It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

20160930_172417       20160930_174626            On a Friday afternoon in September, we decided to go to the “Hutongs”. Hutongs are alleyways and lanes of old and close together houses that are arranged around a central courtyard. Most Hutongs are found by the Forbidden City. We took the bus and subway to get to there. Once we arrived, we immediately went into a leather working shop. That would be one of the many shops we visited. Here are some of the other shops we saw : a “snuff” shop, many food vendors, amber rock shop, bubble drink vendor, tea shops, and music shops. (We all learned not to drink the dry ice in the bubble drink!) I liked all the food we tried, including lamb kabbobs and the “candied fruit on a stick”. Continue reading “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”


The Heart of Xi’an: The Muslim Quarter


Maybe it was the illuminated drum and bell towers. Maybe it was the busy hum of the food street. Or maybe it was the excited hush of back road shops. Whatever it was, it made the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an one of our favorite parts of China. The excitement and diversity we found in the heart of this city made quite an impression!  Continue reading “The Heart of Xi’an: The Muslim Quarter”

The Xi’an Dumpling Gang


After the long bullet train ride to Xi’an we were tired, hungry, and needing to stretch our legs. We checked into our hotel for a short rest and then adventured out to find food.
While visiting us in Beijing, Nana recommended to us a dumpling place in Xi’an, so we set that as our targeted destination. After navigating our way across the street, around construction, dodging eager taxi drivers who were quite positive we needed a ride, and up and down multiple flights of stairs, we finally found the restaurant. (We just knew it was the right one when we saw the golden dumpling. I mean, it has a golden dumpling, it’s got to be good.) Continue reading “The Xi’an Dumpling Gang”

Terracotta Warriors: You can’t take it with you when you go – but you can try


“This is amazing,” I thought to myself while looking over the oldest army in the world.  It almost seemed surreal to me when I imagined that I could be standing in the same spot Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, stood around 2226 years ago to survey his army when it was vibrantly painted and ready to march off to battle. Qin Shi Huang built this army to fight for him in the afterlife and to protect his tomb from intruders, and though these clay warriors may have failed their original mission, many of them still stand strong thousands of years later as a testament to his name. And that is an accomplishment to be proud of.

Continue reading “Terracotta Warriors: You can’t take it with you when you go – but you can try”

“Bullet” Train Adventures


So far in our China adventures, we’ve traveled by plane, van, bus, and subway.  Last week, we experienced a whole new way to travel . . . we took a high speed “bullet” train!

We left Beijing headed to visit two new cities, Xi’an and Yangling.  We will cover those cities and experiences separately in a different post.  Today, we’ll just cover our adventures getting to our destination! Continue reading ““Bullet” Train Adventures”