Day 136: Country #15.2
Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi Province (state) and a previous capital of all China. It served as the beginning of the ancient silk road and has grown to become a mega city.
I set out to catch up on Xi’an’s museums, starting with the Shaanxi History Museum which showcased large displays of artifacts from the ancient to the Tang era. Admission is free but limited to a quota each day, so make sure to arrive early.
Then I made my way through the city, enjoying the some of the smaller city streets and observed day to day life along the way to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda which contained the Xi’an Museum. Though a little smaller, it’s displays tell the story of China’s different dynasties and their influence on the city.
Next, I explored the gardens around the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, taking in the intentionally under manicured grounds, which gave it a much more natural feel.
When I got back to the hostel, I learned to play Majong with some of the staff and talked to some other tourists to learn about their China travels.
Quota based systems such as museums and transportation are designed to allow both locals and foreigners to share without crowding out one group or the other. If you know there’s a quota, ask if there’s a foreigner line or else you might waste a lot of time waiting in the local line.