Xian was our next destination after the Yunnan tour.
Upo arrival from Kumnming, we took the airport bus to the city centre. From the bus terminus, it was only 10 minutes walk to our hotel, which is close to the Bell Tower. This is my second visit to Xian as my previous visit was in November 2008. In fact I have written an account of that travel, and the first two days of this Xian travel is almost the same as the one in 2008. Thus I have no desire to write much more than a brief account.
The first thing we did was to climb up the ancient city wall and hire bicycles to ride on top of the city wall. It took more than an hour to cover the whole wall, though we did stop briefly at certain locations to rest and enjoy the scenery. The pleasant autumn evening air made the riding very enjoyable, more than my first visit in late November 2008. A bicycle ride on top of the city wall is a most memorable activity in Xian.
In the later part of the evening we visited the popular night market in the Muslim street. This is my favourite street in Xian, and I tooks lots of photos that night of the crowds and street hawkers. The price of food is reasonable, but quality varies. The better one are usually more crowded.
The next day, we visited the Terracotta musuem. We joined an international group of tourists in visiting the museum. It seems that there is not much difference between prices paid by local and international tourists as entrance ticket fee is fixed. We had English language guided tour in the museum, but I could not recall what she had said. The impression I had of her was that she was only interested in promoting the autographed book from the farmer who made the discovery while digging for well back in 1974. There are lots of international tourists that day, jostling for vantage points to take photos of the remarkable terra-cotta soldiers of Qin Shi Huang tomb.
Yang Kuifei retreat or spa was our next visit. It was raining when walked into the park, and there were hardly any tourist there. The rest of the international tourists opted out of this visit as they were uniterested, having never heard the story of Yang Guifei and Tang Taizhong. Only the Chinese or rather those who well acquinted with Chinese culture and history who have heard about it. Anyway, there’s not much left after 1400 years, though the old stone pools and spa are still visible. The spring water is still hot though.