It is a day to be grateful for the opportunities and freedoms we have to, speak, vote, travel and enjoy the world around us. From the far side of the world, Happy Fourth of July.
-Rick, Katybug and Andrew
Our Travel Tips are provided by Stefan at the Rapidtravelchai.com blog
Day 5: early morning arrival in Xi’an. Drop luggage off at your hotel, perhaps get really lucky if they let you check in. You don’t need a guide, but a car makes life easier. The hotel can help you negotiate with a taxi (some hotels may insist on their own cars which will be more expensive. You can try negotiating yourself, just have it all written down clearly. Not all taxis will be willing to do it. You want to get out to the Terracotta Soldiers, spend about two hours and get back. It guess it would be around $100, but I have not tried it (I have used public transport but that is tough without speaking Chinese). There are also loads of day tours on offer that you can join, but be suspicious. Some of the top-end hotels have interesting bed and tour packages, like Shangri-La’s Wonders of Xi’an, but they are hardly frugal unless you have some points-based way to do it.
You will probably have a few hours left over, you can visit any of these based on interest: Big Goose Pagoda, Little Goose Pagoda, City Walls, Shaanxi History Museum (ticket policies can be a problem and closes early). None is a standout, but best is probably the Big Goose Pagoda.
In the evening you can visit the Muslim Quarter, which has lots of shops and restaurants, for a taste of the Silk Road. It is in the center of town, surrounding the Great Mosque.