Xi'an was the capital city in ancient China and it was also the starting point of the silk road. It is located around 1000 km inland from Beijing. Because of that, I thought it would be colder than Beijing, but it turned up to be warmer!! Today, I will talk about the city itself, which was really pretty, whereas tomorrow I will talk about the big sights around the city.
The city is somehow more relaxed than Beijing. Not so many people all around! Although there were many!! The most interesting thing was that many buildings were crowned with a nice Chinese tower structure. Later on, back in Beijing, I noticed some buildings also had it there... but in Xi'an there were so many!! Check this photo out! It looks so Chinese to me!! ;)
Xi'an is also one of the only Chinese cities which still has city walls. And they are pretty cool. They have beautiful gates and watchout towers all along. This entrance is next to the train station on the North-Eastern side of the city center.
In my opinion, the most beautiful spots in the city is around the Big Goose Pagoda, one of the city landmarks. Historically, this pagoda and the temple around are also very important. The monk that originally brought Buddhism from India to China, came to live here after his trips in India!
Besides, the Pagoda looks so beautiful at night, with the right illumination and with blooming cherry trees!!
I was very lucky and got there on time for some famous water and sound show in the big square next to the pagoda. They claim it is the biggest in Asia... why people always try to get the -est thing?! Anyway, it was really nice! Nice music and interesting water show.
Within the city walls, the main sights are the drum and the bell tower, which are located quite near from one another. In ancient times, the bell in the bell tower would be used to indicate the sun rise and the drum in the drum tower would be played at dusk.
This is the Bell Tower,
and this is the Drum Tower.
And behind the Drum Tower, the Muslim Quarter. Xi'an was the beginning (or the end! :D) of the Silk Road. Therefore, it had a lot of contact with the Arab world, and a Muslim Quarter was founded. Today, it holds quite a lot of restaurants where lamb is the highlight and beer is not served.
Also, most of the people preparing food are wearing distinctive Muslim hats.
Barbecue there was so nice!!