Xi'an and Shanghai make my holiday awesome

February 2, 2021

I made the 2nd trip to China in 2019 to visit Xi'an and Shanghai with some neighborings. Why I only visited those two? As the first trip was included with other renown cities. I felt so blessed that I made it the second time to see Xi'an and Shanghai as these destinations were amazing to explore.

Xi'an is recommended for the culture and history lovers

This province is an ancient capital of China which is an important piece in the history timeline of this country. Its previous name was Chang'an or the Walled City of Chang'an which was divided into 3 parts: The Palace City, The Imperial City for officials and The Outer City for merchant and artisans. Xi'an was the Eastern Terminus for the renown Silk Road too. In term of history, since AD 1000 Chang'an has been the capital under some of dynasty in which Qin Shi Huang is more outstanding.

Traveling to Xi'an, almost everyone of domestic and international visitors will make their day trip to the tomb of Qin Shi Huang. Good or bad, he did made great things and construction projects which became famous tourism destinations for China like the Great Wall in Beijing and his Terracotta Army in Xi'an and other canals. HisTerracotta is so amazing sophisticated. Every details of each costumes, facial expressing, etc. tells a meaning of it that the local tour guide will let you know.

Just to expect that this place will be populated and enormous to visit all parts. I wasted some time to wait for the crowd leave to see the relics.

In Xi'an downtown, there are pretty places to stroll. Comparing to the Imperial Citadel in Beijing, The Xi'an Wall is more pleasant to walk on. Xi'an Ancient City Wall of 13.7km long and 12-14m high is among the most intact walls of China these days. This fortification wall also let visitors ride bicycles up there too. Bikes can be hired easily on the wall. If I had more time I would definitely come there some more times to enjoy the breeze and contemplate surrounding residents.
AClosed to Xi'an Wall is the wallking street with Muslim corner, the Drum Tower and Bell Tower. This area a huge place to walk around too. The Muslim entered and allowed to live together with the reserved Chinese. They were provided a private corner for thier own cultural and religious practice. And the architecture is also the blend between 2 cultures too.

If you ever make it here, try the Chinese Hamburger with options of pork and mutton (for the Muslim). It was so tasty to say.

The locally cooked persimmons were good but a bit sweet to me. Other snacks were all great too.

Next evening was for South Gate Square of Xi'an where with with more locals and traditional entertainments on street. Beside walking, shopping, there are local people at different ages doing excercises, dancing and so on. At the end of  the Square locating the Golden Goose Temple.

Food to eat in Xi'an

My experiences on eating was great with so many local dishes like hot-pot, cooked fish, dim-sum, crepes, and rice cooked by the locals.

The broth look so spicy and oily. Fortunately, they have smaller pot at the center for those can't eat spicy things.
In most of the restaurants, the napkins aren't included that you should prepare your own. This hot-pot restaurant also don't include canned source for the guests. These are all the local norms and we just followed that.

This is the Chinese crepes stuffed with vegetables and meats options.

I was curious of home cooked meal to be like; and yeah, a friend (partner) invited me to her home and cook the dishes for me. This was cozy and pretty similar to our dining culture. The dishes in Xi'an are more spicy and sweeter. However, they added more cooking herbs that made the food really tasty.

Shanghai was out of my expectation

As per my normal planning way, I just read and list out all the things to do in Shanghai and put them on the map to create the most convenient route for my visiting. Shanghai is so charming that I'd use the transportation at least.

Shanghai so far is known like the city of paradox and changes. Nearly 6,00 years ago Shanghai was a fishing village. After the Opium War, the British made this city on the sea the treaty port connecting the commercial of China with the world. Not long later, in 1930s Shanghai became the "Paris of the East" for it vibrance and prosperousity.
The city is embraced by Yangzi River which also let us know two parts of Shanghai. Oneside, locating the traditional and cultural corners. Visitors often come here for visiting, shopping, enjoying street food and so on.

The Yuyuan Garden and its surrounding are charming to see and learn of Shanghai old architectural and cultural styles.

Shanghai ancient town is quiet with small alleys and attached houses.

Nanjing Road with large roads for street food and shopping. There are subway with gates right in the Nanjing Road that convenient to reach to.
If visiting only this part, you won't see the whole Shanghai. The other part, also on the other side of Yangzi River are the skyscrapers and finiancial hubs.

The Bund with banks commual buildings facing the river.

Beautiful sunset over the river.

Buildings, large roads and tree lines.

There it is the skyscrapers with headquarters of many international finiancial giants and banks. The Oriental Pearl Tower (Television) is also outstading. Tourists can buy entrance to get to the top of the highest tower and see the overview of Shanghai. For me the breeze on river and the crossing bridge was lovely enough that I didn't go up.

From Shanghai, there are chances to visit Suzhou and Hangzhou too. The express train is helpful for the shortest driving hour. I did enjoy the train alot - clean, modern, fast and English was available. On the way, you'll see another aspect of China too with residential living building, the industry, etc.

Food in Shanghai were tasty

Apart from the street food that I took very option on the road. I can say any time that I felt hungry and thristy I bought snacks, drinks, and fruits from local store with my extremely modest Chinese communication.

I did enjoy the most are the red shrimp, pork rib. This is just a very local restaurant that I entered by chances. While waiting for the food, they bring a seperate teaport for me too. Not too spicy and very tasty.

Noodles with beef were awesome. The soup (noodle broth) was tasty and seem rich of nutritions as alike Pho of Vietnam, the beef was stewed for hours. After the big noodle bowl. the Xiaolongbao which is very bigh with shrimp sauce insode made me found it hard to breath. But both of them were brilliant and highly suggested to eat. I also picked randomly a local restaurant nearby Yuyuan Garden.

Forget about other factors, Xi'an and Shanghai are highly recommended for travel buffs. Hope you have great experiences too!