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overcast 26 °C

Sleeper trains in China are hit and miss. Sometimes they're grand, sometimes they're a bit unpleasant. Smoking is allowed on the trains so some of the compartments stink. There's a lot of hawking and coughing and spitting and snoring and sneezing, which is kinda gross. Whenever I'm on the train I feel like I'm breathing in a looootttt of germs. Our 1st sleeper to Xi'an though was very pleasant. We had a nice family beside us who helped us get our bags in and were generally quite friendly.
They even had a fake nose and moustache set for the journey! What everyone needs on a sleeper train - a disguise!


We got to our hostel in Xian about 2ish and had a pamper day. (i.e. a shower and laundry) The 7 sages hostel was pretty fantastic.


Later we rambled out for a bit of shopping - to buy Mich some new runners. We pottered around the lovely old streets in Xi'an - they were full of gorgeous old Chinese style buildings, food stalls, artists' shops and ladies dancing in the street. We had Subway for tea! :D HA! Michelle was disgusted. I was delighted. ;)

The next day we hustled to the station for our bus to the Terracotta Warriors. The centre for the warriors was surrounded with the usual kilometre of shops, restaurants, stalls selling furs (arrgh), little warriors, little bobble headed toys, jade, jewellery and so on.
There are 3 pits of warriors being excavated in Xi'an. Basically in 221 BC Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who was quite prolific apparently, but also a bit of a tyrant, began constructing his own tomb. Outside this tomb, he stuck in an army of terracotta warriors and horses, ready to protect him in the afterlife. There are thousands of these warrior lads - all made from clay and baked in a kiln. Only 2000 of them are on display in the main pit. Each soldier is unique with his own unique facial features and expressions, hairstyle, clothes etc. It was fierce impressive altogether and was really quite amazing to think of all the hours of painstaking work people are doing to excavate, preserve and put back together these lads.

We started at the biggest pit by accident which meant we saw the King Daddy Dog of pits first and so pit 2 and 3 were less impressive. It was quite a good morning outing, if a little expensive at 15 pounds in. (China is not cheap to do the touristy things in.) But it was cool to see it all the same. The excavation of this site will keep many people in jobs for yonks to come.


Our bus on the way back to Xian had The Voice Of China on the tv. It. Was. Horrific. My idea of hell. Contestants who couldn't sing a note in my opinion, hugging and crying and congratulating themselves on their performance. It gave me goosepimples it was so bad.
We had a shite lunch in Dico's (lol) and then rented bikes to cycle the walls of Xi'an. This. Was. Awesome. There were lots of pretty rooftops, temples, cool old style houses, quaint streets and a big balloony snake to be seen on and around the wall. Good times.


We only had an hour to get to our next sleeper train to Chongqing so legged it to the station. This sleeper train was an omen of what was to follow in Chongqing, (which is possibly the most unpleasant city I've ever been in). The sleeper itself was hilariously gross with the biggest snoring pig of a man in the bottom bunk. Michelle recorded him while I lolled away up top. Some other dude saw I was reading the Lonely Planet and took it off me and started reading it himself. Then sat at the end of the bed and rang people on his mobile VERY LOUDLY - despite a mom and baby asleep beside him. jerk. :D Still - all in all - pretty funny.

Posted by squeakylee 23:41 Archived in China

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