Today was epic.
If you’re following my Instagram feed, you’ll already know that I did a lot of exploring of Xi’an today.
What started out as a trek to the Bell Tower, turned into an adventure that included the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, the Muslim District, the North and South Gates of the city, several temples on top of the wall that borders the city, and a shopping mall (because it was hot and I needed to cool off a bit).
The two towers were both beautiful. Every inch of them were decorated in such detail that I found myself looking in every corner for whatever they had to offer. Dragons, lions, cranes, calligraphy, and ancient artwork were everywhere. The pictures I snapped really don’t do it justice.
The Muslim District was a huge treat. I walked up and down the area taking in all of the varieties of food that they have to offer. I’ll definitely be heading back there tomorrow to sample some of their wares, and to check out a mosque that I stumbled on. And I’ll likely take some more photos, hopefully of some of the artisans doing what they do best.
After leaving the Muslim District and taking in all that I could at the towers, I moved north to the North Gate. I didn’t pay to enter them as I’d heard that the South Gate was better. But, I did wander about and pick up some food (grapes, a donut like pastry, and some melon). Late breakfast of champions!
The South Gate was truly amazing and worth the 54¥ to enter (about $9 Canadian). It provided a great vantage point that gave me a better sense of the size of the city. FYI – it’s huge (population roughly 8.5 million people in 2010).
After exploring the South Gate and the wall (not the wall), I decided to venture back to my hostel. But, given the heat I made a short stop in one of the many shopping malls along the way to cool off. There I found some stores with the greatest names I’ve ever seen. And by greatest, I mean greatest at least from a North American 12 year-old boy’s very immature point of view.
For example, the mall was home to a woman’s clothing store called Titty & Co. If that weren’t giggle-worthy enough: directly across the hall from that – another clothing store called Teenie Weenie. It may have been a kid’s clothing store, but I was giggling too much to notice. Because I’m just that mature.
Perhaps I’ve had too much sun.