Day 06 - Fri 21 Mar 08
Slept rather well on the train, and arrived in Xi'an a little late just before 07:00, a lot of the Westerners were keen to be off the train first, our Chinese bunk mate 'Amanda' got off but we decided to wait for the masses to disburse before heading off. It didn't really work, as we got caught up with the masses exiting the station anyway. There was a bit of effort getting a taxi, but got one eventually and headed off to the 'Bell Tower' and our hotel just around the corner (Shaanai Wenyuan Hotel). Checking in was interesting as it took quite some time for some reason.
The room is excellent with good views over the Drum Tower. Alison's room as a poor view, and despite changing rooms several times in a effort to match the view from my room and failed.
The hotel has a tour going out to the Terracotta Army for 45Y but we'd missed it - there was some suggestion of a private driver for 500Y.
Walked down to the railway ticket window (literally a counter on a downtown street, nowhere near the station) and managed to get tickets to Guilin with no problems. Phil managed to get breakfast, a sort of filled croissant.
Back to the hotel, and then onward to the railway station. Located the bus station outside and found a 7Y bus to the Terracotta Army!
It cost's 65Y to get into see the Army, and it's impressive, there are three pits full of terracotta statues of men and horses. Lunch was another huge pot noodle affair. Then it was another 7Y bus ride back to Xi'an.
The level of pollution both here and Beijing is scary, we saw a new coal power station being built on the edge of Xi'an. Some of the roads here are pretty bad, with the bus having to drive on the wrong side to avoid the worst of it.
On the way back from the bus station to the hotel we came across a 'fun fare' with a peddle powered roller-coaster. We climbed aboard and peddled around the track - quite surreal.
Out in the evening for food but everything seems to be shut at 21:00, eventually find a place and order a lot of food for 28Y, Xi'an is a tourist town, but isn't an all night town. Walked through the Muslim market on the way back to the hotel. Both the Bell and Drum towers are lit up at night