We were driven all the time by bus, and couldn't get an idea about parking conditions in Xi'an. However, in contrast with the Great Wall at Beijing, where we had to leave the bus 2 km before arrival, here it was easy to park near the walls door.
Privileges for tourists, rigidly controlled time, or best conditions... what is the answer?
Being a plane city, Xi'an is a good place for cycling, and bicycles may be seen everywhere.
One sign of the evolution of China is the disappearing of the traditional rickshaws.
No one runs anymore, pulling a client: nowadays, the individual transportation remains, but mainly with motorbikes, with bicycles being a fading exception.
Most visitors are afraid of Chinese food, for the risk of being presented with insects, lizards, snakes, or... who knows!
In the touristy circuits they are aware of that, and we saw nothing strange around our tables, having to walk in the popular streets to watch those odd feeding tastes.
Each meal is composed by several dishes, mainly with vegetables, and the meat is selected following the western uses. But a small funny surprise is always possible:
One day, in Xi'an, eating a chicken dish in a nice restaurant, I saw a piece with an uncommon shape.
Who knows ? (maybe Travelchinaguide): All at Once
One of the worst aspects of many escorted tours is shopping. We are always taken to selected (pricey) places where the guides expect to collect their commissions.
In many cases the time devoted to commission collecting equals the time to all the other planned visits.
Travelchinaguide was good.
They respected the obligation of taking us to see the artisans at work (and that is also important in tourism), but they didn’t exaggerate.
The visited places were selected, we covered everything that should be seen, but never felt dragged into shops. This factory in Xi’an was a good example. Several techniques demonstrated, sympathy in all the explanations, but no one was pushed to buy whatsoever.
Walking in central Xi’an looks simple, and it is, but not as much as it seems. The central tower, well illuminated at night looks the same from all the four angles, and walking around is a large and tricky way, with underground passages and wide steps.
When we thought that he had done half turn and espected to be walking down to the hotel, we really had turned only 90º and we were displacing from the hotel. Nothing that a taxi couldn’t resolve, but, remember: your hotel’s name always written in a paper.