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A Stop in Xi'an

Xi’an pronounced in Bayou English (She-Ann) was the stop after Hong Kong for our journey around Asia. The main attraction in Xi’an is the Terracotta Warriors. You can get more information about them at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_warriors.

Nicole and I watch the discovery channel fairly often and when we seen the special on the Terracotta Warriors we knew that we wanted to check them out on our trip around Asia.  Coming from Hong Kong and Singapore we really did not know what to expect from the people because both Hong Kong and Singapore are very high-class.

Upon landing in Xi’an we knew that it was going to be really different because it was pitch black darkness.  It reminded us of when we went to Africa and landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport.  Total darkness as far as you could see because there were no buildings.  Taking that in to consideration we put our happy faces on, made it through customs, and hired a taxi.

About an hour down the road we arrived at the hotel to find out that Expedia had upgraded us to better room……and was it better.  Oh my goodness, this room was magnificent.  Probably the nicest hotel we have ever stayed in, and the nicest room that we have ever been in.  The office area….yes office area….in the room was larger than our Hong Kong or Singapore room.  Need less to say we started in Xi’an with a great attitude.  The next day would turn our smiles upside down though.

After talking to the hotel staff and checking out we headed to the train station to purchase our tickets to get from Xi’an to Beijing on an overnight train ride.  We had a “plan” to get the first class room with 2 beds and our own bathroom.  After making our way through the craziness of the Xi’an train station we found out that there were no more seats available on the train to Beijing.  We found out also that a “plan” may not go how you like it when you are overseas.

Putting our travels to Beijing on the back burner we made our way to the bus stop headed to the Terracotta Warriors.  May I also add that the traffic in China is purely ridiculous.  It seems like there are no laws when it comes to where your vehicle may travel on the road.  Numerous times while we were in line we had to break line because a car was cutting through the bus stop parking lot.  More to come on the traffic situation of China.

One aspect I did like about the bus trip to the Terracotta Warriors was it only cost about $3 US.  This was no short ride either.  It took us about an hour to get there.  On the bus we met the little Asian that could TALK YOUR HEAD OFF.  I’m guessing he was telling us about ever single thing we were passing but I couldn’t understand him.  He talked for the entire hour bus ride…..through his microphone and belt mounted loudspeaker.  I mean come on, we are on a bus, not on a football field.  I did in fact pull out my video camera on my phone and recorded him.  It is funny to watch now and think back on how someone could talk that much.

The bus ride ended with much enjoyment to us and the “little Asian that could” telling us in the only English he knew, “LAST STOP, GET OFF THE BUS!”  So we jumped off the bus and headed into the main attraction of Xi’an, the famed Terracotta Warriors.  Let me tell you, this was probably the most spectacular thing I have ever seen in my life.  The intricacy of the statues were phenomenal given that these date before Christ’s time.  Total we spent about 3 hours there looking at the multiple sites of the warriors, taking pictures, and just being mesmerized.

We headed back to the bus hoping that the “little Asian that could” would not be there (and he wasn’t) and trying to make a plan on how we would get to Beijing.  Our hotel had an internet cafe so we went straight there and looked at some flights, but could not book them because it was less than 12 hours before the flight departed.  Come to find out that this hotel had a travel agent that spoke great English and was able to book us a flight to Beijing that night.  All praise to Jesus on that.

Figuring out that we had only about two hours before we needed to check in we headed down to get a taxi. And boy were we in for a treat. The hotel staff must have told him to drive like his life depended on it, when they translated, because he did. This guy would drive off the road, through red lights, and through the bicycle lane. This guy had no regard for human life. The hour trip with traffic turned into about a 35 minute high-speed off-road race to death. Thanks to God for still having a plan for my life because I thought I was going to see him a few times on that ride.

In summary, Xi’an was only good for its Hotel and attraction. Everything else did not win my satisfaction. Stay tuned because there is more to come about our journey to the capital city, Beijing.

Make sure Christ lives in you and through you,
Chris

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