I found it very convenient to be housed in an apartment. We had a small kitchen with microwave, fridge and stove and a clothes washer in which Clarence’s wife washed some clothes for us. We were provided with fresh fruit, coffee and tea, eggs, bread, milk, bottled water and a couple of beers. The living/dining room was spacious and gave us a lot of room to move around. The flat screen TV even had an English station. No internet, though, which is quite a pain. One day, Clarence did arrange for me to use the internet in one of his other apartments on the second floor. We had the apartment on the 7th floor of a high rise. We were very conveniently located within walking distance of many of the city tourist sites. Others, like the big museums and Pagodas were a bus or taxi ride away. The airport is 40 km northwest and the Terra Cotta warriors are about 30 km to the east, so for those, we arranged car and driver.
Through Clarence, we arranged a driver to pick us up at the airport and take us to the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi on the way into the city. Not only that, but my husband had two caps on his front teeth fall off and Clarence graciously arranged to have the driver take us to a dentist in the city. The dentist did a beautiful job cementing them back on and the driver did an admirable job navigating Friday evening rush hour traffic in this city of 5 million inhabitants. We could not have done this without Clarence’s skillful help. Neither the driver, nor the dentist spoke English, so we called Clarence on the driver’s cell phone when we needed translation of important information. One day we hired Clarence for the day to take us on a tour of the Taoist temple, antique markets, cave dwellings and the Terra Cotta Warriors and museum. Do it. You won’t be sorry. The rest of the time we were able to get around walking and by bus and motorized tricycle.
I’m not sure what Clarence’s complete story is. I know he has been a tour guide and taxi driver for over 20 years. I guess somewhere along the line he bought 3 apartments in a high rise building just adjacent to the Muslim quarter and very close to the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower and the Great Mosque. He is also quite the artist. We stayed in an apartment on the 7th floor, but I was able to see one of the other apartments on the second floor when I went down there to use the internet. Both apartments have very large cement warriors jutting out of the walls. In one room, they are used as a headboard. In the same room, smaller warrior figures are the base of the bed. Even our shower had colorful tiles depicting warriors. There are also paintings of cave dwellings that Clarence has painted. All of these are Clarence’s creations. Someone else described the apartments as quirky and I agree. We loved them.
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- Also Known As:
- Warriors Apartment Hotel Xi`An
- Warriors Apartment China/Shaanxi