Claudio's Journals

Claudio's HomeGap Year 2004Gap Year 2004 - Xian, China


Gap Year 2004

Gap Year 2004 - Xian, China |

A fairly arduous journey from Beijing.......about 15 hours on a sleeper train and we were in Xi'an. The journey itself could have been worse I guess.

Chinese sleeper trains are funny little characters; in each carriage there are numerous 'booths' each with 2 sets of 3 bed bunks. If you are on the bottom bunk you've hit the jackpot; you can sit up on your bed and not even hit your head on the top of the bed above you. If you're in the middle, expect a pretty difficult nights sleep as your knees and/or head keeps hitting the bunk above. If you are unlucky enough to get the top bunk, then expect no sleep at all as the lights never go off and when you do rise from your bed in the morning you will smack your head on the ceiling of the train 5 inches above you......nice.

We had prebooked our hostel (just to be on the safe side) before we left Beijing, and we were met and transferred to our hostel from the Station. It was a hell of a lot easier to get to this hostel than it was to get to our bloody hostel in Beijing! The hostel itself was a hell of a lot quieter, but the room was about the same. In the courtyard of the hostel was a little cafe called 'Kanes Kafe' - little did we realise but every single meal we would have in Xi'an would be from here........

We entered the establishment for our first meal in about 20 hours - no English Menu (not surprising really) but Kane (I think) was very helpful. He even had a small waiter boy to help him take ordrs and serve food, although he didn't really seem to do much. About 4 hours later, our food arrived. It probably didn't taste good, but we were so bloody hungry it went down a treat.

After our marathon meal, we got a bus into the centre of Xi'an to have a look around. The first thing that hit me was just how quiet it was compared to the Capital......especially in the area around our hostel, it was deserted. I was later to find out that it was the week after Chinese New Year and the Chinese really don't do very much....hence all the closed shops and restaurants. Nevertheless, we still found a cheap internet cafe to keep warm and managed to get onto the city wall to walk around the place from 60 ft up - Xi'an is one of very few cities in the world that has its original city walls entirely intact, pretty interesting.

The following day we sorted our train tickets for Shanghai and headed out to the Terracotta Warriors - apparently an army of terracotta warriors unearthed around 40 years ago, with the figures coming from a long time before that - it was fairly interesting but not as spectacular as I was anticipating.

Not much else happened in Xi'an really, we ate lots of food at Kane's, and walked around the deserted city......yay!

Shangahi here we come! :D

Locations Visited: Xian

Add Comment

Comment Policy:

Only signed in members can comment on journal entries. Please sign in now or register if you would like to leave a comment. Comments are sent to the owner of this journal for approval before being made live on the site.