Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Xi'an (pronounced See – Ann)

We arrived early in the morning by train along with millions of other people who travel by train. The station was just out of control. Extremely congested. The train was bad. We actually was able to be upgraded to "soft sleepers". They were rooms with 4 beds in them and door to the hall way. We were next to a group of French tourists (remember...3rd worst tourists). They sang and chanted ALL night, drunk as hell. Super annoying. I haven't been drinking much fluids due be absolutely terrified of public restrooms and squatter toilets. Well today was the day I had to go. It was so bad! SO BAD. That squatter toilet will give me nightmares for ever. GROSS! Then you have to get out of the train with luggage that is WAY too heavy with thousands of people. It wasn't really fun for me. It was a low point. However, Xi'an is a great city. I really enjoyed it! Our tour guide said this was a "smaller" city.....only 7.4 million people live here. ONLY! Thousands of years ago, like most ancient city capitals in China, the Emperor built a wall around the city and it is still all up. It was beautiful to see. We took a bike ride on top of the wall on traditional Chinese bicycles around the entire city wall (about 8 miles). There was a little damage on the wall due to the earthquake. We were told that moments before we started to climb the stairs to the wall. I actually had fun for the first 5 miles. THen the sunset and it was hard to to mention I haven't been to the gym in a very long time. The wall was pretty bad shape though. There was so many bricks missing which made huge pot holes and you had to avoid them like the Bird Flu. Xi'an is also were we discover Pizza Hut in China. Fantastic Pizza. Way better than what we have in the states. It is like an actual, upscale restaurant. Xi'an is also famous for Dumplings. We had the privilege to go to dinner and show and have 16 different dumplings served to us. The dumplings were shaped to look like the meat inside. So we had piggies and ducks and flowers and walnuts. It was pretty neat to see and I enjoyed the show. We also when to the Chinese Muslim quarters. They have this open air market that you can buy tons of stuff. It was pretty fun to negotiate with the people when buying stuff. More like a game to me. I was almost the victim of pick pocketing here. You have to be pretty careful. Overall, Xi'an was a great city. VERY smelly though.


  1. A photo of a tower on the city wall taken on our bike ride.
  2. Moat around the city wall.
  3. Ryan on his Chinese bike.
  4. The Bell tower located in the center of the city. The Drum tower was just down the street.
  5. The drum performance at the Drum Tower.
  6. Becks and Kerri on top of the Bell Tower.
  7. Performance at the Dumpling Banquet.
  8. Dumplings shaped as Ducks, Pigs and Lettuce.
  9. Ryan and I in front of the South Gate of the city wall.
  10. Muslim Mosque.
  11. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. It is an active Buddhist Temple. Monks there and pray there. Built in 652.
  12. Busy street in Xi’an. Notice people and bikes all over the road. Traffic is a nightmare.

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