|Muslim Quarter in Xian, China|
Xian, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in China. This city is nothing less than fascinating, filled with sights, smells, tastes (okay, there's a chance you might gag, but just move on) and sounds (noisy, yes, but it's peaceful music coinciding with China's emphasis on "harmony").
Located in a fertile valley about 600 miles west of Shanghai, the city is often referred to as the Cradle of Civilization is home to numerous Ming-era pagodas with more ubiquitous wood beams spread up and down from the roof's eves with organic designs in bright primary colors and the Muslim Quarter, miles of venders selling food items, the majority of which most Westerners wouldn't recognize.
After an sixteen hour train ride from Beijing, which took five days, including stops in the smaller cities of Pingyao and Lalong, the cosmopolitan feel of Xi'an is refreshing, and the streets are humming day and night.
There's no doubt the the best attraction in the area, the Terracotta Warriors, are a must-see, being that they are less than an hour away once you get out the Xi'an city traffic. The next two articles show you the way.