Xi'an Drum Tower

I arrived in Xi'an on the morning of October 4, 2016 on an overnight train from Yichang. I was able to drop my bags of the hotel but couldn't check in, and I had arranged for a guide to take me from the hotel to the Han Yang Ling Mausoleum that morning. This mausoleum is located just north of the city and is a much less visited site than others around Xi'an.

Han Yang Ling Mausoleum

As the burial place of Emperor Jing, the mausoleum consists of two large burial mounds and several burial pits. Some of the pits have been excavated and are open to tourists inside of a building hidden below the ground around the largest of the mounds. These pits are filled with many small figures of various objects, and it took perhaps an hour at most to traverse through the entire building.

Figures at the Han Yang Ling Mausoleum

Figures at the Han Yang Ling Mausoleum

Back in the city, I went to the Muslim Quarter, where there are many small vendors and unique street foods available. Most of the vendors and restaurants are situated along one pedestrian street, but there are also several side streets that are much less busy. My visit to Xi'an coincided with the week-long Chinese national holiday, so many of the places in Xi'an, and later in Beijing, were especially busy. It was nearly impossible to walk through the narrow streets of the Muslim Quarter there were so many people.

Xi'an Bell Tower

After lunch I returned to the hotel to check in, shower, and rest for a couple of hours. In the evening I walked back to the Muslim Quarter, which was only slightly less packed, and I had various street food for dinner. After making my way through the packed street, I went to several of the historic sites in the area, including the Great Mosque, which was closed, and the bell and drum towers.

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

The morning of October 5 started with a 7:00 am bus ride to see the Terracotta Army at the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. The ride went smoothly until we got very close to the site, which is east of the city, where the thousands of visitors created a traffic jam. Once inside the compound I was able to visit the two smaller buildings before the largest building, which houses the Terracotta Army, even opened. Once inside this building, it was just as packed as the Muslim Quarter the day before, so I quickly took in the views of the warriors and then got out of the crowd.

Terracotta Army

Upon leaving the Terracotta Army site, I walked to a nearby restaurant before getting on a bus for the ride back into the city. Very light rain had begun to fall, but I needed to fill my afternoon, so I went for a walk on the city wall, which lasted from the time I left the hotel until I returned. From there it was on to the train station to catch an overnight train to Beijing.

On the Xi'an city wall at its southeast corner

View south from the south gate of the Xi'an city wall

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My other posts about this trip:
© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.

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