This day began extremely early. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and hastily prepared myself to check out of our hotel in Beijing by 6AM.
From the hotel, we traveled to the High Speed Rail station for 5 hour trip to Xi’an. The train station was SO crowded. People were running, pushing, cutting in front of us in line. It was something that I’ve never seen before.
On the train, I decided to eat some instant wontons for lunch. However, I quickly noticed that many of my classmates chose to eat the bento lunch boxes that the train sold. I slightly regretted my decision, but the wontons were still good!
When we arrived at Xi’an, we were greeted by our new tour guide, Cindy. Cindy gave us such a warm welcome. While still walking through the train station at Xi’an, I could already tell how different this city was compared to Beijing. It was a lot more relaxed, with less people running around. For the most part, people seemed to not stare as much as well.
After dropping off our stuff at the hotel, our first stop was the Bell and Drum Towers. The history behind these two structures date backs to a long time. In front of the Drum Tower, we gathered for a group picture. Before we knew it, a crowd formed in front of us taking our pictures. Is this what it feels like to be a celebrity for a day?
For dinner, we ate at a nice dumpling restaurant. This restaurant is very well-known and has been visited by many presidents from various nations. I have never had this many dumplings in my life. From duck filled, cheese filled, chestnut filled, tomato filled, to sticky rice filled, the variety of dumplings just kept on comping out endlessly. It was SO delicious.
Afterwards, we walked through the Muslim eating streets. This was honestly my favorite spot on the trip so far. Street food was something that I highly anticipated on this trip. Also, I feel like the Muslim street gave us a closer understanding of the culture. I prefer going to places like this rather than tourist attractions. I was upset that we had already ate before because the street food that was offered looked so tasty. I already plan on going back to this street before we leave Xi’an.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Xi’an just because I didn’t really know much about it. However, the few hours spent here and have already told me that I love it.