The Terracotta Warriors is the most impressive attraction in Xian. Every year, millions of travelers fly to the former capital just to set eyes on the subterranean army, But what’s next? The answer is plenty, and here are some of the best.
The smell of mutton fills the air.
Chinese historians think Xi’an was the starting point of the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking China with the Middle East and Europe. From cuisine to clothing, the city is deeply influenced by Islamic culture.
Xi’an’s Islamic heritage is best observed in the Muslim Quarter, or Huimin Jie in Mandarin, located in the center of Xi’an old town.
Like Chinatowns, Muslim Quarter is the community for local Muslim Hui people, a Muslim ethnic group in China. The 1,800-square-meter neighborhood has 10 mosques and more than 20,000 Hui inhabitants.
It’s also one of the best food streets in Xi’an. Narrow alleys are packed with tiny restaurants and that spill out onto the street.
Most symbolic local eats include hand-cut wheat noodles dao xiao mian (刀削面), Chinese-style hamburger rou jia mo (肉夹馍), spice jellynoodles ma jiang la pi (麻酱拉皮), and cumin-sprinkled lamb kebabs(烤羊肉串). Food Street runs till midnight.
Shaanxi History Museum
Buddha sculpture dating back more than 1,000 years from the Song Dynasty.
The provincial history museum is an ideal place to learn about Chinese history, especially the Tang Dynasty.
The 65,000-square-meter building displays some 370,000 cultural relics discovered from the Stone Age to 1840.
Most displays have English descriptions. Entry to the museum is free but only 4,000 visitors are allowed in on any given day.
All items at the gift shop are tagged with a proposed price. Visitors can bargain before purchase. A sensible bid is half of the original price.
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