Well lets see what we can re cap from the last time that we updated: sam... filling in x'ian - yongshuo... enjoy...
When we got to the train station we had to walk for 10 minutes with all our bags to the bus which took us to the hotel, when we arrived we were all feeling pretty dirty when we arrived at Xian so the first thing we did was have a shower. Once we felt human again we all went on a walk around xian with our guide so we knew where everything was. Then we all went for lunch in the Muslim street, where we had lunch. Our guide Shirley told us that we were getting a bread dish, but it was not bread as we know it. It was small bread cubes in a soup, it was better than it looked. After lunch it was free time so most of us just had a wander, we went to a few shops, Tess managed to get a really nice and cute coat for 5 pound, I was very jealous but they didn't have my size :(. Then we did our usual and went to the supermarket in search of western food- but it was a not so successful trip. That evening we just ate tea in the room as we couldn't stomach another chinese meal and we just had a relaxing night in.
The next day we went to see the terracotta warriors- we had another guide that took us there, she was much better than the guide who took us to the forbidden city as we could actually understand what she was saying. It was good to actually know what the terracotta warriors were and why they were their as none of us has a clue.
We also had lunch at a pizza place as we were all craving some western food, it was really good and we ate lots, lol.
It is a pretty big city which unfortunately we didn't get to see much of as the weather was foggy which meant we didn't get to see all the big buildings. The first night we were there we went to an acrobats show which was a bit weird, it was funny as some of the props and outfits were obviously home made, but it was still good, we saw a girl doing the hula hoop with about 100 hoops, and a ball of death with 5 motorbikes going round, a women balancing on her arm and a lot of chairs for quite a long time, and much more interesting things.
The next day we went to the tourism bund- which is in this tunnel and was not very good at all, we went to a light show in a tunnel, and to see a hall of Buda's and a fish thing, and a chinese sex museum, so you can imagine a pretty random day.
This was not like any of the cities we had been, it was much smaller, and prettier, it was like a small backpacker place. It had a lot of western food- which was nice, we had the best apple crumble! mmmmmm.. The first night we all just met up and went for food and drinks together, the place we went to did both chinese and western food, me and tess decided on the chinese and it was very yummy- besides the beer fish which came out on a plate still whole.
The next day some people did kung fu at 8 am but me and tess passed on that and had a much needed lie in and we went to do some shopping instead, the only problem was that it was raining lots, so we just got wet through- especially Tessa's trainers. Luckily for us we had a massage appointment- relaxation body massage and foot reflexology- which we were both really looking forward to. However it was not as we had imagined, the room was really cold, but because we were drenched we had to take our trousers off and we also thought as it was a body massage we had better take our tops off, and we were absolutely freezing. What makes it worse we found out that Laura and Suzi kept their clothes on during the whole thing- oooops. After the massage me and Tess brought lots of goodies, some presents for the lucky ones of you may even have some presents.
We all ate together (besides the tour guide)- but this time we had western food- burritos- which is exactly what i have been craving for weeks. Jamie had stir fried snails- which was just a plate of snails with flavour on them. Both me and Tess tried some- they didn't taste of anything really just a weird texture and you had to get them out of the shell which wasn't fun.
For our last day we spent nearly a whole morning getting on line and trying to change our flight from hong kong to Bangkok and in the afternoon we went to cooking school. The first stop was to the local market- we saw vegetables that i never knew existed. But then it came to the fish- which were all still alive in small tubs and they had frogs in bags about 10 of them still alive and turtles. And it got worse, the next room was full of more live animals, chicken, ducks, rabbits and dogs. Our guide was telling us this was how she was used to buying meat and she finds it strange when she sees it a packet as she doesn't think that is safe- not knowing which pig its come from. It was really great to see the market even though bits were horrible. After the food market we headed to the place that we would be doing the cooking, it was nice a small little kitchen just 6 of us in our group. Our menue was, Egg wrapped dumplings, steamed chicken with mushrooms, eggplant yanshuo style, stir fried pork with vegetables and oyster sauce, green vegetables with garlic. The chef showed us whatto do and we tasted it then we all had to do the same. All the dishes were yummy and we cooked them well expect from me who dropped many things on the floor.
After cooking school we went to check out our new hotel- which is the middle of no where- luckily we managed to get a western toilet- the rooms were freezing- although we did have an electric blanket, but that wasn't good enough so me and tess paid extra for heating.
The next morning was another early start to go for a cycle- yet again the weather was not on our side- it was raining and very cold. So me and tess were layered up, and we looked so good ( not) we even had our socks over our trousers and the helmet didn't help things. Within 10 minutes of cycling our trousers were soaked all the way through- but we just kept going- the cycling wasn't too bed, except Tessa's bike was too big for her so difficult when she stopped.When we were halfway through we stopped for lunch at the guides house which was really nice, then it was back to the hotel for shower time.
next blog... longji - leaving hongkong