Xian Day 4: More Snacks

Since it’s our last night in Xian, we explored the Muslim Quarter for more snacks.

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I really like the pan fried persimmon cake. So, we got more to eat.

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We also had a stick of the osmanthus cake. It is mildly sweet and fragrant.

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The above stall was busy with customers. It must be good.

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The food did not look good when packed but it was really good. It’s sweet glutinous rice topped with dates. The above pack was RMB5 (less than CAD1). Continue reading

Xian Day 4: Dinner

It’s about dinner time when we returned from Huashan. We explored the Muslim Quarter again for food.

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We came across the above restaurant with a huge pot of food that looked interesting. We tried to ask what’s in it but the chef told us that the restaurant was closed for private event. Too bad for us.

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We explored further and found a noodle shop. We ordered a spicy beef noodle soup to share. We really enjoyed the handmade noodles here.

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We also ordered a bowl of wonton soup to share. The soup was pretty tasty. Continue reading

Xian Day 4: Exploring Huashan

Huashan is one of the five great mountains in China. The other four great mountains are Taishan in Shandong, Hengshan in Hunan, Hengshan in Shanxi and Songshan in Henan. Not only as one of the five great mountains, Huashan is also reputed to be the most dangerous hiking mountain in China.

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There are five peaks in Huashan which form the shape of a flower. Flower is pronounced as hua in Mandarin.

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A fall view.

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Cant recall what was the building behind me, could be a Taoist shrine.

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The North Peak is 1614 meters high. It is also known as the Cloud Terrace Peak as it is surrounded by cliffs on all sides which makes it look like a flat terrace in the clouds. Continue reading

Xian Day 4: Cable Car Ride Up Huashan

The high speed train to Huashan stops at the Huashan north station.

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Some statues playing Chinese musical instruments outside the station.

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The visitor center of Huashan. The entrance to Huashan is RMB220 (about CAD37) per person.

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There is a 3D miniature landscape of Huashan under glass display where we can walk on in the visitor center.

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It was a pretty misty day, more so in the mountain. We explore the surroundings a bit before boarding the cable car up Huashan. Continue reading

Xian Day 4: Taking the High Speed Train to Huashan

Day 4 was designated for Huashan which is located 120 kilometers east of  the city of Xian. We took the metro to the high speed railway station from the Zhonglou Zhan (Bell Tower Station).

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The metro line in Xian is relatively new. The station is clean and not crowded.

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The ticket dispenser. The fare to the high speed railway station is RMB3 (CAD0.50) per person.

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You will never find such empty train in Beijing.

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The high speed train to Huashan. The fare is RMB55 (about CAD9) per person. Continue reading

Xian Day 3: Dinner

We had dinner at Master Kong upon return to the Xian railway station.

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We ordered some marinated beef tripe and tendon for appetizer.

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Ben had a spicy beef noodle with mixed meat for my main. It was perfect for a cold fall night.

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Our noodles came with some sides; marinated tofu and peanuts, stir fried wood ears and marinated eggs. Continue reading

Xian Day 3: Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum

After visiting the Terracotta Warriors site, we took a shuttle bus to the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum.

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Qin Shi Huang was the first Qin Emperor and also the first emperor of China. The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is the largest imperial tomb in China.

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Actually, there is not much to be seen here. The hill in the above picture is believed to be the site of the underground palace. However, excavation had been hold off to preserve the mausoleum. This is to prevent the same mistake made in the excavation of the Terracotta Warriors where the painted decoration quickly lost it’s colour when exposed to air. Continue reading

Xian Day 3: Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors site is the most popular tourist attraction of Shaanxi.

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We came across some sculptures of horses before reaching the pits where the Terracotta Warriors were found. There were 3 pits that we visited.

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The site of the Terracotta Warriors was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.

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A mural along the way to the pits. I remembered it was a long walk before we reached the pits.

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The buildings at the background house the pits where the Terracotta Warriors were found.

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Rows and rows of Terracotta warriors in Pit No. 1.

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Pit No. 1 is the largest and the first to be opened to the public in 1979. There are over 6,000 Terracotta Warriors and horses in this pit. Continue reading

Xian Day 3: Lunch and Snack

After the visit to Huaqing Hot Springs, we continued our journey to the Terracotta Warriors site.

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It was lunch time when we arrived at the Terracotta Warriors site. There are several restaurants right at where the bus dropped us. We came across the above sign which has the most complex Chinese character that I’ve seen. Apparently, it’s called Bian Bian Noodle and it’s very popular here. It must be a night mare for a kid to learn to write that Chinese character which has 57 character strokes.

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Without hesitation, we ordered the Bian Bian Noodle to try. It was vinegarish and slightly spicy and there were some vegetables in it.

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The only distinctive feature was the wide piece of noodle, almost like half the size of a wonton wrap. Two bowls of noodles cost RMB30 (CAD5). Continue reading

Xian Day 3: Huaqing Hot Springs

The plan for the 3rd day was to visit the Terracotta Warriors. We took a cab to the railway station to take the bus to the Terracotta Warriors. The bus ride was RMB6 (CAD1) per person.

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The first stop of the bus 306 was Huaqing Hot Springs and the conductor told the commuters that this is a good place to see. We did not plan for this but we decided to get down to check it out.

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We made the right decision as Huaqing Hot Springs is very scenic. The entrance fee is RMB70 (about CAD12) per person.

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The willow, the man made pond and the rocks made a wonderful landscape. The mist added charm to it. Huaqing Palace is located at the foot of Li Shan in Litong county. The mountain at the background of the above photo is Li Shan.

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When we came upon the above poem engraved on wood slaps. I knew why the name Huaging Hot Springs sounded familiar to me. It’s a Cantonese opera song that I’m familiar with because my mother played this song recorded by my father in a radio show over and over again during my childhood. The name of the song is “Tong Gong Hern Si” in Cantonese. It’s a song about a sad romance story of an emperor in the Tang Dynasty with his concubine. Part of the lyrics of the song is actually taken from the above poem. Continue reading