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Published: October 28th 2010
Xi'an meant a lot of things for us. First, the obvious was visiting the Terracotta Warriors. It is an amazing archaeological find and huge tourist site. We arrived on a Sunday and it was beyond busy as usual. We couldn't really get too close to the statues (a privilidge reserved for the VIPs only) but it was still fun as long as we didn't take things too seriously. Also there was a KFC at the site which was our first taste of western fast food in 3 months (a preview of things to come in Xi'an).
Second, it meant a really nice hotel to finish our group travel portion of our trip. The trip finished with three nights at the Bell Tower Hotel which is the nicest place we've stayed at and it had the most amazing breakfast buffet (pictured above) - egg chef, piles of bacon, sausage, pancakes, french toast, and some healthier things that Jordan mostly ignored.
Third, it meant McDonalds and Starbucks. Enough said, yes we can hear you cringing at home.
Fourth, it was the beginning of our independant travel. We successfully found the advance train ticket booking office and purchased two hard-sleeper seats
to Pingyao. So much easier than we expected. Phrase-book in hand, we approached the window nervously and the lady smiled back and spoke in perfect english, "Where do you want to go?"
We rounded out our stay in Xi'an by walking around the muslim quarter night market and riding bicycles around the city walls. It was a much needed break from tourism and we enjoyed just hanging out in the city near the Bell Tower. We did eventually stray from McDonalds and found the most amazing dumplings in an alley a few blocks from the hotel.
Tonight we leave on our sleeper train at 11pm. When we wake up we'll be in Pingyao. Should be fun!
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; mem: 1.4mb