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Another city to explore. Although it was quite a fun city. Xi’an wasn’t as busy as Bejing but still a lot of people. The train ride was interesting. Started off with a sitting ticket but Tom, who was travelling the same direction as me, decided to try and see if there was any beds available. He disappeared for about two hours. I sat with many people squashed in together and grabbing the best possible space they could find. The carriage was more packed than you could possibly believe and we were on a twelve hour journey. Some were standing for that long.

Anyway, Tom finally appeared saying he could only get one bed but we should go now as the train was leaving the station it had stopped at in a short time. So we run with our bags up about 9 carriages and decided that I’ll get some kip and Tom would come back later to use the bed and I’ll go to the restaurant. Tom never reappeared. Turns out you can’t go back in to the sleeper carriages once you go out and don’t have a ticket to prove you can go there. So lucky me gets to sleep all night and Tom on the restaurant floor. Dar.

The hostel is pretty cool. There’s another cat to entertain everyone and we catch Debs and James before they shoot off to the Terracotta army. They weren’t so lucky on their train. Sat all the way with people who squirted tomato juice all over them. Gross.

Had an amusing time in the free sauna that night. Trying to out do each other on who can stay the longest in there.

Russ once melted in to steam in a sauna.

The next day we took the most scary ride I have ever done. The tuk tuk drivers will drive any where. And that’s towards on coming traffic, on pavements and through the tiniest gaps.
So many times we were sure we were going to hit something or someone. Mental.

We couldn’t get to the mountain that day so we took a bike ride round the wall that surrounds Xi’an. It was about fourteen Km and very flat. Not many people around either. Was photographed again by an old man. Being white, having blond hair, piercings makes you have some sort of celebratory status here. I’ve lost count how many fly by photos have been taken of me or any other westerners I’ve been hanging with.

We decide to go for lunch after the wall. We find a typical Chinese restaurant where you have a boiling broth in the middle of a chilli or stock, a small dish full with garlic and sesame oil. Then you pick some meat and veg and shove it in the soup. Called a hot pot. It was fairly tasty but I have no idea what foods I ate. My stomach has held up for now. More photographs after we finish.

We chilled in the hostel that eve to say goodbye to Debs and James. I should hopefully catch up with them in Bangkok for some cheap ass shopping whooo.

Terracotta army the next day. Was very touristy but quite a site to see. Definitely worth seeing. Saw some dog skins for sale too. Very nice. Oh also saw Qim shi huangs tomb which was essentially a hill but I think it’s compulsory for the hostel to include it in the tour. Was there for five minutes then went home.

That evening resembled summer camp as a bunch of us nattered from our bunks. Nice bunch of people.

The last day in Xi’an we went to Hua Shan mountain. The mountains looked great but this trip was a hole in the pocket. It cost about ten quid to get in the park, four to get the shuttle bus, then fifteen to get the cable car. This didn’t include the six to get to the mountain itself. The queue for the mountain cable car took two hours. Ridiculous. So when we reached the top we had to leave immediately because we had trains to catch. Ian, an American I met at the hostel, suggested we go down the mountain on the steps. Rather than queue again. We asked how long it would take. One and a half hours. We would be late if it took that long so we decide to run it. Yep run down a fricking mountain. Now some of the route it was impossible to run beacuase it was sooo steep. Really glad we did this though because even though we were sweating horrendously, we saw some wivked views and managed to get from the top to bottom in forty minutes. Go us.

Left after that to catch our train and managed to get back in plenty of time. Said goodbye to Ian and Jane, our translator, well jokes, she helped out a lot though.

Onwards to Chengdu.

Written on July 14th, 2011 , Asia, China Tags:

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