Currently writing this in Xingqinggong Park, Xi'an. Been sat here about 15 minutes and been asked to pose for 3 different photographs! Still cant get used to be looked at funny haha.
The hostel I am at is Han Tang Inn and it's only been open 3 months and is soo nice. It's like a hotel room with an en suite except there's 4 bunk beds in it. Someone is in another bunk but I didn't meet them, so it's only the 2 of us so far. The hotel is pretty quiet because it's 'down' season but that's ok.
I tried washing a load of clothes in the shower and that was a bit odd but I left them to dry and went out so I'll see if that worked when I get back. I've pretty much spent the day getting lost in xian which is nice but a bit sketchy at parts, and I definitely need to improve any map skills I've got :/
First place I went to was the Bell Tower, which was interesting in itself but due to the build up of roads and buildings it was pretty much situated on top of a roundabout
There was a performance put on by people dressed in traditional outfits and an explanation about the bell tower, but it was in chinese. I walked around and got pictures and kept getting followed by a girl so I said hello and she introduced herself as Henry (!) and could she have a picture with me :)
I then went down the street to the drum tower but didn't want to pay again to go inside so instead got lost in the markets.
I then headed towards the South gate of the Xi'an wall where I paid I go up and walk around the wall. The city wall is around 12km in total and I had been told you can hire bikes at the top and ride around but everyone kept telling me that there weren't any today :( The museum was also closed when I asked at reception this morning so maybe Monday is the Chinese Sunday?? (UPDATE: theres a light festival going on and lots of activity/performances on the wall at night which is the reason why no bikes...) Anyway, I walked about half the way round the wall and then got down and walked back round at ground level as there was a river/moat running around the walls and beautiful gardens and paths. They had outdoor gym equipment and it was so funny watching everyone use it!
I then set off in search of this park as it is the biggest in Xi'an and after another 1 1/2 hour walking I finally found it! There's a lot going on with a bandstand and a big lake in the middle which you can hire swan boats to go out into. A lady had fallen in the lake and I saw her get pulled out and a group of about 10 onlookers made her hug a tree while thy built a fire to warm her up again!
I think I'm going to head back to the hostel in a minute but I might get a taxi back because it's pretty far and I've been walking for 6 hours and I'm tired! I don't think there's really that much to do in xi'an on my own at night so I think I might plan other parts of my trip and either figure out how to get to the Terracotta Army by myself tomorrow, or just resign and book a tour if it's too difficult ha.