I arrived in Xi’an after an overnight 27 hour train journey which surprisingly wasn’t too bad! I had a bed, be it an exceedingly hard bed which had three bunks in top of each other but never the less, I slept pretty well. I spent quite a while attempting to find my hostel, seemingly unable to pinpoint my location on my small scrap of a map. I was again helped by a local who insisted walking well out of her way to make sure I was able to find my way – the willingness to help is pretty outstanding really. My hostel was located right by the south gate of the city wall down a road with an extensive market of nic-nac stalls. After checking in I decided to hit the Muslim quarter, where Chinese Muslims had roads and roads of markets and food stalls. It had the most amazing smell, mouthwatering food been cooked everywhere! Most of the food was unlike anything I’d had in China so far, a delicate mix of Chinese and Indian spices. The place was really buzzing and had such a great atmosphere.
After grabbing a couple of things to eat from street food stalls I went to walk the city walls. Walls were built around the city in ancient times and still stand today. Their 14Km diameter took considerably longer than expected to walk around! Just outside the walls is a river moat with gorgeous gardens surrounding it; however, beyond the low lying city centre was the inevitable cheap high rise residential buildings – thousands upon thousands of flats that sprawled the city and made me feel like an ant in a sea of people.