Posted by: asianshock | August 29, 2011

Fist fights, donkey buns, removeable toilet, flooding bathrooms, terracotta warriors, 1 kuai ice creams, and dozens of foreigners amazed at the sight of foreigners.

Just got back from my weekend trip to Xian. Let me start from the beginning.

Friday- Our train left at around 4 pm from the Beijing West Railway station. It was somewhat inconvenient to get there because we had to take 2 buses. However, thanks to some advice from one of my lab mates, we got there safe and sound. The waiting room for our train was packed to the brim with Chinese travelers. I was actually surprised that I did not see many other foreigners. And so we took our “hard seats” which technically weren’t really hard, but they were not the most comfortable things we have sat in before.

The back of the seat was 90 degrees!


In addition to the nearly vertical back support, there was also a boy who sat across from me that would not stop crying/screaming. All in all, I only had around 2-3 hours of sleep during the 13 hour ride.

Saturday- We arrived in Xian at around 6 am. We exited the train station and walked nearby to get some street food for breakfast. We tried some buns filled with a mystery meat. We could not figure out what the meat was but after thinking a while, we realized it was donkey (we had eaten donkey before in a restaurant). Since check-in was not until 2 pm, we had some time to kill. We decided to go see the Terracotta Warriors. Having no idea how to get there, I practiced my Mandarin and figured out the bus that could take us there in the cheapest/fastest way. It was the tourism bus 5 (306) which cost 7 kuai and took us directly to the warriors in about 45 minutes.
The Terracotta Warriors are known as the 8th wonder of the world, and I would have to say, I was truly amazed.

No words to describe what I saw


The museum was divided into 3 main pits. We started with Pit 2 purely by chance, and worked our way to 3 and then 1. It turned out to be the best route possible. At pit 2, it showed the empty excavation site where many of the soldiers were found.

Under those piles of dirt lies an undescribable treasure


Pit 3 displayed some of the horses and soldiers uncovered but it was Pit 1 that held the majority of the soldiers uncovered. It is crazy to imagine that these soldiers are in such good condition after 2000 years of being buried.
We got back to Xian at around 2 pm; the perfect time to check in.We tried to hail a cab to get us to the hotel but for some reason no one knew where it is. Luckily, a rickshaw knew where the place was and offered to take us for 10 kuai. I was surprised at the price so we obliged. It turned out that the hotel was less 2 streets down from the train station…How convenient.
Our hotel room was quite an interesting piece of work. For one, there was no divider between our shower and the rest of the bathroom, not even a curtain. This meant that whenever we took a shower, the entire bathroom floor would flood. Moreover, our toilet was not securely anchored to the ground. This caused the plumbing to not align correctly. We figured out that in order for the toilet to flush correctly, the toilet had to be in a certain orientation.

Make sure you don't stay in the shower too long, or you might be in for a swim


Besides the bathroom, the rest of our room was decent. That night we went to the center of the city and walked around. We ate at this Sichuan restaurant (we didn’t know it before we entered) which was super spicy but good. We slept early (10 pm) because we did not get much sleep on the train
Sunday- We walked around the city some more, ate more street food for breakfast, and took a bus to Li Shan (Mount Li). Our train back to Beijing was at 6:18pm the same day, so we could not do much. At Li Shan, we took the cable car up which gave us a great view of the city. Unfortunately, it was a pretty cloudy day, so we could not see the entire city.

Too bad it was sooo foggy/smog


We came back around 4 pm and just chilled at the train station until our train came. We got some 1 kuai ice creams at a nearby store. Those were our 4th ones that day. They are just sooo cheap!
We boarded the train and were instantly relieved that we shelled out the extra 300 kuai for soft sleepers. Not only did we get our own personal room, but the beds were actually more comfortable than our hotel beds haha.

mmmm sleep


On the train, we watched Anchorman (best movie hands down) and managed to finish it before Ian’s computer ran out of battery. We then chilled around for a bit before turning in. We slept at around 10 pm because we were exhausted from walking everywhere that day. We arrived in Beijing at around 9 am and ran into our final road block. I could not find the bus stop that we needed. We walked and searched for around 30 minutes but could not find it. We decided to just walk until we saw the stop however, we did not find it. We took another bus instead in hopes that it stopped near a subway entrance. We were lucky enough that it did. Once in the subway, we made our way back to Beida. back to our rooms, and to food.

This weekend trip was one of the most fun experiences of my life

-V

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