Before leaving for the day’s tour, I exchanged $100.00 Canadian to 547 Yuan and paid no commission. A Bank of China specific area was available at the reception desk. The man was pleased with my brand new polymer Canadian bills unlike the ones I’d converted at a machine in a previous hotel. The machine didn’t like polymer bills. Too slippery?
Our first stop of the day was at the old Xian City wall, which stands 12 meters high (13.1234 yards). A lot of stairs to climb to the top surface (15 meters or 16.4042 yards wide). We saw pedestrians and bikers, but it wasn’t crowded at all. Due to the short time allocated to look around, we didn’t walk far. There wasn’t much to see on top where we’d entered anyway.
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (On top of the wall – bikes for hire)
On one side we looked down on modern buildings and the other a market in progress. Buyers and sellers moved in and out at a brisk pace. The location made me think of a wide alley. Old buildings had been removed and continued to be knocked down.
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (brisk shopping and selling)
Next we visited the Shaanxi History Museum: thousands of artifacts, too many people, and stifling.
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (entrance in museum)
Steve, our tour guide, felt ill and stopped at a pharmacy for something to settle his stomach. Instead of leaving us for the day, as I’m sure he might have preferred, he soldiered on, lime-white faced.
Our third stop in was the factory where the Terracotta Warriors were made. Reproductions of the originals (we will visit next week) are made by way of molds. No two faces are alike. The dedication to fine detail is incredible.
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (A tourist warrior wannabe)
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (Life-size, headless and eerie)
- Eggs and tomatoes
- Beef with onion
- Vegetable soup with spinach(?)
- Spicy chicken with celery and hot peppers
- Cubed potatoes with caramel
- Sweet and sour fish
- Mystery meat on a stick (delicious)
Xian Quick Facts:
- Total population of China 1.4 billion
- 200,000,000 Chinese still living in poverty
- Floating population, living in country-side live on $2.00 a day and scavenge cardboard, paper etc.
- Some farmers built rooms out of scrap on their property to accommodate the scavengers
- Scavengers collectively work together to afford a room like this
- If you own an apartment, your kids inherit it after you die. Cannot sell for profit.
- If you are a real estate developer, or magistrate, you’ll manage to sell it
- $300,000 USD + four-unit apartments were given to farmers moved off their land (so the story goes)
- Some farmers did so well in new environment (new location), they became millionaires (so the story goes)
- First day of Sweeping Festival begun (April 5-7)
- Now more people are cremated
- Traditionally one day for Sweeping Festival bit extended by government for travel to grave sites of dead relatives and loved ones.
- Cars with 7 or less passengers go free because of Sweeping Festival
- Vehicles with more than 7, still have to pay toll
- 6 billion trips are taken around the country during holidays and New Years
- Our bus driver’s father is a millionaire farmer. Why is his son driving a bus?
Next on May 5th, Xian, Part 2 – Terracotta Warriors (at last)
© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles
FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014.