Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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

The bikes have suspension!

There's even a little post box on top of the wall at South Gate

Upon reaching the South Gate, there was supposed to be something like a Changing of Guards ceremony at 11am. For some reason, it happened at 10am on Sunday, so we missed it :( From here, we walked to "Shuyuanmen Shopping Street" but it turned out to be a disappointment as they sold mostly chinese paintbrushes and art material.

U-turned out and took a taxi to Xiaozhai area. We heard of many recommendations of this place, and it turned out to be a great place to shop! We spent a good 3 hours at the Saga Shopping Mall. B1 and B2 had many interesting shops, mostly for young adults as the large Changan University is nearby.
Inside Saga Shopping Mall

Lunch at a HK restaurant = RMB117. About the same price as Superb Haidilao last night. How come?!

Managed to buy fun stuff here and few doors away

Look at the size!! And the chili! No thank you!

We rushed off for our 3-4pm appointment to enter the Shaanxi History Museum. This is supposedly the No.2 rated museum in all of China, as Xian's history covers over 13 dynasties lasting 1100 years! I had high expectations! I knew it would be very crowded, as I had to stay up till midnight 5 days ago, to book the online tickets. Only 4000 tickets are given out daily, and another 500 from online. To prebook your tickets, go to and register one account per adult, and book the ticket 5 days before. After all that hype, I was greatly disappointed. The Louvre, this was not.

We paid 30RMB to get an Audio Guide and went in. There were 3 free galleries, all really small, but no clear signage on where I'm supposed to go. I just see people loitering around everywhere, but no clear direction on where the main door is. When I finally entered Gallery 1, there is no obvious flow that I'm supposed to follow. Seriously, the administrators here should pay a visit to IKEA. The audio guide in English somehow created a lot of unknown words, and not all displays had the audio guide numbering. Perhaps this audio guide is new. Nonetheless, this museum was a good for me to see the terracotta warriors up close. Thank you for that.
Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi History Museum

Star attraction of Shaanxi History Museum

Finale of Shaanxi History Museum

After the museum, we walked back to opposite of Saga Shopping Mall to visit this quaint book store that HH wanted to see. Interesting design, and we rested here for awhile, thinking of having a drink or cake. But, the drink/cake cost more than my lunch! How can that be again?

Wondering what to have for dinner. Then we said, if lunch was the same price as Haidilao, maybe we should just go back to Haidilao for dinner! Then we searched online, and as luck would have it, there was a Haidilao branch inside Saga Shopping Mall on the 9th floor! It was a Sunday night at 6pm, and we called to make a booking. They said waiting time is 2 hours! They asked for our local number, and we said we only have our Malaysian phone number. The person was kind to enter us into the queue manually, and told us to go find them once we arrive to get our official queue number. When we got there, they got us a seat at the waiting area, and I got to eat my snacks again. Took a long time to find the person who took our phone call, and by then, the queue was 2.5 hours! After checking, someone eventually came to us and said our queue is "30-45 minutes wait". We didn't understand, but it sounded better than 2 hours! After waiting 20 minutes, we got our table! Woweeee is this some hidden VIP back door? Loved our 2nd night dinner again. We had beef this time around.
Haidilao Day 2

By the time we finished dinner, it was 7:45pm. Took a taxi back to hotel, but he dropped us at the main road where the drum tower was. The timing was perfect for sunset at 8:30pm, and we managed to get some wonderful photos.

Drum Tower at sunset

Bell Tower at sunset

Today's Walking = 19,840 steps or 12.1km with 13 floors of stairs

Continue reading about Xian:
Xian in 72 hours - Day 1
Xian in 72 hours - Day 2
Xian in 72 hours - Day 3

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