Xi’an under the sun…

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Xi’an under the sun…

It was incredibly warm in Xi’an and maybe all the travelling was starting to take its toll, so much so that we had to take it easier than usual. Even with everything, we still decided that we weren’t going to stay in the air-conditioned hostel and for two days we went out into the heat to continue our tourist visit 🙂 🙂 🙂

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No sooner had we arrived at the train station than we went to catch the bus that best suited our plans (or so we thought) and an old Chinese man said to Fábio “As-salāmu ʿalaykuma” (salamalekum). Fábio replied with “Waʿalaykumu s-salām” (malekumsalam). It wasn’t surprising given his clear Arabic paternal heritage (Lebanese) 🙂 🙂

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Arriving at our hostel was total madness. In China you can’t access many well-known websites, especially those we normally use, so our online life was somewhat complicated and we were always looking for new ways to find the information we wanted. After an hour and several difficulties, we arrived at our accommodation.

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Family Travel Secret
If you are going to travel and make your way through China independently, it would be useful to download maps with directions to your accommodation in Chinese characters, as hardly anybody speaks English. When you show something written to taxi drivers or passers-by in Western characters, they look at you with “the face of somebody reading Chinese” (I know - it’s a simple joke 🙂 🙂 🙂 ). If you have these things prepared there’ll be less stress when you have to find something.

 

During the two days we had dedicated to Xi’an we visited some of the most important tourist destinations in the city. The majority of visits we did, however, were panoramas. We will have to return at another time of year 🙂 .

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The Bell Tower is in the middle of a massive traffic circle with cars constantly circling around it. Because of this, we used the only method available to get from one side of the street to the other: the pedestrian subway, which is also the only way to access the tower.

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The Drum Tower is quite close to the Bell Tower by foot and on the way you will pass many shopping stores and roadside stands.

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The Muslim quarter and its Beiyuanmen Muslim Market has a bustling atmosphere typical of an Arabic bazaar, which only seemed to contribute to its personal charm. We really liked being on that street packed with people anxious to try the Arabic specialties from the stores and restaurants.

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Family Travel Secret
Some 20,000 Muslims live in this area of the city. In addition to the Great Mosque, there are another 10 mosques in this neighborhood.

 

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Tang Paradise, in Qujiang, is a park with gardens and lakes which was constructed to combine different tourist attractions in the south of Xi’an city. We played for a long time at the entrance where there were water fountains in the ground – very refreshing! 🙂

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After having seen it on many occasions in China, I was so excited to dress up as a traditional Chinese princess. Interesting attire … However, it was a very warm day to dress like that and be out in the sun. 🙂 🙂

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Dayan Pagoda Cultural and Leisure Scenic Spot is a nearby park where there are many different statues representing various activities.

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The Wild Big Goose Pagoda forms part of the aforementioned park, but as the tower was being renovated we decided to continue on our way towards the center.

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Family Travel Secret
The Wild Big Goose Pagoda (a Buddhist pagoda that was constructed in the year 652 and reconstructed in 704) has a spectacular show with music and lights at 9pm (and during the day at 4pm and 6pm).

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Honestly, we didn’t even get to ride bikes along the Xi’an ramparts (which had been recommended to us by Rosi and Ariadna) and we didn’t get to spend much time at any of the monuments, so we reckon we’re going to return as soon as we’re back in the lands of the Far East …

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We felt we were still missing the most important part of our trip to Xi’an. That was to change on our third and next day. Next, Terracotta Warriors 🙂

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Important facts:
Entrance ticket to the Bell Tower is 35 yuan. Entrance ticket to the Drum Tower is 35 yuan. Entrance ticket to Tang Paradise is 120 yuan. Entrance ticket to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is from 50 yuan. Public bus is 2 yuan per journey.

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