02 Jul 2010 @ 5:21 PM 

there are still more pictures to come, but we have a few pictures for this blog entry, so click here for them.

after leaving tibet, we departed for xi’an and beijing, the two crown jewels of the chinese empire. xi’an i known for the terra cotta warriors and we were planning on seeing it the next morning because we got in a 9 PM. the hostel we were staying at was really promising, it had a very clean and nice shower, and even had fast wifi in the room (!!!). as we started to upload a lot of pictures, the power randomly went out around 1 AM and didn’t go back on until we checked out. this meant that there were no hot showers and no more internet, therefore putting the constant hold on our pictures.

whatever the case was, we made it to the terra cotta warriors around 10 AM. earlier in our china trip, there were a lot of backpackers at a “backpacker’s hostel” who ranted about how the terra cotta warriors were terrible. since i think most backpackers are pretty stupid and try and outdo each other in how much more independent they can get (and how many more off-the-beaten-track tourist sites they can go to), i figured their opinion was practically worthless. it turns out that after seeing the terra cotta warriros, i can’t even fathom how someone could go there and not like them. the site was like an open excavation pit that you can see the work and progress they have done and continue to be doing, along with the hundreds of warriors they found in tact in the first pit they discovered. it’s very ridiculous how these clay figurines are still standing hundreds of years later. and they are all different looking, which is insane.

robin had a field day at the terra cotta warriors because she is obsessed with archaeology, and also had very high impressions about the site. we both left there with very high feelings and also discussing how people could possibly not like it that much. on the way out, we saw the greatest site ever: a subway. we hadn’t had a sandwich in days and were craving one, and subway was the perfect find. funny enough, subway in china is exactly the same as subway in the US.

in the second part of our day in xi’an, we wandered the city and walked on the city walls. also, robin bought a new camera, which meant that i didn’t have to hear her cry about a camera anymore, which is doubleplusgood for me. at night time, we boarded a train to beijing (and weirdly, the people in our cabin were from the US, so we got to speak english on the train).

our train arrived three hours late, and coupled with our taxi driver dropping us off at the wrong place, we got to our hostel five hours later than planned. it was raining pretty hard, so we decided not to go see the sites that day. we had to get to one of the long distance bus stations to book our overnight bus and the guy gave us a ticket that i have no idea is real. hopefully we actually get on the bus. but we also did book a dinner at one of the best peking duck restaurants. before we went to dinner, we stopped by tiananmen square which i didn’t think that was as large as things make it out to be, and snapped some photos of the world’s most populous country’s national capital. we also found out that this was robin’s first visit to a national capital!

so beijing roast duck (peking duck) was probably the best food i’ve had in a long, long time. the pieces of meat lightly stick to the crispy skin and it all just melts in your mouth when you start to eat it. it was so delicious, and because we liked it so much, we went AGAIN to get more duck the next night. the beginning of our second day, we booked a great wall hike and spend about three hours hiking around on the jinshanling great wall. the sun was beating down on us and it was a little hard scrambling up crumbled pieces of wall, but it was still very fun and gave us a good workout. it also gave robin a good sunburn.

in the evening, we went to the night market and i ate sigma’s relative, which tasted much like schnitzel. robin then bought a few english language books at the foreign language bookstore because she’s anti-social and likes to dig her head in books in public places. we ended the night by eating our second duck and watching brazil lose to the netherlands. also, i fixed robin’s computer so i could use the internet. the power outage had screwed with robin’s computer enough that we weren’t able to access the internet, but it’s not a problem anymore.

so today is our last day in china, and we plan on visiting the forbidden palace and then getting on our overnight bus to the mongolian border. we’ll be in mongolia soon and we really don’t know what’s in store for us. stay tuned!

What are the second and third most populous countries?


Posted By: Sunil
Last Edit: 11 Jul 2010 @ 07:31 AM

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