Xi-an (15-19 Jun 15)

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June 18th 2015
Published: June 18th 2015
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And so, some two months after I departed Indonesia for a little downtime back home in Singapore, I'm back on the road again, and this time I'm embarking on what I hope will pan out to be the grand East Asian tour that I've been planning in my head for some time. And what better way to start East Asia than of course going straight to the heart of the Chinese dragon, and its ancient capital of Xi-an.

So it's been almost two years since I last left China, memories of the daily border crossings I did between Zhuhai and Macau to save money on accomodation still fresh in my head. Having already spent some time in the southern provinces the last time round, I decided this time to pay a visit to what I suppose would be the American geographical equivalent of the mid-west, starting off in central Shaanxi province.

As mentioned, Xi-an was the ancient capital of China, and also the origin of the fabled Silk Road from nearly two thousand years ago. It was also the seat of government for China's first unified emperor, the infamous Qin Shi Huang, and the archaelogical riches of his tomb
Muslim QuarterMuslim QuarterMuslim Quarter

And its colourful maze-like warrens.
and the world famous terracotta warriors bear testament to the historical significance of the city. Xi-an today is decidedly modern, with its wide thoroughfares, towering skyscrapers and gleaming megamalls, but it's awesome past is never too far away, with its ancient city walls still standing, partially enclosing today's city centre, and dozens of important archaelogical sites and emperors' tombs dotting the environs.

Spending several days checking out just some of the museums and historical sites, it's hard to think of a better and more meaningful way to start the Chinese leg of my East Asian tour, and one hopes this sets the tone right for what will be an awesome (and possibly, final) leg of my otherwise seemingly unending travels...

Stayed at Wenwu Dasha Shangwu Bingguan.

Additional photos below
Photos: 39, Displayed: 23


Stele Forest MuseumStele Forest Museum
Stele Forest Museum

Yes, that's a rhino!
Shaanxi History MuseumShaanxi History Museum
Shaanxi History Museum

Momentarily transported back to Southeast Asia with all the Buddhist statues...

Aka Big Goose Pagoda, supposedly one of Xi-an's most recognisable landmarks.
Plaza Beside Bell TowerPlaza Beside Bell Tower
Plaza Beside Bell Tower

And the perpetually bustling summer's evening crowd.
Great MosqueGreat Mosque
Great Mosque

Yes it's a mosque! Don't be deceived by the Chinese architecture (we are in China after all). Being the origin of the Silk Road that went all the way through Muslim communities of Central Asia and the Middle East, Islam has always been a thriving religion here.
Muslim QuarterMuslim Quarter
Muslim Quarter

Crowded every evening.

Aka Pork fried with torn bread. Not bad at all!

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