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Xi’an to Chengdu, China

Day 137: Country #15.2

I decided to take a look around the walled area on the southwest corner, away from the high end shops that ran through the center, and busier parts of the city center. I found narrower streets, a fair amount of smaller shops as well as locals going about their daily lives. The outdoor hair cut stalls were particularly interesting.

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Play Mahjong as you wait in line for a haircut, Xi’an, China.

Eventually, I found my way to Muslim Street, one of the popular tourist attractions in the city. Muslim street is a combination food street and flee market located around a large Mosque. It reminded me a bit of the large market around Ampel Mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia. I found the economic relativity of the situation interesting. Everywhere else I had been, Chinatown served as the center for flee market style commerce which arose out of necessity due to persecution and isolation of the community within these countries. China’s version of china town was reflected in their ethnic persecuted minority, Muslims.

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Large jack fruit being carved up and sold in a tiny stall on Muslim Street, Xi’an, China.

I then walked around and stopped by a few smaller sites such as the Stele Forest Museum (not a real museum) and the Yong Ning International Art Museum (not a real museum, either) before returning to the hostel to coordinate some travel plans such as filing a visa application to Sri Lanka, then grabbing my bag to catch the train to Chengdu.

I didn’t anticipate that most tickets would be sold out and ended up purchasing a super cheap upright seat for my overnight train ride resulting in a lot of this…

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Buy your sleeper class tickets in advance when in China.

At a moderately fast pace, it’s possible to see and experience enough of a city within three to five days. You can break it up by geography such as city center, north, south, etc, or in very dense and easily traversable cities, by types of activities such as museums, modern structures, commercial center, etc. They key is to keep moving.


  1. wouw…must be very tired with those upright seat train back to Chengdu. Last time I was there, I had trouble as well to purchase sleeper train directly but then I used a travel agent to reserved a bed for me with a fee and luckily it was okay.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s ok to have a rough night once in a while. I try to make up for the sleep debt every couple of weeks when I do laundry and do other errands. Someone told me about the Ctrip app, which is super useful. It directly accesses the available tickets database so you can see how many tickets are available. I check it throughout the day so I can easily see my travel options, but I try not to book it using the app because I think their fees are very high. Instead, I plan my day so I pass by the train station ahead of time if I see that sleeper tickets are selling out quickly. In the worst case scenario, I guess I will buy using the app, but I don’t think it’s worth it for me to buy every time using the app. One other reason is because I can’t predict if my plans will change, so I don’t want to lock into a path too early.

      Liked by 1 person

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