Xi'an - home of the Terracotta Warriors
Above shows how the Terracotta Warriors were created. The dragons are a specialty of this factory. They are meant to bring luck and good fortune.
To the left is me at the Terracotta Warriors, commonly known as the 8th Wonder of the World. It was found in the 1970s and resides in 4 separate buildings with excavations still occurring. It is believed over 4000 of these warriors were created to protect the grave of the Emperor.
We had such a great time as we spent our long weekend in Xi'an, we were able to go to the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower as well as Bike along the city wall. We also spent a significant amount of time in the Muslim Quarter perusing all of the amazing foods and trying our hand at bargain shopping! I would say my best purchase were scarves at 10 yuan, less than $2 a piece (p.s. family, you are all getting scarves for Christmas!) In the Muslim Quarter, we also went to the Great Mosque!
Hong Kong- Visiting the KPMG boys!
Kristi and I were lucky enough to make a stop on the way home from Chengdu. 4 boys from out program (pictured below at the racetrack) were completing their field study at KPMG in HK and we were excited they wanted to show us around for the night!
Before boarding Chengdu, we were approached by a flight attendant and got upgraded to first class, this was perhaps the best part of the day (kidding, it got better... but also a lot more humid!) Once we arrived, we took a taxi to the hostel to drop our stuff. We headed out to lunch for some Dim Sum (pictured below), which are small dishes that you share. Unfortunately, we didn't know what we were doing, and over-ordered. As the waiter kept bringing out more and more dishes, the people next to us kept laughing. It was delicious and quite cheap despite our mess-up!
Later in the afternoon we took the trolley up to the lookout point at the top of the mountain and had amazing views of the city! We met up with the guys after work, had dinner and went to the Happy Valley racetrack in the middle of the city. It was so cool with the skyline in the background! After we ended the night out on the town with Ladies night - I didn't mind all of the free drinks!
To end our trip we headed out to Macau. I had read that on the hour long ferry you are able to see all the islands you pass and that dolphins frequent the area. Unfortunately, it was really cloudy the day that we went, so we didn't see much of anything. But as if it were a mirage, the skies cleared up as we approached Macau and just like the books said, we saw a pair of dolphins in the bay!
Macau is a really neat city. It is the only place in "China" that has gambling and many Chinese nationals and Hong Kong residents will visit for the day! We were able to explore all of the casinos, which are surprisingly filled with many internet gaming devices, and even try our hand at slots!
In the afternoon, we walked around the Portuguese city that is a UNESCO world heritage site. You can see the European influence in the buildings and the tiled walkways. It was incredible and we loved seeing how the two cultures mixed.
Overall, the trip was amazing, but it was so strange to end our trip with two cities that were flooded with foreigners after not hearing much English for a few weeks!