Blogs from Shaanxi, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 24th 2019

Dear Blog Readers, The first sleeper train was a pretty restless night for me with the cough keeping me tossing and turning. Laura slept well and we woke up to the biggest city in the Shaanxi province, Xi'an. Having got out of the train station, the queue for the taxi rank was huge and we didn't really have a clue where we were going. A few locals guided us to the nearest metro station which was a good 20 minute walk away. Once there, the ticket machine we were using did have an English translation option...but seemed to only translate the word for 'Line' into Line 1-4 but not the station names. We'd downloaded an app called Amap before we came out because Google Maps doesn't work so relied on some screenshots of the hostel to ... read more
The Tandem is back!
Drum Tower lit up at night with fountain displays
Terracotta Warriors in Pit 1

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an April 7th 2019

DAY 7 - An early start today for our flight to Xi'an, home town of our guide, Grace. We arrived and began with a tour of Xi'an City Wall. Xi'an is the ancient capital of China and the wall was required to protect the inner city residents. A moat is being reconstructed around the wall. Our hotel for tonight is amazing, LanXi International Hotel, can't complain about the level of service here. After dinner we jumped on our coach for a nighlights tour of Xi'an, including a stroll through the pedestrian mall. As it is a very important weekend here, Memorial Public Holiday, all the women, from young ages around 13 or so up to late 20's, dress in national costumes and are very proud of doing so. A massive light display throughout the streets of ... read more
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Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an July 14th 2018

July 11th - Xi'an - Dia 11 How nice is it to sleep in a bed jejeje Today we rested and walked all day through the city of Xi'an. Found the city to be the greenest in comparison to the massive cities of Beijing and Shanghai. Definitely my favorite city so far since the cars actually stop for you while crossing the roads😂. Definitely miss that from Canada. Xi'an, a city with the most beautiful girls I have seen all over China! They are everywhere and they really know how to dress with style. 😍 We walked a lot and tried the new local dishes from the area. More noodles but different in style and taste. Definitely helped from not getting bored of them jaja. The speciality food around the area was lamb. Being that ... read more

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an May 20th 2018

Our time in Xi’an was shortened by a change in flight times. The visit we experienced was nothing if not frenetic. Having arrived late on Wednesday, after a brief freshen up we began a two hour Xi’an by night tour. This city seems much more beautiful than Beijing to me (which, by contrast, appeared drab and colourless under the ubiquitous leaden and smoggy atmospheric conditions). My first view of Xi’an reminded me of a brightly lit up Christmas tree or the Lobethal Christmas lights display on steroids. We were taken to a big public square where there appeared to be hundreds of people participating in community dancing. The biggest group was performing a fan and umbrella dance in two long conga style lines directed by a man with a whistle who made the lines snake around ... read more
Bell Tower
Warrior massages my neck
The real deal

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an March 29th 2018

Our guide “Cathy” or Kai, with driver Mr. Ma, arrived promptly at 9.00 and we set out to see the terracotta warriors, about 35km out of town. On the way, Cathy gave us fairly detailed background information, and was also able to identify the board game that Kevin had purchased as being Chinese Chess; now we need to obtain the rules! On the way we stopped at the local equivalent of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, an opportunity to spend our money. This was a factory making replica terracotta warriors, and also lacquered goods. Very well presented and probably jolly good if one happened to be in the market for such items. We then arrived at the terracotta warrior site. It is so famous and so perfectly familiar from TV and print publications as to need no introduction ... read more
200 year old cart
A part of the Terracotta complex
Glimpse of Emperor's Tomb

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an March 29th 2018

This is our last full day in mainland China; we briefly explored a neighbouring hotel in Renmin Square, Xi ‘an People’s Hotel, built in 1958 and for many years the prestigious and heavily guarded venue for visiting dignitaries. Our own Sofitel is within the same complex, but we eschewed the grandeur for our breakfast and instead headed for the South Gate of the city wall, where we discovered a brilliant Youth Hostel. It is the Shuyuan Hostel, it is one of three within the city and in addition to having an excellent breakfast there we checked it out pro bono public and can highly recommend it. Not only does it offer good accommodation with private facilities at an excellent rate, it offers good food, is well-located, has a popular bar (which we might explore later) and ... read more
Scooter casualty
Excellent Youth Hostel, Xi 'an
Feet-cleaning Fish

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an March 27th 2018

The railway station at TianShui is a work in progress so access at present from taxi drop-off is up a short flight of stairs, a long indoor trundle across marble floors, and then up two lengthy escalators to emerge onto and cross a wide open concourse (evidently the future drop-off point for taxis). Then into the ground floor of the actual terminal building, through a ticket check, security check and up another escalator to “Check-in 2” which refers to Platform 1. Good facilities here, including branch of KFC, before final ticket check and boarding the train. Journey of 100 minutes, as ever, an excellent train, passing through tunnels for first half of the journey. After a first stop at a large town (halfway) we noted houses were suddenly in a more western style, with pitched roofs ... read more
Railway track beside a platform
"Suburban" housing
Fields near Xi 'an

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 28th 2017

We had flown into Lhasa so it made sense to try the train out, booked to Xining approximately 20 hours, soft sleeper, other than that no idea what to expect, maybe stock up on edibles, big box of noodles each, fruit, nuts and our staple for the trip, snickers bars. The strict diet out the window, the language barrier means a lot of pointing and often being surprised at what turns up, my fussy little friend has been seen chowing down on a piece of fatty mutton and hot spices to make your hair stand up. No pills, no supplements, no injections, no diet – whoop whoop it’s a holiday. We are dropped off at this vast Lhasa station building, square kilometres of concrete out front, which we didn’t cross, a huge façade front with a ... read more
cramped compartment
early morning train
jam packed airport flying to Xian

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 25th 2017

After 3 days acclimatising and monasteries, it is time to go country. Driving out of town on an approximately 7 hour journey, through a couple of check points and up the mountain side, kilometres of climbing, hair pin bends, green tinged mountains and mobs of yak which apparently begin to show above 4000 meters. The wild yak is unable to survive below 4000 meters, the cross breeds working their way down the altitude scale over time. Of the traditional farming the Yak farmer is the prosperous one. Average mob size 120 – 150 value of around $2200 to $2500. Mostly the males are wandering the hills the female, Dri, kept closer to home for milking. The Yak milk is the survival tool for the high altitude workers, along with the meat and dung for the fire. ... read more
self explanatory
Yamdrok Holy Lake
fields of rape and barley

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 14th 2017

Hey everyone, So I’ve officially made it back to the US! However, before I go more into final thoughts about the experience and into detail on what my next plans are, I want to take this moment to spend some time considering an experience I had that left an impression. One of the things that I was really excited to do while I was in Xi’an that I had not gotten a chance to do while in Japan, Korea, or China on my last trip was to visit a cat cafe. Although I heard that California just opened its first one a year or so ago, they’ve been quite popular in East Asia for some time now. There are tons of pictures and images on the internet from people who have been to these cat cafes, ... read more
Not a fan of people
Pretty
This one was chill




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