Xi’An Food

This is the third and last write up about my trip to Xi’an. My first write up was about our tour of the Muslim neighbourhood and the second write was about seeing Emperor Qin‘s terracotta army. Now it’s time to talk about Xi’an’s food.

Xi’an is at the north west part of China. People there tend to eat more noodles and steam buns (or baked buns)  then rice. As well, they eat more mutton. The latter doesn’t really go well with me because the smell and the taste of mutton is too gamey  for me. Saying that, I did try a mutton soup that’s is popular in the area. The soup has little bits of baked flat bread in the soup. It’s almost like crushing some crackers into a chicken noodle back in Canada. I could only eat a bit of it because the mutton flavour was too strong.

The next day, I had another type of soup. It’s spicy and it also has another spicy that made my mouth fizzes and tingle. The sensation lasted about 10 minutes after eating. I wonder what the spice was?

The other two popular local dishes are baked mian bao stuff with shredded meat. It’s a meat sandwich. I tried one, it’s pretty good. The dish that I like the most is the cold noodle with sesame and peanut sauce.  I like it because the noodles are big and it’s not fried. It’s refreshing. Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of fried food.

Baked flat bread. Popular in northern China.

Fire spewing out from the stove as the noodle maker takes a break to check his phone.

My lunch. Freshly made noodle with sesame and peanut sauce (i added a bit of chili) and 3 baozi.


Pieces of baked bread in my mutton soup.

Having supper after a long 1st day. (L-R: Me, Anne, Lisa and Jon)

Close up of my dinner. Freshly made noodles with veggies and beef. yummmmmmy.

Steaming dessert. This lady has a sister in Winnipeg!

This soup made my mouth fizzes and tingle. Not sure what kind of spice can do this effect.


Xi’an Day 2

The first day in Xi’an, we walked to the Muslim area for some food and shopping. On the second day, we took the bus to see the museum of Emperor Qin terracotta army and his burial site. It’s a whole day activity.

We had to walk for about 30 minutes from our hostel to the bus station. Well, it’s not really a station. It’s a big parking lot across from the railway station on the east side. The bus number we needed to take is 306. The bus starts operating around 8:30am and leaves every 30 minutes (it can leave earlier if the bus is full or later if the bus needs more seats to fill). There’s no advance ticket so it’s important to know where the queue is and to be in it. The money is collected by a fare collector once we’re on the bus. It cost 7 RMB. Once we’re on our way, the fare collector gave a long speech about something. I can only pick out some words but I like her voice. Very poetic.

The museum is about an hour (depending on traffic) away from the city center. Along the way, the bus can drop passengers off to other tourist sites such as Huaqing Hotspring Bathing House.

An adult ticket to the museum is 125 RMB. We used our student IDs (local or foreign) in order to get the student ticket for 75 RMB. A decent saving.

The museum site is big with multiple buildings to protect the excavated areas from the weather. The excavation effort is still on going inside these buildings. It’s amazing how big each site is and combined, it’s more astounding how a fearful mind can create. The army was created to protect and serve Emperor Qin in his afterlife.

After seeing the terracotta army, we took a free shuttle bus (we have to show our museum tickets – don’t throw them away) to the mausoleum of the Emperor Qin. This is another big site that contains more excavation areas of the terracotta army. If you just want to visit his burial site, it’s at most a 500 meter walk straight ahead from the electric cart ticket booth. We decided to take the electric cart to scoot us around to the various excavated areas because we were tired and we didn’t have a lot of time left. The cart’s final stop was at Emperor Qin’s burial site where we had our group photo. A good ending to our tour.

Photos taken by Jiyoon, Jon and me.

Having fun while waiting for bus 306 to take us to see Emperor Qin’s terracotta army. (L-R) Jon, Hyeonji and Anne.

Koreans are popular among Chinese people. A Chinese man asked Jiyoon to a take photo with him at the terracotta army museum. If you’re from Japan, it’s best to keep quiet. Some businesses refuse to take Japanese customers.

Many soldiers lined up to defend Emperor Qin in the afterlife world. Hopefully that other world is more peaceful.

A bronze chariot for the other world.

It shows how deep these soldiers where buried.

Terracotta soldiers wear bright colours. With time, the colours fade away.

Hyeonji and Charlotte terracotta?

At Emperor Qin’s burial site. (L-R) Hyeonji, Anne, Charlotte, Lisa, Jiyoon, John and me.


Xi’an Day 1

I’m not going to write much because this weekend I’m preparing for my midterm exams —  I don’t like this part of school. I will let the photos do the speaking for me. As well this is the first blog out of the three that I will write about about the trip to Xi’an.

I woke up at 4:00 am and at 4:30 am, I met up with my fellow travellers (Anne, Charlotte, Hyeonji, Jiyoon, Jon and Lisa) to go to the airport. We took two taxis and it cost us 274 yuan. Very reasonable. Our flight departed Hangzhou at 7:20 am and arrived in Xi’an around 9:30 am on Air China. The bus from Xi’an airport to the city center was fast and cheap (25 yuan).

We stayed at Han Tan House that is only minutes walk to the city center. My bed was very comfortable and the blanket is thick and warm — it is cold there in late October. They can speak English and they are very helpful. It’s the best hostel I have experienced in China so far. Thank you Han Tan House & staff.

Enjoy the photos (taken by Jiyoon, Jon and me) :)

Our dorm room with comfy beds at Han Tang House. Charlotte smiling for the camera while Anne in the background setting up her bed.

Jon, Charlotte, Anne, Jiyoon, Lisa and Hyeonji are busting out to explore Xi’an. We’re heading to the Muslim neighbourhood famous for their food and shopping.

Lisa is showing us that we’re in the right place to see the terracotta army. We’re all excited.

A street scene of the Muslim neighbourhood. The streets are narrow and with many shoppers.

Beside eating street food and shopping, you also can get street dental care. Bring your own painkiller and say AAAHHHHHH.

A vegetable vendor selling a giant veggie. That thing is big enough to feed a village!

They have livestock too!

A fun shot of Hyeonji, Jiyoon, Lisa and Charlotte.


Up early and walked all day, a good time for a late afternoon nap at a teashop – Jiyoon, Jon, and Hyeonji.


Time to head back to the hostel. Tired and happy. L-R: Charlotte, me, Lisa, and Hyeonji.