Continuing on from part I, Xi’an City Wall and the Muslim Quarter is also 2 of Xi’an’s very popular sights.
5) Xi’an City Wall
The city wall stands about 13 kms long, 12-14m wide and 12 metres high. This is the first landmark that tourists will come across as soon as making their ways to Xi’an. This wall surrounds the entire city in a large square area.
Because the wall is so long and wide, it did take quite a while before we finally found an entrance. But luckily, there is beautiful garden near the main section of the wall so it was nice to be able to take a stroll through this beautiful place even when we were lost and still searching for the gate entrance.
This was the gardens which we came across while searching for the gate entrance.
To find the entrance to the city wall, you have to find side of the wall where all the shops are, not the garden side. So go to the other side of this wall that you see and there you will be able to find a passage way which will leave you to the entrance of this wall.
So cost when I went was 27 rmb to enter the wall, but from what I’ve heard, seems like the entry fees have now increased. This cost does not cover any bike rentals – strictly entry fee only.
It definitely does not make sense to explore the Xi’an city wall without hiring a bike to cycle around this. For about 4o rmb/yuan, you can hire a bike for 1.5 hours. You’ll see the bikes area as soon as you walk up the stairs from the entrance to the city wall start.
When hiring a bike, you must make sure to return the bike by the finishing time or else you lose your deposit.
TIP: Make sure you bring some cash with you, especially for the bike rentals. Because the deposits are in the form of cash.
While riding around on this city wall, this was one of the views which I was pretty intrigued by. It’s beautiful to even just see what the architecture from all around Xi’an really looks like. Because no two places looks the same.
They also have an army who march around the main entrance so you really feel like you’re a part of Xian’s historical culture. I absolutely loved it. And whilst I stand at about 5’32”, I was standing right under their shoulders, so these ‘acting’ soldiers are incredibly tall !
The entrance square :
Exiting the wall entrance to get back out to the city:
6) Muslim Quarter
The Muslim Quarter is the center of Xian’s muslim community, hence these streets are filled with stalls selling Muslim food and drinks, gifts and all sorts of souvenirs.
This is located just North of the Drum Tower, so you’ll see it as soon as you walk around this area.
These were like pieces of nuts which were made to combine and become pieces of peanut crackers. These are delicious so if you happen to walk past these, definitely give it a try. They sell them in small boxes so it’s also perfect for gifting, but be careful as you carry these around cause it will definitely break and not stay put.
For me, it’s just amazing to be able to explore the local streets around this area. I’m not used to streets like this, because living in a Western country, everything is very different. Hence why I always feel so fortunate when visiting these places and seeing how different it is and how people actually adapt to lifestyles that they would see as normal and foreigners would see to be very different.
And let me just say, it wouldn’t make sense for China to have small shops. There’s always going to be huge stores. Here, Segbuy pretty much sells everything electronic ! From tv, to computers to game stations and stereo systems. This place is huge with multiple levels, hence why it’s called a ‘market’. This shop works like a shopping centre where you have multiple stores selling very similar products. Unlike your normal shops where you have separate smalls stores within a centre, everyone has their small pop up within 1 centre. So it’s like going to a department store.
Xi’an is definitely worth a visit because of it’s depth in culture and history. Mind you, Xi’an is one of China’s oldest city so if you’re intrigued by the history of China, Xi’an is the best place to start.