From Dalian to Xi’an and Beijing (Day 1)
I finally took the opportunity to do a little traveling outside of Dalian. This city is fine, but it’s very young and modern. However, Xi’an and Beijing are so culturally rich that I simply couldn’t do everything. It was a great time and I guess I’ll have to go back.
Thursday morning I left Dalian with a few coworkers for Xi’an. The flight went well, but the taxi took us to the wrong hotel. This really wasn’t a surprise since I had read reviews about how hard the hotel was to locate.
Once at the hotel, I was surprised to find out that a deposit three times larger than the room rate was required. Fortunately, I could cover this temporary cost, but it certainly wasn’t something I had planned for. The room was nice, but we were only in Xi’an for 2 days. Without delay, everyone regrouped in the lobby, and we went sightseeing. First stop, the Terracotta Warriors.
Before we even got inside the building someone approached me asking for a picture. I was definitely surprised. I figured that at a tourist trap like this, no one would think twice about seeing a foreigner. It never crossed my mind Chinese people from more remote places might be vacationing in Xi’an also. It was a unique experience, but definitely not the last time this would happen during the trip.
The warriors were definitely amazing. Apparently only one of them had been found undamaged. The others had been pieced back together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. I can’t imagine how time consuming that would be. What had happened, unfortunately, was after the emperor that commissioned these statues had died, there was a farmers rebellion. A group of people intentionally broke the statues and burned down the structures that housed them. I can only imagine how impressive the site would have been back then.
After taking many pictures and buying a few souvenirs, we hurried to the Huaqing Hot Springs. Here, Emperor Xuanzong and his concubine (along with other nobles) would bathe in pools filled with water from the hot springs. The area was also a residence of Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party in 1936.
After a long day, we indirectly went back to the hotel (the taxi got lost again), cleaned up, and went out to one of the small nearby restaurants. Apparently, Xi’an is known for its noodles, and I admit they were very good and very filling.
It was definitely a busy day, but a great one.