Last weekend I went to Xi’an for the day.
I took an overnight sleeper train from Beijing, and got to Xi’an in a bit less than 12 hours. The ride was very smooth; trains probably the best way to travel in China, especially if you have the time. Its cheaper, more comfortable, but also slower than plain travel. The good thing is as well, you get to meet Chinese people and talk to them. On my way to Xi’an I was in a cabin (6 people per cabin) with 5 other Chinese people. My ability to speak some Chinese impressed and intrigued them, and soon they were chatting away.
Arriving in Xi’an early in the morning, the first thing I did was taking the bus to the Terracotta Warriors. This was about an hour outside of the city. The Terracotta Warriors were truly amazing. The vast scale of the excavation project, as well as the immense detail of the warriors was breathtaking. Especially since these statues were made over 2000 years ago with much more archaic technology.
After the Warriors, I went back to the city and had lunch. After a good lunch at a local restaurant, I rented a bike and biked on top of the city wall. This was about 13.8 km long and a great way to get a birds eye view of the city. The weather was also great, and there was very little pollution. This made the bike ride a very enjoyable experience.
At night, I went to the Muslim district in the northwest part of the city (within the city walls). This district is known to be quaint and have amazing food. I was not disappointed. I had one of the best meals of my stay in China in Xi’an. The surrounding district was also very nice to walk around and do some shopping. The only problem was I had a train to catch to go back to Beijing.
Overall Xi’an was an amazing city, and one day was nowhere near enough to explore it fully. Hence it is definitely worth a longer stay, and I look forward to going back again. Next weekend is Guangzhou, the south of China for a four-day weekend!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Jason Klanderman, originally from Chicago, grew up in Amsterdam. He has travelled extensively through Europe and Asia. He is an International Politics, History and Global and International Studies triple major, with a minor in Chinese at Penn State University. When not in State College, where he is currently living, you can find him traveling between Amsterdam, Singapore, and various other places, visiting family and friends. His hobbies include reading, writing, cooking and going to the gym. Read about his experiences as he tackles the middle kingdom, China, during his spring semester 2013.</span></p>