Indian trains. The lights were turned off promptly at 10pm and the train was buzzing with activity at 6am so it was a pretty groggy Suze and Paul that pulled into Xi'an early in the morning.
To be honest we really didn't know too much about Xi'an so when we got there we were pleasantly surprised by the cities mix of big city skyscrapers and small town charm. The Muslim Quarter with its markets, massage parlours and street vendors was a highlight, the nightlife was also pretty impressive, we even managed to join in on some ceremonial dancing (I think the Chinese people appreciated the effort). The following morning Paul went for some early morning Tai'Chi with some of the locals in a park just outside the city walls, completely changing his opinion of elderly Chinese women, turns out most of
Early Morning Tai Chi
Elderly Chinese women are dangerous
them are quite handy with a sword and aren't as brittle as they look.
The Terracotta Warriors The following day our group took a bus out to see the warriors
, it took up the majority of the day but it was quite a spectacle with Suze particularly enjoying it. Only about 25% of the area has been excavated so Paul thought that he had to "use his imagination" a little too much for his liking. That evening and the following day it absolutely chucked it down so apart from dodging the rain wherever possible we went for an 'Emperor Treatment' massage in the city. We desparately pleaded for them to take it easy on us but obviously we ended up with a full on bone-crunching massage, complete with elbows, slapping and the occasional beating. After that fiasco it was off to the train station for our next sleeper train to Shanghai. Did we mention we enjoy sleeper trains?
There are more photos below