Xi’an, Old Town

The Bell Tower, one of the most beautiful street scenes I’ve seen in China, is in the Old Town of Xi’an (Western Peace)

Xi’an is considered to be a premier tourist destination in China’s middle-west. Because the Communist Party did not purposefully destroy the old town during Mao Zedong’s tenure (unlike in Beijing, where only remnants survive), the Old Town is a sight to see. It is well cared for, with the ancient towers and modern landscaping existing peacefully side-by-side


Either the Bell or Drum Tower

Enjoy the sights of old Xi’an…


Be a foreign photographer

… come with us!


Like Zhongshan, Xi’an’s Old Town is a very pedestrian-friendly city


Shine

Traffic is busy as always, but an underground sidewalk system allows visiters to travel between one shopping or historic area and other without danger or the hot sun…

… unlike the Old City Walls, which are (by design) huge:

You can rent a bicycle on the wall if you want to bike it, but we attempted to merely walk to the next gate — and then turned, back, as the Wall is huge. Still, even our little section gave us great views of the Old Town…

… as well as the park and new town that lie on the other side

Still, this is China, so the class divide was always clear. While children of the privileged enjoy geeky roleplaying games of wizardry and magic…

… about a block away, the workers live in their houses

As the sun set there was more and more shade


Drum Tower

While the following advice is probably foolish

At that, a prince at the court spoke up and said: “I have heard well of these Muslims. They are straightforward and true, gracious and loyal. Throw open the pass, let communications be unhindered… and by so doing encourage peace. I beseech you to issue a decree and to send an ambassador across the western frontiers to the… Muslims, asking him to send a sage to deal with the evils that threaten, that the country may be at peace!”

It’s nonetheless true that China has a long history of contact with the Muslim World. The defeat of the Empire by the Muslims at Talas River (751) created a Sino-Islamic frontier which allowed the two civilizations to later trade culture and ideas. One of the things that China imported was food, including shishkabobs and other meaty products.


Our Islamic Diner

After our great food, we left Old Town

Taking a final shot of a night scene as we left

.

The next day would be even more amazing… then, we would see the Terracotta Army


Xi’an, a tdaxp travelogue
Prologue, The Last Express
Old Town
Terracotta Army
Xi’an Technological University
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Epilogue, “I’m —-ing tired

Home

I’m currently in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, waiting for the United Express flight home. The trip went well, and involved time travel (arriving in the US before we departed from China — timezones are sweet!).

The plane shook more than any I was one — a steward next to me loudly called “down” and the he and the stewardesses were on the floor, attempting to prevent liquids (or themselves) from tumbling over.

I was frisked both in Beijing and Chicago. In China all wand-wavers are female, while in the United States the frisker is the same sex as the friskee.

Also, unlike at the beginning of my trip, I am now waiting in a domestic as opposed to international section of the airport. Not only is this wing less crowded, electrical outlets are plentiful and actually powered. My laptop loves it!