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Xi'an and the Terra Cotta Warriors

Xi'an, located about 750 miles southwest of Beijing, is a major Chinese city that is on the tourist trail mainly because of the Terra Cotta Warriors at the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. It is possible to see the Warriors in a single day (either by flying in and out of the Xi'an airport or by taking an overnight train); however, there are other sites worth seeing, including Xi'an's intact city wall, that reward those staying at least two days.

If arriving by train for a two day visit, the most convenient place to stay is in the immediate vicinity of the train station, as this gives you good access to the city bus to the Terra Cotta Warriors. We recommend the Xi'an Diamond International hotel, a block south of the train station and inside the city wall (if you are a light sleeper, ask for a room on the back side of the hotel as the windows are far from soundproof). An inexpensive and delicious Cantonese style cafeteria lunch is available just a block north of the hotel and beside the #306 bus stop (see Terra Cotta Warriors).

With over 6 million residents, Xi'an is a major city. While the area within the old city wall is reasonably small, a little walking will quickly acquaint you with the large scale of the city. Make use of the inexpensive taxis to get from place to place.

Outside of the department stores, shopping is organized by types of goods. For example, you will find blocks and blocks of shoe stores clustered a few blocks east of the train station. Paper cuts and brushes are just north east of the city's south gate. When shopping for these items, even in the temple gift shops, bargaining is expected -- and necessary, to avoid paying a grossly inflated price.

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