19 February 2009

Xi'an - Around the town

Xi'an was, in general, just a very cool town. Really I think it was my favorite place we visited. It was a really complex mixture of modern (the coolest looking Starbucks ever) and ancient that all seemed to blend together and work. I got the hugest kick out of the wedding parlours. Actually, the ones in Harbin had better dresses but i found one in Xi'an that is possibly the greatest dress ever on the face of the earth.


Lauren and I also got a laugh over the mannequins.

The epicenter of Xi'an is still completely surrounded by a wall to which there are four entrances, one for each direction. Lauren and I only walked from the South to the West gate and back but it apparently takes about 8 hours to walk all the way around. The wall is in pretty decent repair.

Being on top of the wall also gives you a really good view of the city and the variety of scenery it offers.

Xi'an also has a pretty decent museum. Our super trusty lied like hell Frommer's guide book said this museum was not to be missed or something to that effect. I'm not a huge museum fan (so living in DC is kind of wasted on me) but Lauren wanted to go so off we went. First we tried to walk there because it looked pretty simple. Then, after we got out of the city wall, we remembered that Frommer sucks and all the maps were WRONG. So we hailed a cab. We got to the museum and there was a huge line in front of the ticket booth so we joined everyone else in the queue. And we waited. Then we waited some more. We consulted to guide book, maybe we were too early and it wasn't open? No, it opens at 10, But it's 10:30. Maybe Frommer lied again? No, there's a sign on the museum that says 10 and people are coming out. We were confused. Finally, around 11, the blasted ticket office opened and we could only suppose that they had been having their "we've been working for half an hour and need a break" break. Took us forever still to get to the top of the queue because naturally there were only two windows open. When we finally did and handed over our passports (because we had to show id), apparently it was the white people get in free day. Made us less annoyed about having to wait so long.

There were actually some interesting exhibitions although I was surprised and disappointed that their bronze collection was so small. There were a couple nice Warring States pieces though.

Some gold dragons (not Warring States) and a pile of gold coins that we agreed were fake. No way the Chinese government was displaying real gold instead of fake coins to replace the ones they'd already melted down. I wouldn't put that past any government.

My absolute favorite display was the gold cast of a unicorn's hoof. Yup. A unicorn's hoof. It's like a 9 year old's fantasy come true.

There was also this. I don't know what it was but it was eerie as hell. My pictures of this are crap but I blame that on museum lighting and an unstable camera that blurs without a flash.

Best part about the museum was, despite how big it looked, it was really small and only had a handful of exhibitions. My favorite museums are the ones that take less than an hour to view.

1 comment:

Bernadette said...

I love it, "white people get in free day"! So funny Andrea!