Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Xian in 72 hours - Day 3

Date of Travel: 24-26 June 2017

Day 3
Today is our final day in Xian. Our flight departs at 12:15am, so we have 15 hours to explore. We had pre-arranged a hotel car to bring us to the airport for RMB180, as we didn't want to take a non a/c taxi in a 45 minute car ride. So we booked one for 8:30pm. We walked to the Muslim Quarter to visit the Grand Mosque. Unfortunately, today was the 2nd day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and there was a prayer ceremony going on at that morning. We declined to enter the mosque, and wandered around the shops instead.
Free public toilets outside Drum Tower. Not bad!

Follow here to the Grand Mosque
At 10am, shops aren't open yet

So spicy, how to eat?

Xian in 72 hours - Day 2

Date of Travel: 24-26 June 2017

Day 2
Today is our relaxing and shopping day, but we managed to pack quite a lot in. We started the day at 9am with a bike ride on the Xian City Wall. I know Mark Zuckerberg jogged the entire 13.84km on the city wall, but we chose to do a little section of 2.5km from the West Gate to the South Gate. The most famous part of the wall is at South Gate (Yongningmen), where entry fee is RMB80. So what we did was to take a taxi to the West Gate (Andingmen) and enter for only RMB54. From there, we picked up the rental bicycles for 45RMB for 2 hours. A deposit of 200RMB is required. Under the scorching sun, we rode!
Entering West Gate

You can walk, run, cycle or ride the electric cars on the wall

Xian in 72 hours - Day 1

Date of Travel: 24-26 June 2017

How to accomplish everything Xian has to offer in just 72 hours? Xian is unlike any China city that I have been to. I quickly noticed the differences:
  •  It is less crowded
  • People drive defensively, and rarely horn
  • Toilets are clean, and there's always a western (handicap) toilet  in most tourist sites
  • The spoken Chinese have less accent and isn't as loud
I would normally keep my itinerary in Google Drive and saved offline on my phone. For some reason, this did not work! And it's in China, all Google Services are not accessible. So this itinerary is "winging it"!

Day 1
Day 1 starts at 12:15am, as AirAsiaX from Kuala Lumpur lands at 12:15am. Tip: It pays to sit closer to the exit, as there were only 2 immigration counters open at that hour. We chose to accept the hotel transfer @ RMB220 instead of haggling with taxis at that hour. Upon arriving the hotel at 1am, we were pleasantly surprised to find many street vendors selling supper at 1am even. We chose a Muslim restaurant and found out how spicy dishes are in Xian. They claim to be just "a little spicy", but it was scorching all the way to my stomach.
Hotel: Citadines Central Xian.