Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What I like about Xi'an

Silk Road monument in Xi'an
When I lived in Beijing and talked with my Chinese friends about visiting Xi'an, all advised me to take the overnight train there, go see the Terra Cotta Warriors, and take the night train back. While I've never been overly impressed with the Terra Cotta Warriors, even if it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I did find a lot of other things to like about the city.

I really liked the Muslim quarter with its narrow alleyways and colorful meat markets. I enjoyed walking on the wall surrounding the old city. And the Big Wild Goose Pagoda was an interesting temple. I especially liked the street snacks I sampled, including a honey-nut bar and a persimmon dripping with honey.

One of the things I most enjoyed about Xi'an, however, I came across by accident as I was wandering around the city. In a residential area, where a grassy median should have been, was a marvelous monument to the caravans that traveled along the Silk Road of yore. Depending on your perspective, the Silk Road either started or ended in Xi'an, an early capital of China.

The stone monument was made up of massive men and camels. It was surrounded by rose bushes, though I doubt the trip centuries ago was anything but roses.

One of these trips to China, I ope to get out to Kashgar, which was the official end or start of the Silk Road in China.

Are you going to China?

If you're planning a trip to the Middle Kingdom, please visit Cheryl's China and feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

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