Oct 9 2016

Bell Tower Youth Hostel 鐘樓青年旅舍

img_84161 North Street, Beilin District
Xi’an, Shaanxi 陕西, China

Since my plan isn’t inked in stone so I reserved this hotel just in case. I also tried to score an overnight train back to Taiyuan but was unable. Neither worked so I stayed.

It’s next to the Bell Tower, if location is important to you, this is it. Other than that, this place has nothing else to offer.

When I checked in, the staff couldn’t find my reservation. They looked into their monitor, digging, digging and digging. Finally found me on Expedia even I booked it on Booking.com for US$19.

What or whom does the Internet try to fool – themselves or the consumers?

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Looking out from the 2nd floor terrace

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Oct 9 2016

Roman Holiday, Xi’an edition

Xi’an, Shanxi, China

西安冒险记:话说温泉出来 打不到车去音乐会🎼. 时间一分钟一分钟消失,心急如火 … 一个骑🏍️的老爷爷骑士过来,看俺站街站的挺辛苦💦,就问“去哪儿?”
”西安音乐厅“
“现在没有车肯去那里.“ 停了一下,“我送你去,35元.”
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没有头盔,八成是偷偷摸摸,可不能上!不过人人都有大脑进水的时候 [嘘],况且俺有“合理”的原因. 二话不说就上了 (还记得理查 吉尔 Richard Gere 的🎬 An Officer and a Gentleman?)
接下来的30分钟虽然不能说是最,但是挺接近[惊恐]:逆行,闯红灯 (没有停过一次;一定是色盲😱)翻山越岭 上天桥 下地洞. 停下来的几次是问路 … 铤而走险 这绝对是黄河协奏曲和田园交响乐的魅力. [呲牙]
西安音乐厅周围规划的挺漂亮的,颇高大上. 一老头骑个小🏍️送个老太婆也挺够风景的哈,虽然他的车只有🎬里的🏍️ 1/2 大;(晚上回酒店的出租车只跳了 27元 😝)
今天早上一出酒店,看见钟楼前的交通,比昨晚的规矩些.
特此一纪. Irene 建议 大家都虽应该去试试 (后果自负哈)😂
The 🔚


Oct 9 2016

Xi’an 西安

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Xi’an, Shaanxi 陕西, China

It’s my first time there. I like it.

She’s an air of old and proper.  Money’ed.

Sophistication perhaps.

Near the North Station.

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The Bell Tower 西安钟楼  built in 1384, next to my hotel.

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Oct 9 2016

Xi’an Bei 西安北站

Xi’an North train station, Shaanxi, China

Glad to find a fruit store but the ¥25 smoothy tastes fake.

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Oct 9 2016

Yellow River concerto @ Xi’an Concert Hall

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Yingnan YiLu
西安市曲江新区雁南一路
Xi’an, Shaanxi 陕西, China

Finding the XiAn Concert Hall is a chord and an adventure. No one seems to know where it is, from tour guide to taxi driver.

Yellow River concerto seems to be the favorite for celebrating the National Day. I last heard it in Hong Kong in 2010, and glad to find this concert with wonderful program, somewhat fitting into my schedule during this trip.

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  1. Wonderful program: it’s Yellow River, which, probably has less chance being played outside of China. Beethoven’s 6th Symphony ‘Pastoral’ is an added bonus if not an equal attraction.
  2. Somewhat fitting: I’m going to Xi’an from Taiyuan but will have to go back there to meet someone.
  3. My adventure: getting to the concert hall.
  4. The last stroke that almost break my back: I forget to pick up my checked in bag at the concert.

Of course all of the above didn’t exist when I booked the concert.

I missed the first piece, Spring Festival due to my adventure. The pianist Shi Xiaoya sucks, big time, can’t get his notes right 连滚带爬的, far away from clean. OMG! Given what I’ve been through to sit here, I feel being cheated.

The principal conductor Dane Lam (戴恩·兰姆) is ok.

XiAn Concert Hall 西安音乐厅 is decent with many on going events, surrounded by grand buildings. The last stroke to my injury is, I forgot to pick up my checked in bag. Thank lord I couldn’t get a taxi cab at first.

曲目单 Program

  • 春节序曲, 李焕之 Spring Festival,  Li Huanzhi
  • 黄河钢琴协奏曲, 殷承宗等改编  The Yellow River Piano Concerto, Yin ChengZong
    —中场休息 Intermission—
  • 节日序曲, 肖斯塔科维奇 Festival Overture, Shostakovich
  • 第六交响曲“田园”第一乐章,  贝多芬 Symphony No. 6 allegro, Beethoven
  • 沃尔塔瓦河, 斯美塔那  Vltava,  Smetana
  • 爵士第二组曲, 肖斯塔科维奇 Jazz Suite No .2

Oct 9 2016

Aegean Bath, a rude awakening

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Huaqing Aegean International Hot Springs Resort & Spa
华清爱琴海国际温泉酒店
No.8 Shangu Avenue, Lintong District,
Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710600, China

According to my tour guide at the terracotta army, this bath house (6 miles/10 km west of  terracotta army), a little off city center (华清池和骊山仅有3分钟的车程), without doubt, is the best in town, costing about ¥160. She walks me to the bus (¥9) that stops right at the resort.

** Please bring a bathing suit **

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The compound is pretty big, lush and dated. The bath house is flanked by multiple buildings (hotels). At reception, a young man said the fee to the bath is “¥296.”
“Oh … I was told it’s ¥160.”
“That’s price for tour guide. Are you a tour guide?”
“I’m not but my tour guide guides me here.”
“Ok, I can’t give you that price but how about ¥188?” I end up paying ¥296/US$44.38, which includes ¥108 bathing suit (the cheapest in their store) that’s required.

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After checking in my shoes, I go in. Facing with at least four openings, I’m a little lost and looking toward a young staff for direction, she scolds,
“NOT that one. THIS one …”
Her savage manner and voice is simply shocking. I read this fellow traveler’s review that they’re not set up for westerners, she’s right. Mandarin is my native tongue but I’ve trouble to understand their attitude.
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The ponds or tubs are all out door, linked by the winding covered corridor. They claim the spring is from the famed HuaQing Spring. The water temperatures are displayed and vary from tubs to tubs, which mean, they heat … ? What else do they do to the spring? They provides tea, cookies and bananas, neglectable compare to Beijing and Shanghai.

 


Oct 9 2016

Xi’an Terracotta Army 兵马俑

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Lintong Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

Very enjoyable.

I take the 7 am train from Taiyuan S, arriving Xi’an North at 10:48 am. The train ticket provides a free direct shuttle to the museum, which is 25 miles/40 km east.

Xuzhou’s Terracotta Warriors 汉兵马俑 *

There are many tour guides soliciting by the bus depot. I go with a young woman who charges ¥90 who’s patient and thorough. The admissions to the museum is ¥150. The path leading up to the museum is pleasant.

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It’s a wet day but luckily I didn’t get rain on. There are two displaying buildings, #1 is the main hall. The terracotta army bingmayong  (兵马俑 soldier and horse funerary statues) is a huge collection of terracotta sculptures buried with emperor Qinshihuang, dating back to 210–209 BCE, to protect the emperor in his afterlife. They were unearthed in 1974 by a local farmer who went to digging for water well. The sign in Chinese is warning visitors to be mindful to prevent stampede.

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Inside, the exhibits are nicely presented.

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I shop at their store then part with the tour guide who sees me off  to the Aegean Bath.


Oct 2 2016

Shaanxi 陕西

The Yellow River passes though it.