Friday, August 31, 2012


Hi there. So I'm pitifully behind on the blog...still haven't posted about our trip to Thailand all the way back in March! But I'm just going to skip ahead and hope to return to the last few months eventually...

Our July vacation was supposed to start with 10 days in Tibet and Nepal. After 2 days on the train from Shanghai, we were set to explore Lhasa for a few days, then make our way to Rongphu with a short hike to Mt. Everest Base Camp, staying the night at the Rongphu Monastery before crossing the border and spending a few days in Kathmandu. But a week before we were set to leave, the government decided to close Tibet to all foreigners. So in a pinch we were off to Xi'an for four days instead.

Xi'an was the start of the silk road and a buzzing metropolis long before Beijing was ever on the scene. Today its bustling Muslim quarter is one of its biggest attractions--from the smells of good street food mingling with the stench of questionable street side butchers, to outstanding people watching, we found ourselves back among its crowded streets again and again.

Not too crowded by day...
A typical Chinese street scene

Naturally, when you want to by fake artifacts, that includes crossbows!

Who knew there were so many types of dates!

We never figured out what this is...

Click to enlarge...#9 sounds delicious!

He's making edible sugar balloons

One of many local butcher shops

In case the color of the meat doesn't give it away, the stench of this one was unreal

Delivery truck, complete with swarm of flies and pools of blood
Drum tower...marked nightfall in the past

Bell tower...bells used to ring at dawn

Back to the Muslim Quarter--it comes alive at night!

Enjoying our first yangrou break up flat bread, then they serve lamb soup on top.
Yangrou paomo--the best part was the pickled garlic! yum!

Barely controlled chaos...


  1. Such gorgeous pics, Leslie! They totally convey the hustle and bustle! The meat is....whoah. Ugh. So glad this blog doesn't have smell-o-vision :-)

    1. whoops - forgot to sign it! -Logan :-)

    2. Thanks Logan! Yeah, the smell was AWFUL! That delivery van pulled up to a restaurant we were considering and made a delivery by just leaving a crate of meat on the sidewalk. We continued onward (after taking photos of course!)

  2. I might opt for vegetarian meals if I was visiting there!

    1. You'd be hard pressed to find a vegetable dish that doesn't come with ground pork!

  3. I think I could miss the food on this trip...except the garlic! When are your folks coming? All of Oct? Then will you and Brian do another trip in Nov? We'll miss you this T-giving!! And where can you get a turkey with the head inside its body...? Love, Susan and John

    1. You just have to be brave! I only been sick once--from a hamburger at a German Pub! Mom and Dad are here Oct 5-Nov 3! Just 5 weeks to go. Brian's only joining us the last two weeks, then we are back for a few weeks, then we are spending 2 weeks in Japan with his parents in November. So it'll sushi instead of turkey. YUM!

  4. When I saw the edible sugar balloons I thought those were actual mice on sticks and felt pretty grossed out. I'm glad to see they are made of sugar although I wouldn't put it past the Chinese. :)

    And you need to post your Komodo pics! The world needs to see those scary Mofos and the two pronged twig meant to protect you guys.

    Can't wait for our next Skype date!!


  5. Thank you, thats very interesting information. I need to share with my friends. study in china

  6. Great pictures! I've lived in Xi'an for almost 2 years. It's a great city and very photogenic. :-) Just found your blog and clicked on it because of the title. Ovenless in China - very clever.

    1. Hi again Joy--we're actually taking my mom and dad to Xi'an in about a week. Any tips on where to eat? We pretty much stuck to the street food in the Muslim quarter last time. Thanks!