Thursday, July 30, 2015

Xian's Tidbids

This will be my last post on China - coming to you from Xian, the capital of the Tang Dynasty! We had an amazing time here, walking around the markets, visiting historical structures, and trying yummy new snacks.

This post is mostly a photo diary of wandering around Xian...lots of food, art, and culture.

Muslim Market (Huimin Jie)

This Muslim market is at the heart of Xian and said to be a starting point of the Silk Road, where foreign diplomats and merchants came from the Persian Empire and settled down centuries ago. The tight-knit Islamic community that thrives here today is directly descended from the Muslim immigrants from over a 1000 years ago. They run the bustling Muslim market, with tons of souvenirs, pastries, snacks, and tidbits. These pictures don't do justice to the vibrant culture, but I hope you enjoy them!

Strings of kites flying in the sky above the throngs of market-goers below:
Bike-vendor with sweet cherries and strawberry skewers:

 Calligraphy stalls! Such authentic and gorgeous materials...
Practicing calligraphy with water on the ground:

I had a tapestry made as a souvenir for my family! This painting depicts, "In all 4 seasons, may you find peace, and that everything you do, goes your way. Spring 2014."
Custom-made marble carved stamps!

At the market, I found the TINIEST dog, literally it fit in both my hands. Apparently, this is a full grown dog and this is the maximum size they grow to. It was way too adorable:

Now, more food:
Stinky tofu, apparently a delicacy:

Rice patty dessert with custom flavors:

Chopstick dispensers!! Genius:

Ancient Xi'an City Wall

 This gorgeous pagoda lit up at night within the city walls:

After freshening up, we decided to check out some of the nightlife in the area and I was surprised to find how fancy the bars and clubs were! Check out a few of the pics below:

Courtyard leading up to the club and a gorgeous garden surrounding it:
A shark tank inside the club!!
 Golden bears in Xian!!

The next day, we toured around Paddy's university, where we were staying. Cool Chinese ping pong court below. A huge tennis court, but filled with ping pong tables:
We found this police station outside the university...

 Stopped to grab some boba at Coco before heading out for the day and visiting some of Xian's local sites:

Started off by visiting the Big Goose Pagoda, a surviving building from the Tang Dynasty and this statue of Xuan Zang, a Buddhist monk who traveled to India in 625 A.D. to report on his travels:

We climbed up the pagoda, and here are the fantastic views that I managed to click through the tiny peephole windows:

There was a small temple and a few monks writing prayers at the pagoda: 

Hope you enjoyed my posts on China - coming to you with a new adventure in a new country super soon!