I headed out obscenely early to catch an eight hour train to Xi'an, home to the historical and unbelievable terracotta warriors. This train ride wasn't as excruciating as it sounds. I took the most comfortable transportation possible- a high speed train that glided through the Chinese countryside at more than 300 kilometers (aka about 190 miles) per hour. This is an awesome way to travel. It's actually quite comfortable, much easier than plane travel (seriously,) and much more organized than any other means of transport in China. It's a cool way to see the rural areas of the country as well.
I got into Xi'an with the expectation of finding myself in a small city, because that's what I was told I would find. I should have known better. This is a small city according to Chinese standards; Xi'an is home to a mere 8 million people. Imagine hopping off the train system to THAT. Oh, sure, OK. After meandering down a web of alleys to find my hostel, I adventured out into the Muslim Quarter. Holy streetfood, batman. This was block after block of amazing snacks and meals. Beef sandwiches, pomegranate juice, rice cakes...I swear the city is worth visiting for this food alone.
1. I know more Mandarin (the official Chinese language) than I thought. I was speaking for the people that I adventured with.
2. Always ask for help when you need to; people will give you directions and help you figure things out...just not if you don't ask