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Old April 2nd, 2007, 03:17 AM   #1
Andrew
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Xi'an (西安) Shaanxi Province: Ancient meets Modern

I spent about a week in Xi'an when I travelled around China for two months in the summer of 2006. It's a really interesting city where the ancient and the modern sit together side by side; a city where you get a real sense of not only of the power and riches that made China great hundreds of years ago, but also the economic development that is transforming China so rapidly today. They've struck a good balance between new development on one hand and preservation of the historic environment on the other.

The first set of pics are meant to provide a bit of an overview, to give the general feel of Xi'an.

The Grandeur of Imperial China ...
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... and the skyline of a modern metropolis.
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Old and new side by side
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Wide, modern, busy avenues ...
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... and small traditional streets.
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One of the most important cities of the ancient world, Xi'an has 3,100 years of history and was the seat of power for thirteen Chinese dynasties ...
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Welcome to the ancient capital of China!
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:14 AM   #2
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Great start. I visited Xian last year (hmmm... seems like I went a bit later than you ). I was quite surprised. The city seems to be very clean and people seem to be at ease. This city is totally overlooked on this forum. The historic importance of Xian is right up there with the most important in the world.

I look forward to your set so I can see which parts of the city I missed out on.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:44 PM   #3
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I agree, it is a bit of an overlooked city on these forums. I enjoyed my trip there. The city itself is very nice, it's an incredibly ordered city (the result of Tang Dynasty town planning no doubt). The grid pattern of streets eminating out from the walled city centre really gives the place a sense of grandeur. A similar feel to Beijing (but on a much smaller scale). I think they've been more successful getting a balance between preservation of historic architecture and new development than a lot of other Chinese cities. I felt that some of the other cities I went to didn't preserve enough of their historic buildings, especially the 'normal' buildings - old houses, shops etc. rather than the grand pagodas, palaces and temples. Xi'an on the other hand has some very nice old areas, especially in the old city within the city walls.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 01:28 AM   #4
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Ok, here's the next set of pics.
The heart of the city around the Bell and Drum towers:

Drum tower:
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View from the Drum Tower over the historic Muslim area:
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More views from the Drum Tower:
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Drum Tower to the Bell Tower (I know you've already seen this pic but I'm posting it again!):
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Bell Tower:
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The ancient framing the modern:
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A modern bustling city stretches out in all directions from from the Bell Tower:
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 03:23 AM   #5
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fantanstic pics of xian city, must see it myself .
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Old April 13th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #6
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OK I think it's about time for more pics...
For this set, lets leave the histoic walled city and go in search of geese!

There's one... right in front of you!
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What do you mean you can't see it?!?

...

OK, OK, OK! When I said geese, I actually meant goose... and when I say goose, I don't mean a bird... I mean the Big Goose Pagoda!

Sorry... really rubbish joke.

Anyway ... erm ... I'll just shut up now and post the pics! The following are taken from the top of the Big Goose Pagoda. I'll post more ground level ones later.

The street in the pic above
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Xi'an actually has quite an impressive, and very dense skyline. What you see here is all the 'new' city, outside the historic walled city. Within the city walls, new developments are srictly medium or low rise only, so this is the area where all the skyscrapers get built.

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As you can see, the air was quite smoggy when I was there. Makes for some atmospheric pics though!

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TV tower
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Massive construction work about to start here
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Around the lake, the 'Tang Dynasty' theme park
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Old rooftops...
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New rooftops...
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Even newer rooftops!
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The pagoda itself forms the centrepiece of a larger temple complex, here are some pics of it from the pagoda
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More rooftops! (sorry if you don't have the same fascination with Chinese rooves as I do)
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One last one before I call it quits
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Pics of this area at ground level will come soon!
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Old April 13th, 2007, 06:50 AM   #7
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Wow. I didn't make it to the top of the pagoda. Very interesting view up there. The theme park is really quite nice too. Not sure if you had a look around there.

It's well lit up at night.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 03:26 PM   #8
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I did, and the pics of that will come soon.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #9
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Wow!

Wow! Xi'an's is such a surprisingly facinating place.

Btw, how far is Xi'an from Zhengzhou and Beijing?
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Old April 13th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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Not sure about Zhengzhou but it's only about a one and a half hour flight from Beijing, or an overnight train journey (I flew).
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Old April 13th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #11
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in the heart of China
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Old April 14th, 2007, 03:29 AM   #12
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very detailed photos. especially the pics of roof. thanks.
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Last edited by Jiangwho; April 14th, 2007 at 03:37 AM.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 07:23 PM   #13
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Here are some more shots from in and around the Big Goose Pagoda (Xi'an's oldest skyscraper maybe?):
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Basketball in an ancient Buddhist temple?!?
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OK, that's all from inside the temple complex. Here are some from the surrounding area:
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At night, the centrepiece public square certainly comes alive!
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Hope you enjoyed, still loads more to come!
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Old May 29th, 2007, 11:13 PM   #14
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I think we'll leave the area by the pagoda for now (don't worry, I'll do the Tang Dynasty theme park later), lets go back into the old city centre within the walls. I've forgotten the name of this area of town but it's a wonderful old part of the city where you can buy all sorts of arts and crafts items. Certainly one of my favourite parts of the city:

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GIANT calligraphy brushes!
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Restoration...
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Still a lot more to come from this part of town (I took loads of photos here).
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Old May 29th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #15
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That's real China.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #16
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i lived in xi'an for 3 years~~~haha
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Old March 19th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #17
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I am wating for more photographs from Old Xian...
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #18
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These appear to be all your pictures so I will move this thread to the Urban Showcase section for original photography.
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