A Second Visit to Xian

Written by Feb 3, 2010 02:33
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I have expected a trip to Xian for long. In October 2008 during the national holiday, my dream has come true. I visited this ancient city with my girlfriend. Our flight landed in Xian Xianyang International Airport at 14:25. We took the airport shuttle bus to Melody Hotel near Bell Tower. The bus ticket cost 25 yuan for each of us and the journey took about one and half an hour – longer than the expected for the traffic jam. We got off the bus and walked south to Xiangzimen Youth Hostel. The hostel was located at Nanmenli (South Street) which could be reached by a ten minute walk.

The hostel was a traditional open air courtyard which enjoyed a good location. You felt peace in it though it was noisy outside. We had ordered a double bed room which has 24h hot water, broad band, bathing necessities and television. The price was 160 yuan. After a smooth check in, we came to the front courtyard and relaxed. All the decorations in the courtyard were arranged in the traditional Chinese style as you could see the red lanterns, wide wooden tables and stone benches. After having a short rest, we decided to have a coffee at Defu Lane which was available about 50 meters from the front gate.

south gate of xian
south gate of xian

Bourgeois Sentiment
Defu Lane is a famous bar street in Xian. It is the best street endowed with foreign flavor in the city. There are many bars in different styles. We felt home when strolling in this not wide street. We stopped at Old Tree Café as a local friend recommended it for us. The advertisement is quite interesting- "If I'm not at home, I'm at Old Tree Café. If I'm not at Old Tree Café, I'm on the way to it." The environment was warm and clean. I ordered Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee for me, cappuccino for my girlfriend and black pepper steak with rice dish (hei jiao niu pa fan). Totally it cost 100 yuan plus a tip. Sat beside a window, we watched outside while enjoying the good dinner. Usually, it is the white collars that often spend their leisure time reading or chatting in cafes in this street.

Dream Back to Tang Dynasty
As we had been to the Terracotta Warriors, Huaqing Hot Springs, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Muslim Street, these typical scenic sights in Xian last time, we planed to visit the Tang Paradise on our second trip to this ancient city to experience its strong Tang Dynasty flavor.

Tang Paradise is located beside the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It is the first royal park to show the splendid culture in the Tang Dynasty in China. We took a taxi there. We met a couple outside the park who told us that they had the travel yearlong tickets and could lead us into the park if we paid them 40 yuan each, which meant we could save 10 yuan for the entrance fee. I did not believe them for there were a lot of such cheaters baiting travelers at tourist spots. We made a deal that I could pay them only after they led us into the park. Finally they really brought us into the park and we paid them. Sounds nice!
Shi Nu Guan in Tang Paradise, Xian
Shi Nu Guan in Tang Paradise, Xian
The park is very large and poetic. We strolled in it and took a lot of pictures. The waterfall, lakes, pavilions and towers all made us excited. The lake in the park was misty. Golden carps were raised in the lake for admiration. My girlfriend spent 10 yuan for a bag of bait. We sat on the stone bench beside the lake and threw the bait to the shoal of fish. The golden fishes all pushed their way to bite the food, making noises and sprays. According to the performance schedule, there was a performance of music accompanied by drumbeats at 14:30 on the third floor in Ziyun Tower. We hurried there after bought some bread for lunch. The food sold in the park was quite expensive than ordinary price. There were not too many people sat in the hall. We sat in the third row, an appropriate position to admire the show. The performers all dressed in the clothes of Tang Dynasty. They imitated the royal music band in Tang Dynasty. The music was not aloud, but quite classic. It only lasted for half an hour. We went out of the hall and stood at the corridor to have a grand view of the park. The modern construction of the city was in the sight. At about 15:30, we descended from Ziyun Tower.

We kept strolling in the park. It was a precious spare time. We saw many road shows, all for free. The amateurs dressed like the civilians in Tang Dynasty. Some juggled with knives and swords, which made audience trembling with fear. There were many souvenir shops on Tang-style Street, certainly selling the commodities related to Tang Dynasty. We roamed around for a whole afternoon. At 19:45, we went to see the world's biggest water screen film – "The Monkey King". The film was amazing, except some plots we could not understand. Time passed quickly, at about 20:30, we went out of the park. It was a nice day.

We flied back to Shanghai on the next day. It was a short stop in Xian. But we all felt satisfied.

 More Xian Travel Reviews
1. Xian Trip ROSEKNIGHT from China Jan 4, 2010 00:49
2. Two-day's Travel in Xi'an MENG from United States Dec 30, 2009 19:54
3. How did the qin terracotta warriors get burnt and destroyed? CLARENCEGUO from CN Jul 1, 2009 06:43
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