Sleeper Train Adventures:Day trip to Xi’an

Long distance trains are my favorite means of travel. I don’t have to drive, but I still have the freedom of making all the stops I want. Sleeper trains offer the same flexibility, with the added benefit of not having to pay for a place to sleep.

Our train ride from Kunshan was ten and a half hours. Just enough time to get settled in for a full nights sleep. I love having the top bunk! It allows me to climb right on up away from people and cozy up under the blankets to read a good book. Once I’m situated in my bed, it’s over for me. I doesn’t matter what anyone else in the sleeper car are doing.

I slept like the dead, poor Jackie didn’t sleep too well.

The other two passengers in our car disembarked a couple of stops before ours. So it gave us some time to enjoy some chill morning time by ourselves.

I booked our day in Xi’an through Catherine Lu Tours because I had such amazing guides the first time I visited China. Our itinerary then allowed us to see so much but didn’t feel overwhelming. There also weren’t unnecessary stops to try and sell us things.

It was so nice to have someone picking us up at the train station and driving us around Xi’an. I knew I needed to enjoy it while I could because we were on our own after this day.

We arrived in Xi’an at 10 am and drove a little over an hour to get to the Terracotta Army. I didn’t take many photos on this trip since I’ve already seen them. It was actually nice being able to sit back and watch Jackie do all the touristy things. I felt like a dad at the mall.

It did still give me chills when I walked through the doors into the biggest pit. Overlooking an entire army is intimidating, even if it is made of clay and missing some heads. It is an impressive sight.

Full disclosure: All of these photos are from my previous trip to Xi’an.

This is a must do trip for an anthropologist like me. It makes me giddy to think of all the other amazing treasures we have still yet to uncover. I would NOT wan’t to be in the field piecing these men together again though. My patience is too short for that life.

I can’t wait until our technology is advanced enough to keep the colors from fading once they have been uncovered. They are already so realistic.

Xi’an is such an easy city to take a quick day trip. Drive out to see the Terracotta Army, eat belt noodles for lunch (a local dish), stroll along City Wall, and finish the day shopping along Muslim Street. We didn’t walk City Wall because it was raining, but I was perfectly happy napping in the car on our drive from the Terracotta Army to Muslim Street. One thing I have become a pro at while living in China is getting a nap in whenever I can.

Muslim Street is a great place to bargain for souvenirs, or if you are like me, it’s also a great place to eat a lot of different foods. It was once again nice to stroll around while Jackie wandered along the different stands.

Jackie ended up getting a chop made for a friend. It’s an excellent gift with a lot of history behind it. Chops have been used in China for centuries to sign documents. I love not just looking at the seal designs, but also the intricately carved stone.⁣ ⁣

All in all, this was a pretty chill and uneventful day. A great warm up for the nonstop walking we would do in Beijing. We got to the station with plenty of time to catch our train. Then ended up running to our car to climb aboard because we almost missed it. Story of my life.

Sleeper Train Adventures:

Published by brianalennet

Visual anthropologist and digital storyteller

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