Travel to the City of Xian

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inside the walls of Xian was another memorable adventure. Like I said before, every city has its unique charm. Xian's charm is the great hospitality of the local people. Everyone was so nice and friendly that they would go out of their way to help. I especially love our stay at the Shuyuan Hostel because the vibe and environment. I met so many travelers in this Hostel that I don't even remember their names unless we exchange emails. Sort of speak, it was like Hippie's Paradise. A place where you can relax and chill for the day or maybe many months without worrying. They have an restaurant and bar that opens 24/7! I really love this place very much because this is where I got to meet some amazing friends Jennifer, Derek, and Karen.

Story of how we met...
As I remember, the world cup soccer was huge that time. I headed down to the local bar down the basement by myself to grab a drink and to watch the game or maybe do a little scribble in my journal. Ginger was pretty beat for the day so he stayed in the room to rest. As I was sitting there, Jennifer was also trying to watch the game. I kind of invited her to my table since I had open seats and somehow we started talking. That night everything happen so fast, we talked about where we traveled, what crazy things we have done, where do we lived, we instantly clicked. Little did I know, I was somehow invited to her home in Korea. That is whenever I visit Korea. Jennifer is a English teacher in Korea, she lived there for almost 8 years teaching English. Aside from being a great teacher she knows how to PARTY. From what she tells me Koreans are hardcore party people and heavy drinkers. Later that night, Derek (Jennifer's boyfriend) showed up to join our table. They were such a fun and friendly couple. Throughout the night we had a couple of drinks and thousand of stories told. It was a great night.

From Beijing to Xian we took the train there.

My congee meal while riding

Once we arrived at Shuyuan Hostel we were greeted by these little guys. A mother cat feeding her little kittens.

I believe our first wonton soup meal for the night at Xian. Even though it was 80 degrees at night, this soup tasted so good. Maybe it was just some random food stall sticking out in the middle of nowhere or maybe it was prepared right infront of us.

I really want to know what does locals eat around here. So I went and ask the receptionist what is their local breakfast or food they eat. She highly recommends this place just down the block and boy was she right! Aside from asking her where we should eat, but what we should order! By arriving at this little fast food joint it was instantly given what everyone was ordering, called Xiao long bao zi. The ultimate pork burger that tingle your taste buds. I think I could've eaten five of these! Addicting burgers!

Another tasty recommendation was this dish called Biang Biang Mian. I have to admit this dish is freaking SPICY like hell. I thought I was good at eating spicy food, but the locals here can really handle chili. The dish was explosive, cover your senses of sweet, salty and damn spicy. Such a simple dish using the minimal amount of ingredients is quite amazing. It was so spicy that once your done eating, lets just say you don't have to apply anymore lipstick on because your mouth is on FIRE.

Aside from the other tasty morsel I wanted to order something soupy, so I choose this. I didn't know what it was but it looked quite tasty, so I just pointed and said I want this. It turns out to be some kind of sweet porridge. Very good and filling. A bowl of this will probably filled me up instantly. But we gotta keep trying to new foods while we were there.

This is the restaurant from the outside. The place was so good we kept returning back there for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well. It was inexpensive and convenient.

Instead of taking the package tour to the Terracotta Warriors in the hostel. We decided to bus our way to the museum at our own time. Because the package tour expected us to meet at 7am to go, but we were in no shape to wake up that early to see the museum. So we plan to just go on our own. Besides it was much cheaper going on our own instead of paying a tour guide.

some funnies

I have to tell you this... Terracotta Warrior Museum is a joke! This is from my own personal experience. All you see is a bunch of almost shattered stones in a tunnel and you have to pay about $50 usd just to see it. There is alot of history behind it, but I think the Chinese really made a big hype about this, just to give it another Touristy spot for foreigners to go to. Inside was hot and humid, I was sweating just standing there!

These warriors are the more delicate statues because there were some of the higher ranks generals.

Where is my head?

After the museum we grabbed a snack. I love eating grilled corn! I wanted to try the difference between US and Asia corn. Once I took a bite of this... OMG! I thought my teeth was about to fall off! The corn is so hard and its not even sweet at all. I was so disappointed. But then again, I know now that the best tasting corn is in U.S. WooHOO!

After my disappointed snack, I decided to grab another snack that won't fail on me. We went to KFC and I ordered a what I might called it chicken burger? So good, with all the Asian flavors in it.

Overpopulated in Beijing.

The next day I called up my new friends that I met at the bar to go to another museum. Ginger set off to do his own things and I venture out with my new friends.

I'm such a copycat. I saw this girl doing this pose and I tapped her and ask if can I do this pose too? So cool! LOL They kind of laughed and me and also took a snap at me.

My blonde hair is a giveaway that I don't belong here. It's like Oh WOW! Asian blonde I never seen that before let's take a picture and put it up on Facebook

I'm a celebrity! LOL

Aside from that first tasty restaurant, the receptionist also recommends me another famous dish in Xian. This was like a goat soup meal. She was telling me a story that back in the days, people use to eat this to fill their stomach up. Because the Chinese didn't really have much of anything. Meat was scarce so they cook up soup and throw in these hard bread to satisfy their stomach.

This place was pretty far from our hostels and we went looking for hours and we finally found it!

It was quite interesting how the meal was prepared. We first had to peel the bread out into tiny pieces until we are satisfied with the consistently. Then we bring it to the kitchen window to have our goat soup poured into it. It was kind of monkey see, monkey do because we really didn't know what were were doing. Ginger and I were literally arguing about how big the bread pieces should be ripped apart. Our argument went along with something like this...

Me: Look at that lady she's ripping big pieces
Ginger: No, the other lady over there is ripping smaller tiny pieces!
Me: I'm hungry, let's just rip them and bring it to the kitchen window!
Ginger: No, we have to do it right. It will taste better!
Me: Fine, let's split the bowl, this side are my giant pieces and the side are your tiny pieces.

This place was quite popular, hence all the filled seatings. Everyone ordered the same dish, goat soup.

This is how our goat soup came out. All the bread literally blew up absorbed all the soup and it became some kind of cereal. The soup was really flavorful but I think the bread absorb all the soup that I didn't get the chance to savor the broth. With all the hype I didn't think it was worth all the wait and peeling for the soup. I thought the soup would've tasted a lot better without the bread in it. But I guess this was poverty food back then, so the bread was necessary to keep your stomach filled.
Our last day at Xian

We approve of this place!

The night before, I went on my own and did alot of shopping!! I bought this cute hat and the shirt that comes with matching belt. I was too busy shopping that I didn't take any pictures. Night market shopping is so much fun with lot of bargaining involved.

Odd things inside Shuyuan Hostel

turtle pets

our room was just on the second floor

outdoor sink and public restrooms and baths

I love Shuyuan Hostel, I didn't want to leave!

Goofy me

So our expected plan was to go to Shanghai but due to the World Expo it was really hard to get train tickets. We were stuck and didn't know what to do. Our new friends said "Hey! Come join us! We are going to Mianshan!" Without hesitation we openly said YES and venture with them to the mysterious mountain of Mianshan. This was totally crazy traveling with someone we barely met and going to a mysterious mountain we never even heard or seen. Quite an amazing ADVENTURE!

The beginning of our 8-10hr train ride.

some tickets are unseated, which you have to stand for 8-10hrs throughout the whole train ride. So ridiculous!

It was so hot! No A/C in the train! It just drive us INSANE!

HAHA This is no joke, Beijing people really do this half shirt thing. Almost every men in Bejing does this and I find it pretty funny. They walk around casually flashing their nipples out. I was convincing Ginger to do that too, since its an summer culture thing. HAHAH!

Overall Xian was wonderful, I would go back there again and again for food, shopping, and some more sightseeing. But I wouldn't go back to see Terracotta Warriors Museum. I think even for first time traveling to the city, you can save your money and skip the museum and do other things in Xian. You can even rent a bike and ride along side the walls of Xian and enjoy the great scenery of the city. I miss it already!

Damn it's almost 4am...


Angi said...

Wow that sounds so amazing!!
I really want to go there someday too.
I love travlling but it is just sooooo expensive! T-T
But thanks a lot for the entry, I love seeing other cultures and finding places where I want to go in the future! ^-^

Marie said...

Thank Angi! I love to explore the world and see what other places have to offer. Sometimes I don't think its the money that is holding people back to travel. If you desire long enough you will do anything to travel. Your blog is amazing! Keep up the good work!

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