Most people come me to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors, and rightfully so… They are the third largest draw in China. But there is a lot more to this city. If it is possible for a city of 10 million, I found Xi’an to feel almost sleepy after Beijing. The pace seemed slower and the traffic was lighter. Also, Xi’an has a feel of old. It was the capitol of China for centuries and is one of the only walled cities in China.
The Wall divides the city into old and new. Inside the wall, there are height limits in the buildings and you can walk the old, traditional streets. Outside the wall, you see the constant building of high rises for the younger inhabitants of the city.
We spent our remaining time in Xi’an walking the old streets and visiting religious shrines.
The first streets led to a mosque that was literally surrounded by its neighborhood. The mosque has been operating at this location for over four hundred years, which is remarkable, given China’s old and new stance on religion, AND recent world events that sadly illustrated an often intolerance for anything different than the traditional.
Next we headed for a more open square in the old city. The old men were flying kites and families brought their kids out in an unusually sunny day
This square again illustrated the old and new… The traditional temple and pagoda of the old, while, just across the street, the latest fashions and sportswear of the new fashion malls await.