|Statue of Zheng Qian, credited with opening the Silk Road which began at Xi'an. Photo Photo © by Judy Wells.|
|My name in standardized Chinese letters on paper.|
The area bisects the country south to Sechuan Province, north to Outer Mongolia, like going chin to hips on a human torso.
|Drum Tower, a familiar Xi'an landmark, Photo © by Judy Wells.|
Not far from the warriors is the Lishan hot springs area, the Tang Dynasty's winter palace.
I would recommend at least an overnight stay to take in all this area offers.
There are many more reasons to prolong your stay in Xi'an and Shaanxi Province.
|Going through the gate of Xi'an's city walls. Photo © by Judy Wells.|
Begun during the Tang Dynasty and rebuilt of brick during the Ming, they now stand 40 feet high, 40-46 feet wide at the top, 50-60 feet wide at the bottom and stretch for 8.5 miles, surrounded by a moat and park.
Inside the walls on the site of a former Confucian temple is the Beilin Museum.
|Daxia carved horse, circa 424. Photos © by Judy Wells.|
|Go to the Muslim Quarter for food of all kinds....|
|... and great people-watching. Photos © by Judy Wells.|
|Wild Goose Pagoda area by night...|
|...and by day. Photos © by Judy Wells.|
I was unable to see it, but at the top of my list for next time is the Xi'an History Museum with its enviable collection of art.
|The high-energy Northern Shaanxi Drum Dancers. Photo © by Judy Wells.|
Since 1936, Defachang has been known as the No. 1 dumpling banquet house.
More than 200 different kinds of dumplings - boiled, steamed, fried, sauteed, broiled and/or baked in a variety of shapes with a seemingly endless variety of fillings - are available.
Dishes special to Xi'an and Shaanxi include Pita break soaked in lamb soup,
And always, wonderful fresh vegetables, corn on the cob (!) and every possible kind of marinated thinly-sliced vegetable.
There are many day tours to Mount Hua (Huashan), a target for hikers and climbers (cable cars do some of the work).
|"Gourmet Street a\in Hangcheng. Photo © by Judy Wells.|
The newly opened Langdai Village Relics of the Rui Museum is a must-see.
In 2004 1,300 tombs were discovered there including seven large ones.
|Jade pig dragon.|
|Jewelry for the Empress Zhong Jiang who collected the museum's prize, a 5,000-year-old jade pig dragon.|
After five years of excavation and restoration, 26,000 relics - gold, jade, bronze, chariots, horses (not unlike those of the Terracotta Army) -
Xi'an has many excellent hotels but I found the staffs at the Wyndham Grand Xi'an Hotel, where I stayed, and the Gran Melia outstanding.
Disclosure: We paid our way to and from China but once there, we were hosted and our itinerary was set by the Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Department.