We were on Affordable asia tour, and Lucy picked us up on time to take us to the hotel.She was our worst AA tour guide, didn't give us her phone #, was not so nice when she realized we were not using her in the day. We stayed at Grand Nobel Xian. It was a good location where you could walk places, but the beds were like rocks.
We arrived around 4, walked to the mosque area , Beiyuanmen Street Market, which is busy and has local souvenir shopping, and a fun street to explore. At night it is lit up. It is by the Drum Tower. We took a rickshaw back to the hotel, a few blocks, for 20 CYN. We ate at the dumpling restaurant #93 on the 3rd floor (excellent dumplings). There is a mall that is packed at night and there is a Walmart there, where we also explored after everything else. We bought fruit at Walmart.
Michaelylw was a perfect guide. I would highly recommend him. He had his own car, so charged 800 CYN for the day. He drove all over and paid all tolls. We went to Terra Cotta Warriors first. He had amazing history about the warriors, and you have to go with him to hear about the German man who snuck in with the warriors. We then went to Hanyangling museum in a different direction, where you can walk over the ruins on glass. The warriors are very small, but you can see them up close, and there are animals and other things there. It is only a short time, and if you can arrange it on the way to the airport it would be perfect. But since we were there only once, I am glad we saw it. On the way Michael answered all our questions about his life as well, his family, etc. We went to the Drum Tower, and Bell Tower as well. We also went to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda ( a temple). Of course Michael had great history about it. Next to it was a mall that had a show on the roof, like Fremont Street Las Vegas. Worth it if you haven't seen that.
Michaelylw@yahoo.com.cn or firstname.lastname@example.org We learned the most about China by him! Thanks Michael!!
Next day we rode bikes on the city wall, another must do. Kids got a double bike, and it was really hard as the handles in the back move the seat in the front. Great view of the city.
Again, Xian is crowded, 7-8 million. ( I stupidly thought it was a small ancient city)
People are always out, aren't they at work, day and night, and it is smoggy.
Wonderful city. Squat toilets, bring tp and wipes.