In my previous post, I talked about my traveling experience from Beijing to Xi'an by train. After 11 hours of an overnight train ride, we arrived at Xi'an. Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, which is one of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history. Xi'an is the only city in China which still maintain and preserve the original city wall. The city wall was built during the first emperor of Ming dynasty, to prevent the outside intruders from attacking Xi'an city. Majority of the city walls in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have been demolished for the purpose of development. The length of the Xi'an city wall is 13.7km (8.5miles) which was built to protect the surrounding of the city. On top of that, the height of the wall is 12 meters (40 feet) which was so high that the intruders had difficulty to climb over.
|Xi'an city wall|
There are two popular attraction sites to look for while traveling in Xi'an. Xi'an Muslim Food Street is a popular landmark and located in the city center. You can find variety of Muslim food and souvenirs along this street. All of the food vendors and shops are operated by Chinese Muslims. They have Chinese names and also speak Chinese but they are Muslims. Xi'an Muslim Food Street was served as the starting point of Silk Road since Han dynasty. While you are visiting Xi'an Muslim Food Street, you should take the opportunity to visit the oldest mosque, Great Mosque of Xi'an which is constructed in a uniquely architectural design of Chinese and Arabic style.
Another major attraction to Xi'an is the Museum of Emperor Qin's Terra-cotta Army and Horses which is located about an hour drive from the city center. I will share more pictures about the terra-cotta warriors in my next post.
|Pomegranate flower is the mascot for Xi'an Expo 2011|
|Welcome to Xi'an City.|
|Xi'an Drum Tower and its surrounding wall around the city|
|Xi'an wall covers 13.7km (8.5 miles) and 12 meters (40 feet) in height, to prevent the enemy from climbing into and attacking Xi'an city from outside since the first emperor of Ming dynasty.|
|Tourists can travel around Xi'an city wall by taking a sightseeing bus (which costs 50 yuan per person) or rent a single bicycle for yourself (costs 200 yuan / 100minutes)|
|This is the sightseeing bus which takes you an hour ride around Xi'an city wall.|
|Performers in warrior suits were on formation performance at Xi'an city wall|
|The Warrior formation performance at the entrance of Xi'an city wall|
|The entrance to Muslim Street at Xi'an city|
|All the food vendors and shops are operated by Chinese Muslims along the Muslim Street.|
|Welcome to Great Mosque of Xi'an which is listed by UNESCO as an important international Islamic cultural relic. It was built during the 14th century and highly maintained until now.|
|Great Mosque of Xi'an is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style except for some Arabic lettering and decorations|
|The Arabic lettering on the arch of Great Mosque of Xi'an|
|The prayer hall of Great Mosque of Xi'an. The Chinese Muslims pray 5 times a day.|
|The entrance of prayer hall of Great Mosque of Xi'an. The Chinese Muslims will clean themselves and remove their shoes before entering the prayer hall.|
|A combination of Chinese and Arabic architectural design can be found on this monument at Great Mosque of Xi'an|