Published September 28th, 2007 by Mliesie

The second time around

With Marcel visiting China, I am sometimes forced to do things for the second time or perhaps even a third time. This trip he had decided he wanted to go to Xi’an to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. I wasn’t very much looking forward to it, as last year I didn’t like Xi’an whatsoever. Ellie and I at the time were really happy to get back on the train to Yulin again and we almost skipped the whole way home with our backpacks on our backs. Hence my doubts for this trip.

Instead of taking the plane, we decided to go by express bus, which costs only RMB 140 and should take you to Xi’an in about 6 to 7 hours. Not only would it be cheaper, we would also be able to see something of the surroundings. Which we did! Of course the trip was like a bumpy road, we weren’t able to leave on time as the driver seemed to be in a (fist) fight with someone outside, then we got caught in a massive traffic jam IN Yulin and ofcourse on the way to Xi’an there were various doubtful stops. But we got there in 8 hours and we enjoyed the drive. The change of landscape was really interesting, sandy with bushes around Yulin, to mountainous with lush and green vegetation the closer we got to Xi’an.  Fun for Marcel were the ‘nodding donkeys’ and oil rigs we saw on the way.

Having arrived IN Xi’an it took a few minutes to find out exactly where we were and which bus to take downtown to get us to a hostel. Bus 603 will take you from the busstation to the hostel at the Bell Tower. I will save you the details of finding a room in the hostels available (just because of my stubborness), but it cost quite a few kilometers of walking up and down….. After having settled in, we had a nice meal and decided to do the biking on the City Walls the next day and visiting The Warriors the day after.

Wondering around Xi’an for the next 2 days and evenings felt so familiar and was much more fun than last year. I felt so much more at ease. Was it the company (no offence Ellie and other companions), was it the weather, were it the less crowded streets or was it just the fact that I have been here for so much longer now? Both Marcel and I decided on the last one. Last year I had only been here for 6 weeks, was in Xi’an over National Day (never do that!) and my Chinese consisted of a few words. Now I have been here for over a year, we were in Xi’an in low season and my Chinese is a bit better. So, I have to admit I quite enjoyed it this time. I still think 2 to 3 days is more than enough to see the highlights, but I can also tell that Xi’an is a nice city with some nice areas to walk around and friendly, helpful and easy-going citizens. Do visit when you are in the neighbourhood!

Take care and know that you shouldn’t just take everything for granted I tell you! Except for all the good things ofcourse ;-)

marcel yulin sept 2007 034.jpg


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