Xian Day 2: Dinner

After rested in the hotel,we headed out for dinner. We did not venture far as there were a few restaurants near the hotel we stayed in.

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We ordered a few dishes for dinner. The first dish was a spicy fish stew. The fish slices had been deep fried and were boneless. I enjoyed it very much.

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There were some thick vermicelli at the bottom of the fish stew. The vermicelli took on the flavour of the spicy sauce.

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The above was s soup. There were tofu, wood ear and some meat slices in it. I like the milkiness of the broth. Continue reading

Xian Day 2: Big Wild Goose Pagoda

After lunch at the Muslim Quarter, we took a taxi to a museum. I cant recall which museum that Ben wanted to visit. However, when we reached the museum, we found out that the museum is closed on Monday. I kind of wonder if the taxi driver knows about the closure on Monday.

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Since our plan did not work out, Ben studied the city map that we had with us and found that the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is within walkable distance. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is located in a very nice park.

The Big Wild Goose Pagod was built in 652 in the Tang Dynasty. It was built to store Buddhist materials that were collected from India by the Buddhist monk Xuanzang. He travelled from Changán (the anxient Xian) to India along the Silk Road.

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Unfortunately, it was a very hazy day. The pagoda in the background was barely visible. The original Big Wild Goose Pagoda was a 5 stories pagoda which stood 60 meters. It was destroyed in an earth quake and it had been restored and renovated. It is now 64.5 meters high with 7 stories. Continue reading

Xian Day 2: The Great Mosque of Xian

After the visit to the Drum Tower, we continued our journey to visit The Great Mosque of Xian. The Great Mosque of Xian is the only mosque in China which is opened to visitors.

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The Great Mosque of Xian is one of the oldest and largest in China. It is built in 742 during the Tang Dynasty. It was added to the UNESCO Islamic Heritage List in 1985.

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The Great Mosque is divided into courtyards and landscaped with garden for a serene stroll.

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The Great Mosque was built in Chinese architecture with some Arabic decorations.

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This is a three arch stone gateway in the second courtyard.

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Can’t recall what is the significance of the above structure.

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The Introspection Pavilion or Moon Watching Tower. It is decorated with blue glazed tiles and dragon heads.

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The Phoenix Pavilion is the gateway into the fourth courtyard where the main prayer hall is located.

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The main prayer hall where prayer services are held five times a day.

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A view of the interior of the prayer hall. Non-muslim is not allowed into the prayer hall.

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The main doorway into the prayer hall.

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There are some citrus trees around the courtyard of the main prayer hall.

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Exiting the gateway from the main prayer hall.

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The Great Mosque of Xian is located in the middle of the Muslim Quarter. The above are some of the silk vendors which lined the street.

Xian Day 2: Drum Tower

We started day 2 with breakfast in McDonalds’.

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I kind of like the above burger with grilled meat instead of the ground meat patty.

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After breakfast, we went to the Drum Tower. The Drum Tower is located in the central part of the city. The entrance to the Drum Tower is RMB27 (about CAD4.50) per person.

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The drum on the Drum Tower was beaten to indicate the end of the day in the old days. Continue reading

Xian Day 1: Dinner

It’s dinner time when we finished our bike ride on the City Wall.

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We went to a shopping district to look for something to eat.

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We ended up at a fast food kind of place. Ben ordered a stewed pork rice. It came with a marinated egg and various vegetables.

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The rice combo also include a tomato soup. Continue reading

Xian Day 1: Biking on the City Wall

We headed to the City Wall after exploring the Muslim Quarter.

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Xian City Wall is the most complete city wall that has survived in China. It is also one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.

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The wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom.

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The entrance to the City Wall is RMB40 (CAD6.70) per person.

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A gate tower on the wall.

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We decided to rent cycle around the city wall which covers 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) in length. It is way too far to walk. We wanted to rent a tandem bicycle since I have not ride a bike for a long while. Unfortunately, tandem bicycles were all rented out already. So, we settled with the last two bicycles. It took me a while to get used to riding on a bike again. The rental was RMB40 (CAD6.70) for two bicycles. The ride on the city wall was a bumpy ride with a brick missing here and there.

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Following are various scenes from the city wall. Enjoy. Continue reading

Xian Day 1: Snacking in Muslim Quarter

We snacked along the way during our exploration of the Muslim Quarter.

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Pan fried dumplings with various meat.

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Look at that big pot of chili paste to go with the pan fried dumplings.

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We bought some to try. The dumplings were fried to golden brown and very crispy on the outside. They were RMB8 (about CAD1.35).

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We would try anything with the word traditional. Good thing they have English on their sign.

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The eight treasure rice pudding is smeared with some sweetish sauce and topped with crushed peanuts. This is RMB2 (CAD0.35). Continue reading

Xian Day 1: Exploring Muslim Quarter

The fountain was a welcoming site due to the haziness of Xian. Xian is much more hazy than Beijing.

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The building at the background is the Drum Tower. I will cover our visit to the Drum Tower later. We were not able to visit the B ell Tower because it’s closed for renovation.

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Statues of street vendors found near the entrance to the Muslim Quarter.

Islam was brought to China during the Tang dynasty by Arab traders. The capital of Tang dynasty was Changán or presently known as Xian.

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The street was very busy. Shops and restaurants lined the street.

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Lots of variety of red dates (jujube), big and small. Continue reading

Xian Day 1: Breakfast

After checked in to the hotel, we went out to look for our second breakfast.

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Not far the hotel, we saw the above steamed buns vendor busy selling steaming hot buns.

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We decided to get one to try. It was only RMB1 (about CAD0.15) each. So cheap.

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We got one with meat filing. It was very good for CAD0.15.  There were many workers bought the steamed buns to go. We also saw groups of workers exercising before they start work. Continue reading