First Day In Xi’an

on Tuesday, 18 May 2010

So the train arrived pretty much spot on this time and the unorganized person I am, I hadn’t booked any hostel or even looked at where to go when I arrived. I walked out to a mass of taxis and went to sort my stuff out by the side of the road. I went to ask a cab for a price to a hostel I had found on the lonely planet on my laptop. But he just drove of, which seemed a bit odd. Then I see a police car coming through and realise the taxis were not allowed there and they had to drive off. I manage to find a taxi and he wants 30Y and won’t put it on the meter, so I just walk off and decide to try and get the bus but I can’t find the right bus stand for the number 603 bus, later I discover the bus stop was so huge it actually went round the corner. I end up walking a bit further down and manage to find a cab driver who will put it on the meter. The journey ends up costing 10Y. I find the hostel Shu Yuan  youth hostel and fortunately they are very busy and popular, but I manage to get a dorm room, but can’t check in till 12 o'clock. I decide to have a look round town. First I go and visit the city wall and stupidly decide to pass on renting a bike and instead walk round, thinking it can’t be that massive he whole way round at the base of the wall Chinese people are doing exercise and singing and other weird things. There is a lot of old guys doing Diabolo. They are unbelievably good and are doing some mad tricks with it.  About two hours in and I have only walked about a quarter of the way. Unfortunately there are no places to pick up a bike and I eventually get off the wall halfway round. I then have a walk through town and visit the bell and drum tower. They end up being a bit of a let down, and are actually quite expensive. 30Y for the two with my student discount. I then return to the hostel and chill out.

About 30 minutes later, Tom walks in, we have booked the same hostel again. He has visited the terracotta warriors today, but apparently after someone told them they had moved all the warriors to Shanghai for the Expo. They some how missed the massive room with 2000 odd warriors in it. I would expect something like that of Oli (Sorry Oli), but not Tom. He plans on visiting again the next day with me. We go to the station and book our train tickets to Pingyao, and spend the rest of the day playing table tennis, pool and have a few drinks in the bar.