– Arrive in Xi’an by night at an outer-city bus terminal then have some trouble finding the private apartments we booked (cheaper than hotels for some reason) – thanks to a helpful receptionist who, after we entered the correct building, misled us to another entrance all the way around the complex, scampering through the darkness (and back into the same building, as we found out the next day when exiting)
– Though only there for 2 nights, Xi’an’s apartments were actually our nicest, most spacious accommodation so far, and one of the cheapest, nearby the popular Bell and Drum Tower. We paid a few extra cents upon departing for our electricity bill.
– Xi’an was China’s former capital, till the 1300s – today it remains a wealthy, capitalist city, with a brand-new, sparkling subway. Much history and culture, among the more famous sites which we managed to visit: Muslim St, the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and of course, the Terra Cotta Warriors.
– Visibly more elegant, refined – perhaps merely wealthier – infrastructure and people than in the northwestern provinces.
– The weather has suddenly warmed to pleasant springtime, it’s the first time since the beginning of the trip that we can lose our coats – a welcome loss!
– With this, also witness the industrious Chinese society at play, flying kites and picnicking in parks (adolescent decadence?).