Tuesday, July 30, 2019


cycling on xian city wall was one of the best experiences in the city. where else in the world can one do this kind of activity? I was amazed at how wide it was on the wall and the exercise it provided.
in the past, all sorts of activities took place on the wall and even horse carriages were brought up there.

dad was quite pissed when he was not allowed to ride as this activity is only allowed for those under the age of 60. for younger and older visitors, they can choose to pay to go on the buggy where a driver will drive them along the four sides of the whole stretch of the ancient wall.

my brother and I started our ride after 6pm and the weather was all cloudy and foggy. we did not cycle long and finished our ride after one hour. we only managed to do a quarter of the length of the entire stretch. I believe to cover the whole stretch from point to point should require around 2 hours depending on how fast one ride. we did not go for a long one because dad and aunt were waiting for us.

a not to be missed activity when one is in xian. highly recommended.

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Muslim Street is a place not to be missed when one visits xian. always go with a big appetite because there are just so many kinds of local delicacies to relish in. I went twice when I was in the city, and at different times of the day. both the experiences were definitely interesting because you could see the different kinds of chaos at the different hours. but food was definitely aplenty no matter what time of the day you go. however, the crowd was definitely thinner during the day time. my first visit was at night during dinner time while the second time was in the morning at around 10.

this is the main entrance to the Muslim Street.

signs showing to the great mosque can be seen on the streets. there is one Main Street here and a few side streets. go explore all if you have time. but go in the day time if you want to avoid the crowd and see things more clearly in the light.

it was a wet night when I was there but you can see that the crowd did not care.

I don't really know all the names of the food that I saw when I was there, but the sight of them was enough to make everyone salivate.

if I am not wrong, this is yoghurt drink. mutton products are common. so if you love mutton or beef, you won't be disappointed.

this snack was quite plain in taste. it is sweetened by a coating of sugar.

grilled squid. yummy!!!

beef or mutton stuffed burger is very popular here. at this stall, I joined the long queue and waited for my turn. the way the worker's deft hands chop the meat, pour some gravy which the meat came from and stuff the meat into the bun are actually very fascinating.

oppps, I don't know where the photo of the bun has gone to. sorry. my verdict of the bun, well, the meat was a bit on the dry side and the bun....haiz....it was dry as well.  I wish there was more gravy or sauce soaked by the meat because the bun felt a bit like eating cardboard. I wasn't keen to get a second one after that.

goat trotter.

the beef in this dish was the highlight to me. succulent and juicy to the last piece.

this is the famous bingo biang noodles. it's a kind of thick noodles with quite hard texture, hence its name. not my taste as I am not a noodle lover. only for those die hards who like to eat flour-made rubbery noodles.

dried persimmons. not that cheap.

huge dried dates are worth buying here.


potato swirls.

dunno what kind of shrimp this is....but I really dunno how to enjoy this because it feels like I am eating more shells than flesh.

xiao long Bao... get the one stuffed with beef. definitely much better than the crab one.

a kind of glutinous rice snack coated with peanuts. the texture is like mochi.

we found some locally grown peaches at a side street green store. the owner said they were just plucked from the farm and were organic. it was big and crunchy and sweet although not really ripe.

another must try food here is the grilled skewered beef. I love the spicy version which is coated with chilli flakes. sorry no photo here, but you definitely won't miss this when you are there.
writing this post makes me hungry all over again.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


it was a wet day on the day we wanted to start our first day of exploration in xian. we chose to go to terracotta warriors and horses museum first because we wanted to avoid the weekend crowd on saturday and Sunday. our mode of transport to the museum was via the tourist bus which one can board next to the xian railway station.

this building here is xian railway station. continue walking towards the right and find bus no 306 or some other blue buses there. a long line was already forming when we reached there at around 9am. it was a cloudy day and not a patch of blue was seen in the sky.

this is bus no 306. just join the queue and you will be shown to the bus by the attendants there. it is only 7RMB to get to the museum and the bus is really frequent. as soon as one was full, the next one was ready to load its passengers. in the bus, the conductor would sell the tourist and info map of the area for those interested to buy. those blue buses that you can see in the photo are also heading towards the same direction. but most ppl seemed to be queuing for bus 306.

we boarded and were told to fasten the seatbelts. the route on this bus would take one to Huaqing Pool first and unload those who are interested to get off there before continuing to the terracotta museum. as it was still early, my group decided to make this detour and stop at Huaqing Pool. I think we paid 4RMB since our journey was shorter. it was about 40 minutes if my memory serves me right.

we got off at Huaqing Pool and dad queued up to buy admission tickets. I did not know much about this pool hence I started googling as soon as I was in the bus.
the location of this pool is at the foot of mount Li. I did not get to see the peak of this mountain at all because it was shrouded in fog. I saw a cable car line going straight to the peak though but we chose not to take it and decided to explore the area on foot instead.

the story of Huaqing Pool is that it was a palace built by a tang emperor for his concubine and a place where one could soak in the water from the hot springs. there isn't any public pool there though but I saw a small area where one could soak their feet in the vicinity.

I think the standard admission fee for all 5Star attractions in china is 120RMB. that was what we paid for adults. however, if you are a senior of Chinese descent residing overseas, just show them your passport and you will still get a senior discount. just remember to tell them that you are 'hua qiao'. undergraduates also have their discounts provided that you show them your student card.

one of the main entrances to Huaqing Pool. see how wet it was and all the umbrellas were out.

Huaqing Pool is also famous for being a temporary residence for Chiang Kai shek, the leader of the Chinese nationalist party and the location of xian incident (kidnapping and shooting attempt of the leader).

bing Jian pavilion on mount li. behind the big rock was where Chiang Kai shek hid himself in the xian incident if my eavesdropping was good.

this was the crevice where one could get to behind the rock behind the pavilion.

a statue of the concubine, yang Gwei fei outside the hot spring pools area. there is no more water in the bath pools which are now housed in individual buildings (two of the buildings are behind the statue).

this is the most famous pool as this was where the concubine first caught the attention of the emperor when she got out from the pool. how alluring.

I have no idea what this building or lake is called. ;)

another statue and fountain outside Huaqing Pool admission area.

our trip to Huaqing Pool ended at around 1 in the afternoon. I won't really recommend this place for people who don't have the time to linger and walk aimlessly. I felt I was walking without an aim except only to find that infamous bathing pool. according to a taxi driver we spoke to, most locals don't bother stopping here. the taxi driver hadn't been there himself although he was from the area. so I guess that shows how 'popular' the place is. nope, it wasn't crowded at all when I was there. well, maybe because it was a wet day to be out for sight-seeing and the peak season hadn't begun yet.

we walked back to where we got off the bus, and boarded the same bus, 306 to go to terracotta museum. I think we paid 4RMB for this part of the journey and it was around 30 minutes this time around.

reached the terracotta warriors and horses museum. looked for the place to buy tickets. queued and bought and walked walked walked till we reached pit 1. the walk from the entrance to all the pits was not short. I think they have to make this walk long because that is their way to control the crowd during peak seasons.

there are 4 pits in the museum area, but only 3 are open to visitors. the forth one can only be seen via a glass cover on the ground.

the biggest pit and the one that will wow everyone will be this pit 1.  it looks like an aeroplane hangar.  it was packed like sardines but I could still squeeze my way to the front of the railing to get this photo. on the right of the photo is the side railing where you can see little humans by the side trying to get the best view of all these terracotta figures.  it was really an impressive view. to see the work being put into making these figures was definitely another 'tick' in the bucket list.

the layers of crowd when I was there wasn't that thick. it was only about 2 to 3 layers and everyone had a chance to see what I saw here.

all these individual figures are put at the end of the hall in pit 1 and in pit 1 we could also see still the excavation and restoration process being done.

photos from pit 3. the crowd got thinner as you move from pit 1 to pit 3. so choose carefully how you want to go from pit to pit. but frankly, it doesn't matter which pit you go to. all the pits are just as interesting. this is really a place not to be missed when one is in xian.

our trip ended at around 4.30p.m. and we took the bus back to the city after that.