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Xian day 3 (part 2)

After checking out the Terracotta Army we had a last chance to see more of Xian. Let's pack in what we can. Aiyun and I are getting tired and sore from a lot of walking, but we soldier on. We're approaching that feeling that two full days isn't enough to see all of Xian. Let's hurry up and get in some more sites before the day ends.

The warrior pits were about an hour outside of Xian. Our group agreed universally that we wanted to be dropped off back at the Muslim bazaar to grab something to eat. I wanted more of the Yang Ruo Pao Mo that I had yesterday, but from a different place so I could compare. Yifan was from Xian and gave us advice on where to go. Another home run meal. So glad we got her input. We ended up roaming the Muslim quarter for about an extra hour checking out what was for sale and buying some small gifts for friends and colleagues. This long row of trees covers the bazaar. We got rained on a bit, but thankfully had an umbrella. All good.

We opted to check out the Drum and Bell towers that were within walking distance from where we were. The view above is from the Drum tower.

Both the Drum and Bell towers are very similar to the same type of towers I found in Beijing last year. These towers were used for communication with the city daily as a way of telling time. Also as possible warning alerts for the citizens. Aiyun really wanted to hit the drums, but warning signs that said "Don't knock" kept us from getting into trouble.

Each of these drums were labeled with a different seasonal event marking events in the calendar like spring equinox or the mid-autumn festival. When we went up in the Bell tower this was the view back towards the Drum tower. You can see the huge five lane roundabout that encircles the bell tower. We were in taxis that circled the Bell tower many times over the last two days. Some of the taxi drivers were a bit too aggressive for my taste. This roundabout was frightening. Check out the middle bus in the picture below. See the small white car next to it? That's a taxi. How many lanes and how many cars? At times the lanes feel like suggestions. Nothing more.

Both of these towers were completed during the Ming dynasty around 600 years ago. Each has undergone major facelifts in the past 30 years. Both towers had small museums with other various artifacts behind glass and explanations in multiple languages.

At this point I'm feeling spent, but we decide to make one more push to see something cool. We saw the small wild goose pagoda yesterday. Today we go for the big wild goose pagoda. Odd thing. We're about two time zones west of Hangzhou, but China doesn't observe different time zones. The entire country is one time zone. That means the sun rises and sets about two hours later, but has the same time as Beijing all the time. The farther west you go the weirder it gets.

We arrive at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and it's teaming with young ladies in traditional dresses. The area has a lot of stores catering to this business. Lots of dresses to rent. Lots of hair and makeup shops to get dolled up. You can see the the giant pagoda through the trees here that were filled with lanterns.

We were way too late to get close to the Pagoda, but Aiyun had some inside information on where to go to get a good picture of the pagoda. We totally go the wrong way (my fault) and eventually arrive at the top of a neighboring mall.

Nice. Views from up high were spectacular of the surrounding area. Wish my phone took better pictures at night. Aiyun's older phone definitely got better shots.

This picture wasn't representative of the very cool affect of all the lanterns in the trees. It was quite the light show.

We were exhausted. Back to the hotel and crashed. Up early the next morning and on the bullet train home. Should be about 8 hours for me and 10 hours for Aiyun. She was very tired from our adventure. Ain't she cute with her tiny face smashed into my shoulder?

Still think it's pretty cool looking up from my seat in the train and seeing this. We're humming along around 200mph. Bad ass.

A fun and educational trip. Good times. Looking forward to more when the winter break comes. Ice city of Harbin? Pandas in Chengdu? Sun of Sanya? We shall see. Glad you're following along on our journey.

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Paige Shumway
Paige Shumway
Sep 26, 2023

Love this on all levels. The drums look amazing and good for Ayun for wanting to test them out.

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