"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you..." - Lao Tzu.
Day 02: 23 May 2013
Xi’an is the capital city of Shaanxi Province, the start point of the ancient Silk Road, most famed for its army of terracotta warriors and horses. Other attractions are the Ancient City Wall, the Drum and Bell Towers of Xi'an, the Great Mosque of Xi'an and the Stele Forest.
|(View of Xi'an City from our hotel room)|
|(Chequered lawn outside The Terracotta Museum)|
|(Terracotta Workshop and Show room)|
|(Replicas of Terracotta soldiers in the factory)|
The Terracotta Warriors represent only a small portion of the eight thousand strong underground army buried in front of the Emperor Qin shihuang's tomb to defend him in the afterlife. The craftsmanship attested by each of the statues is as stupendous as the scale of the project. 700,000 forced laborers were sacrificed to construct his tomb which begun as soon as he ascended the throne. The Terracotta Warriors form just one of the many barriers the ruthless Emperor employed to protect his tomb for eternity.
|(The largest pit where terracotta warriors and horses were excavated)|
|(Complete terracotta warriors on display)|
|(Remnants yet to be restored)|
From the Terracotta Museum we went back to the city to have a late lunch at one of the many Muslim restaurants in the Muslim quarters. After lunch we walked for a short distance to the most famous mosque in Xi’an and its nearby Muslim community and Bazaar. The Great Mosque of Xi'an, located near the Drum Tower is the oldest, well-preserved and one of the most renowned mosques in the country.
|(The entrance of the Great Mosque of Xi’an)|
|(The entrance to the courtyards)|
The mosque remains a popular tourist site of Xi'an, and is still used by Chinese Muslims mainly the Hui people. Unlike most mosques, the Great Mosque of Xi'an is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations, the mosque has neither domes nor traditional-style minarets.
|(The main prayer hall)|
|(Intricate calligraphy around the Grand Mosque)|
We performed our prayers in the mosque and later were given a few hours free time to shop in the Bazaar before we had dinner in the same restaurant. For tonight's dinner we had the famous pulled noodle soup with beef, a traditional local Chinese dish.
|(In the Muslim Quarters, getting to know the locals)|
|(The famous pulled noodle dish and spicy chicken satay)|
Tonight we stayed another night at The Grand New World Hotel.