November 5, 2003

The angry stele in Xian

My friends in China always ask me to visit famous tourist spots in China - the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. I keep telling them that I prefer normal cities where there are not many tourists. To figure out what I was missing, I got a bargain ticket to Xian from Chengdu, so I flew up here. It rained a lot — some images from Xian.

Xian

The Street near the Muslim quarters

Xian

Another view of the same Street. Nice food here. The best is yangrou paomo — mutton soup in which you dip your bread and eat.

Xian

Inside the Muslim quarter, you walk past the narrow lanes with charming Hui (Han Muslim) souvenir shop owners to reach the grand mosque.

Xian

It rained and rained.

Xian

The mosque is a mix of Islamic and Chinese design.

Xian

Out in the public square, kids learn to fly kites.

Xian

And some learn to walk.

Xian

The entrance to the Forest of Steles Museum. It has an extensive collection of old stone tablets. Met a man who sang a song from a 1960s Indian movie. I often met people in China who love that song.

Xian

This tablet in an early Tibetan script

Xian

This is probably the most popular tablet here. This tablet celebrates the opening of a Nestorian Church in Changan in AD 781.

Xian

More steles

Xian

Angry stele

Xian

Just outside the forest of Steles Museum, below this tower, I met a man who was trying to sell me a Chairman Mao badge. I spotted a Zhou En Lai badge. He said it was 20 RMB. I asked for 10 RMB. He refused. He said I could have the Mao badge for 10 RMB. I said I like Zhou En Lai better compared to Mao. He sold me the badge for 10 RMB. He must be an Zhou En Lai fan.

Old Xian still has the old rectangular city walls.

Xian

Xian

A flag hiding the already shy sun

Xian

Looking down from the wall

Xian

I decided to give the Terracotta Warriors a miss. I was happy chatting with the hui sellers (one lady when she learnt that I am single, offered to introduce a relative to me.) and the students from a nearby technology university who came to chat me every night.


China Travel Xian


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