Trip Start Mar 11, 2010
Trip End May 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Han Tang Inn

Flag of China  , Shanxi,
Monday, March 22, 2010

The city of Xian claims to be over 3000 years old and the start of the Silk road, or the end depending which way you look at it. It is one of the few citys in China with its original wall still intact but dont let that fool you there is nothing old here at all. This is the most tourist town I have been to so far. A lot of the signs are in english, there is KFC on every corner and cheap T shirts. ( kids what do you want a picture of Chaiman Mao or I love China) There is massive building works going on here, I have counted at least 20 high rise buildings going up.
Xian is also home to the Terracotta Army. Built by Emperor Qin 2200 years ago they were discovered by accident in the mid 70s by a farmer digging a well. The Emperor thought he would rule the after life so he had the army made for himself. There are over 8000 warriors buried in 3 pits about 5mtr deep. Each warrior is different and they think it took 720,000 people to build them. The emperor is buried about 2km down the road in a tomb that just looks like a small hill. He has not been excavated yet but they think they will at some stage in the future. I did the tour yesterday and it was OK. It is a huge industry now. everywhere in town sells terracotta worriors, and at the site there must be a few hundred stalls selling all sorts of stuff including the obligatory warriors and T shirts. All over priced of course.
After the tour I went for a walk to get some money but I cant use the ATM cos it comes up in Chinese and I cant read it so gotta wait for tomorrow when the bank open. The smog was bad today, the worst it has been since I arrived in China. The whole of China has a cloud of smog over it. When you get up in the morning you cant tell if it is rainy or fine cos it always looks overcast.
While I was out walking I thought I would have a look at the Muslim quarter. The place is berzerk. It is a huge market about 4-6 blocks and all the usual tourist stuff and brilliant food. The place looked like it needs a good look so I went home to put on a jacket and came back for dinner. I had some meat on a stick put into a turkish bread. It was great. There was stuff down there that even I wouldnt eat. I love the place but will have to ban myself cos I cut sick through there last night. Bartering with everyone, I got a couple of Tshirts and a hat.It was late when I came back to the hostel and the hawkers had left from down the end of the street and the dodgy street where I live was dark as. The place did not look familar and I ended up getting lost. Thankfully the places around here sell beer so I kept drinking and walking. Eventually I found the place and knocked the froth off a few with some germans I met on the tour. I think one of the chicks has the hots for me, she's only human.haha The beer is so cheap here, about 45c for a king brown. ( they are green here)
This morning I went to the bank and got some money so I could book my train ticket for tomorrow. On the way I checked out the Bell tower. Right in the middle of town they have a Bell tower and Drum tower. I dont konw why something about bell in the morning and drum at night. Probably the only two old buildings here. Then I went to the train station to book a ticket. There was 30 windows open and each one had a line of between 12 and 20 people. When it was my turn the woman didnt speak english and I dont speak chinese so I had to go back to the hostel to get them to book it. Turns out there are no train tickets for at least a week so I will have to fly. That means I will be here for another night and fly to Urumqi on wednesday.
Since Im here for an extra day Im trying to go up to Wutang mountains but looks like I wont get back in time for my flight so still trying to sort out the logistics.
The pics might be a bit random cos I have just been walkin around and taking pics where I see them. I will head down to the muslim quarter again tonight. I love the place.
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flurr on

i saw those terracotta warriors on the tele a few weeks ago. looks pretty cool :) im loving your hat... hahaha... and i love that your such a tourist!

chris on

haha that hats a keeper.

Ngaere on

You do not look like a tourist. You look more like a drunken old man from country Russia. Suppose you are moving closer to there - best that you look the character.

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