Monday, October 27, 2014

Xi' An 2014: Part One

Whoohoo! My very first 'solo' trip! FACT #1: I have never gone abroad without my mum and no... It's not because I'm a mummy's girl, I'm just afraid that people will judge me if I were to puke on flights... Ha Ha Ha. Airsick Alert.
ANYWAY, this trip's main mission is to participate in the Xi' An's "Silk Road International Arts Festival". Hence, we only had 2 and a half free and easy days to explore the city and cover as many places as we could!
Ok! 'Photo-Browsing' starts now! LET THE MADNESS BEGIN~

Midnight Arrival in Xi' An
Let me introduce Minhui(MH) - Kuku. Glad to be off the plane and on our way to the hotel! Excuse the photo's quality. I will be uploading my iPhone's photos as well.

Checked into Grand New World Hotel
Yay to Comfy beds!

Introducing my 3-in-1 package (Room-mate + Nanny + Hair Stylist) , Xiuhua(XH).

Clean toilet with bathtub shower

A random selfie before going to bed

First Day, Grand New World Hotel
Some kind soul packet a local delicacy for us to eat as breakfast! Honey with dates and glutinous rice. The honey was so damn sweet that I thought I was going to get diabetes.

Mini fountain found right in front of our hotel.

First public transport we took - Bus.

Usually, air-conditioned bus (with numbers starting with 'K') charge CNY 2 per person, and the others charge CNY 1 per person.

While waiting for our dear bus...

Introducing my second nanny with her signature colourful scarf, Chaixia(CX) - Xiaoxia.

Alighted near the Xi'an Bell Tower (Zhong Lou)
Traditional Chinese architecture all around Xi'an

Their very own "Tuktuk"~

Lunch at 乐乐餐厅 (Le Le Can Ting)
Went into this random restaurant that was coincidentally really popular!

A highly recommended place for those who are looking for cheap Sichuan restaurant.

The Brinjal was really good~

Generous serving of food! 2 dishes were already sufficient for the 3 of us.

Visited the mobile shop to purchase 1GB data card for CNY 100. Yes. We can't live without the Internet!!

Are you shooting for a mobile advertisement Xiuhua?! HAHA! By the way, the employees were really friendly and helpful!

Underpass to the Xi'an City Wall.
Map of the City Wall. You will be able to find 4 gates, North, South, East and West.

There are 2 main Entrances, the South and the North gate.

Admission Fee: CNY 54. Unfortunately, there's no student price for us!

First Location, Xi'an Ancient City Wall
Xi'an's city wall, after its enlargement in the Ming Dynasty, stands 12 meters high. It is 12-14 meters across the top, 15-18 meters thick at bottom, and 13.7 kilometers in length.

I'm reenacting passerby's amuse expression when they saw our Monopod aka Selfie Stick. :x

Silly Us

Tourists-will-go-to-cardboards

Apparently, we all have small faces~ Hehe!

Warning: You guys will see a lot of our faces for these few posts...

Mode of Transport: Battery Car. This will cost you CNY 80 for a circle ride while the luxurious one costs CNY 120. One can also visit the wall by sections. Ordinary type: CNY 20 between two stops. Luxurious type: CNY 30. As for the Route, it's South Gate – West Gate – North Gate – East Gate.

As for us, we rented bikes! Bicycle deposit costs CNY 200. Single bicycle: CNY 40/100 minutes. Tandem(Double) bicycle: CNY 80/100 minutes.

Two of them figuring out how to balance properly and I'm happily watching them struggle~! [Evil Laugh]

Time for some individual shots!

The I-rode-bicycle-in-Xi'an pose

Posing with 女墙(Direct Translation: Woman Wall)

Fierce?

Superwoman driving solo~

It's funny how we spent more time taking photos rather than cycling around the city wall. Hahaha!

Don't let the buildings deceive you. They look the same but they are actually different okay!

Nobody to help us take pictures...

And then, a kind soul came to our rescue!

Oh yes. I forgot to mention that their toilets are actually clean here!

We reached our next area!

Both of them were too busy bargaining that they forgot about me...

So there I was, Selfie-ing

And taking a photo of my lonely bicycle and bag...

These were some of the views we had while cycling towards the next bicycle rental shop.

And we found the Xi'an Railway Station too!
Returned our bikes and first thing we did was to buy an ice cream to cool ourselves down~

Thanks to the bumpy road, our butts hurts after cycling. However, we all do agree that cycling is way more fun than walking around the City Wall. If you want to know more about the history of this place, do wiki about it cause it's way too long for me to post it here~ :P

Nothing can stop them from taking a wefie!! They came running in once my Selfie Camera is up~ Some dangerous camwhore-ers eh? ;)
Ice cream isn't enough, we need some cold drinks~

I thought these sort of snacks can only be bought from street stalls!

Special Ice Cream flavour which you can only find in Xi'an Mac.

Second Location,回民街 (Moslem Street)
Not to mislead you with the location but we are not visiting the mosque. If I'm not wrong, it just so happen that we were passing through this street which leads to the Great Mosque.

According to nanny XH, this Chinese character (pronounce as "Biang") is one of the most complex word with the most number of strokes! I checked it up and it's made up of 58 stokes!! WOAH~

It started growling and barking at me when I approached it... Why you gotta be so rude~

Taking a look at some of the souvenir shops here.

There were a variety of souvenirs available here.

And this was the entrance to the street that we just explore.

Okay. Back to 回民街 introduction. This is a must-go, famous muslim street where you will find a variety of local flavor snacks to munch on!

It is located at the heart of ancient city of Xian, next to the Drum Tower.

Oh yes. If you are someone who can't tolerate spicy food, Congratulations~ Everyday, SPICY FOOD FOR YA~ (I may have exaggerated a little :) but really, most of their food are spicy)

Ladies happy and satisfied with their barbecue squid & meat.

A street filled with bright coloured banners, food and people.

WAIT. Why is there so many people queuing for this?

WHO CARES~ Just queue with them and you will find out!

Ok~ We just queued to buy a 牛肉夹馍 (Often called a Shanxi Sandwich). How is it? Hmm... The meat was pretty juicy! That's all I could remember.

The process of making a candy. Pound it...

Stretch them out...

Stretch them out real good~ [wink]
This particular super gigantic fried squid definitely caught my attention.

Walked into a shop and immediately ordered a bowl of 凉皮, Xi' An's Must-eat local delicacy

And some meat, again~

Time to get us some fruit tea!

Really amazed by this guy making and designing colourful cotton candy! Damn cute and he was nice enough to let me take a good photo of it.

The Matcha Pejoy recommended by XH. Tried it and I agree that it was good~

Night City View of Xi'An.

The symbol of Xi'an, known as the Bell Tower of Xi'an, 西安钟楼.

It is one of the grandest of its kind in China.

Is it too heavy for you, XH?

XH playing with my camera while I was trying to take a good photo for my instagram~

Professional or what?! :)

"Night Market" Spotted! They just pull out racks of clothes and sell by the road!

Time to do a little shopping~ Remember to BARGAIN even though they were already really cheap... :x

Day 2, Third Location, 海底捞火锅.
Pizza Hut in China Style~

This particular hotpot restaurant is so freaking popular in Singapore.

Sauce station. Plenty of sauces for you to choose from so no complaints!

CX happily choosing the ingredients for our hotpot!

Ordered the Tomato and 麻辣(Extremely Spicy) Soup Base.

WHOOHOO! Let's FEAST~
Verdict: AWESOME FOOD AND SERVICE. They helped us cook the food and place them on each of our plates so we just need to concentrate on stuffing the food into our mouths! Yes. We were treated like some VIP! As for the price? SO DAMN WORTH IT. Sorry guys, you gotta google the address yourselves if you plan to go cause there's a few outlets in Xi' An.

Fourth Location, Yoba
There's always space for desserts after meals!

Phone > Frozen yoghurt

Yeah. Typical Frozen Yoghurt. Nothing really special.

Graffiti all over the buildings.

We were finding some nearby mobile shop to get some data cards for the others. Oh Well! Nanny's task comes first.

Reached an out-of-the-way mobile shop lead by two kind locals.

Fifth Location, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (大雁塔)
Trying hard to blend in~

Can you spot the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda? Let me give you a hint, it's brown in colour.

"It was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty and originally had five stories. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang.", quoted from Wikipedia.
Not sure if this was the entrance to the Pagoda but we skipped it anyway.

Sixth Location, 唐大慈恩寺遗址公园
An independent leisure park located near the Pagoda.

Came across this large scale "Bugis" fountain in the park! (You'll understand if you're a Singaporean)

Couldn't find any cabs here so we took the illegal ones, which is called 黑车. Hence, no taximeter.

Seventh Location, De Fa Chang (德发长饺子馆)
This restaurant is well-known among visitors but it's basically a tourist trap. You will see lots of tour groups once you stepped into the restaurant.

I don't know what dishes they have ordered for us so the following photos are for you guys to judge how appealing the food were.

There were 13 Dishes in total... #spamonly

The main dish for the night, 太后火锅 (Empress hotpot). There was a really long backstory behind this dish which I didn't understand... (Noooo~ It's not my Chinese! The waitress was speaking way too fast... ... ^^)

See those small little white stuff floating around in the soup? They call them 珍珠小饺子. (Pearl Dumpling)
The Compulsory group picture after dinner!

Verdict: Let me repeat again. This is a tourist trap. Though the restaurant is famous but it isn't worth it. The locals, themselves, don't dine in this restaurant! The food do look appealing and cute but taste? Meh... I will probably skip this.

Night was still young so we decided to do some shopping after dinner!

That will be all for the Second Day in Xi'an! Stay tune for more photos on the upcoming post! :)

[[SIGNING OFF]]

6 comments:

  1. Yayyy!! Awaiting your part 2 now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, I like to know if there's any problem taking transport from the airport to city at midnight? Is it safe to travel at midnight. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! It shouldn't be a problem if you were to grab a cab from the airport!
      And is it safe to travel at midnight? Well, It depends on where you're heading to and if you have company . Just don't wander into small alleyway at night. In addition, there wouldn't be any activities to do at midnight too. :)

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the reply. Arrival was midnight, decided to stay hotel near airport for 1 night and travel to city the next day.

    ReplyDelete