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City Walls, the warriors, dumplings and the large goose pagoda
Bus drivers, roads outside the city walls and the dust in winter
In a nutshell
Everyone should see the warriors but it's a long journey for a couple of hours
Cheapest and nicest dumplings I ate in china. Can't remember how much they cost but it was pennies (or cents if you like). Very popular with the locals. There a number of stall located about 150 metres from the Bell tower hotel crossing the road past Macdonalds on your right hand (yes they are everywhere).
Favorite Dish: steamed Pork dumpling
Written Aug 24, 2005
We were very lucky to have a Chinese friend with us to interpret, but this lady can also supply an English speaking guide. She was fabulous to us and we found her to be fair, trustworthy, prompt and helpful. You negotiate a daily rate with her which saves money.
If you need the guide (Holly), you will only be able to fit a maximum of 3 passengers in the car.
Her name is Li Yue Ai, but she told us to call her "Zafu" which means a kind of guide. If you can speak Chinese, (not sure of dialect) her number is 13991 828 685.
Updated Feb 25, 2005
Phone: 13909 229 505 (Holly)
There's very little western influence here and not as many tourist travel this far north. I was contstantly stared, pointed and snickered at. Extremely rare to find anyone who speaks English and if you go up to someone to ask something next thing you'll know you've drawn a sizeable crowd in which you're the source of amusement.
Updated Oct 27, 2006
Every organised tour I went on followed this format. You get on the bus and are taken to a factory, silk, jade or even medical. You will spend as much time in these places as you do on your destination. In reality this was only one stop in Xian but in Beijing you couldn't go more than a couple of miles before you were being offered something else to buy
Unique Suggestions: I think you have to be blunt with the rep who sells you the trip. Make sure they have told you what stops will take place and for how long. At least you'll know.
Fun Alternatives: I suppose you could try and take a taxi out to the warriors. Make sure you agree the price before you set off and that the driver hasn't wired the meter up to his rev counter. It depends on your command of the language I suppose. It is possible to take a public bus to the site but I didn't check that out. I got the feeling from others that it is not a straightforward option
Updated Aug 24, 2005
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Flat comfortable shoes
Hat or umbrella
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Immodium and gastrolites
Miscellaneous: Don't eat the lettuce, even if it is washed in bottled water, it gave us both tummy upsets.
Written May 7, 2005