X is for Xian

Xian (pronounced She-an) was part of my first trip to mainland China in April 2003. Visiting the Terracotta Warriors was undoubtedly the highlight – thousands of them marching towards you, as they have been for 2000 years, and many more still to be excavated. Amazing. Less pleasantly, I remember the toilet arrangements at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda being the worst I have ever encountered. And that’s saying something – there might be a book in there someday!


  1. I am probably the only tourist in the world who visited Xi’an and didn’t go to see the terracotta warriors. There was heavy rain throughout my stay there and we were two independent backpackers. The friend braved it and went but I stayed dry back in the hotel. I have been to many places around China, always with a backpack and using trains and buses.


      • Backpacking is the way to go, staying in budget hotels and travelling by railway sleeping car. I don’t think I ever missed my daily shower and travelled in China for around £8 a day excluding transport and admission charges. That way I could stay in China for a month each time and niot break the bank. Trying to buy railway tickets in sign language with 20 people waiting behind us can be a bit taxing though.


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