Sunday, December 31, 2006
Xian - 西安









December 1.
Once the capital city during a long procession of dynasties up to the Tang Dynasty, the city was one of the world's wealthiest, largest and most sophisticated until it was sacked by Tibetans in 783. The East terminus of the Silk Road is here. Under the grime that has plagued many Chinese cities, one will find much history and artifacts that this once glorious city has to offer.











Left: Lamb and mutton (羊肉泡膜) at Old Sun and Family Restaurant (老孙家饭庄), a Xi'an speciality. First you have to spend a good 10 minutes breaking down the bun into small tiny pieces. Afterwards, you add the soup/meat of your choice. Not bad but there are many other foods in Xi'an which are much better, like the 西安肉夹馍 bun.
Right: Xi'an is home to a thriving Muslim culture. The little tents is located in the Muslim Quarter. Good and cheap food located in there. For the first two days all we ate was lamb. Eventually we had to find some pork and beef.














Big Goose Pagoda (大雁塔). Contains a huge collection of Buddhist scriptures brought to China from India by Xuanzang whom travelled great distances along the Silk Road.














No rain but these ladies decided to dance in the morning with umbrellas. Occurs frequently.
Right: View from the Bell Tower (钟楼) located in the center of a major intersection.














Left: The Drum Tower (鼓楼) illuminated at night.
Right: City Wall, a fully restored 14km wall that runs around the city.


The 17 hour train ride on a hard seat. Rough night, felt like lopping my legs off after 5 hours. However, those who don't have seats have to stand for the 17 hours, sit on their luggage or do as one guy did, laid a bunch of newspapers in a corner and slept on the floor.

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