Saturday, April 18: Following my long day of exploring a rainy Xi’an and having a rest in my room at Fortune Suites, I head out to look for something to eat. My stomach has been seriously messed up ever since I ate the Indian food this afternoon, so I don’t dare venture far. I’m still hungry even though I don’t feel good, and I’m hoping whatever I can find will sit well with me. My hotel is luckily right in the heart of the old city, marked by the Bell Tower, which sits at the crossroads of the four major streets of the city.
Luckily, in the area surrounding the Bell Tower are a number of Western restaurants. I see a Pizza Hut, which is surprisingly popular in China, so I head there for my favorite fried shrimp meal, which is really just an appetizer portion. I think that will take care of me tonight.
The Bell Tower was originally built two blocks west of here in 1384 during the early Ming dynasty. It contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang dynasty. The present structure was built in 1582 and restored in 1739. This colorful triple-eaved wooden structure built on a brick platform is lit up tastefully and provides a beacon for people trying to get their bearings in the city (Lonely Planet China & Wikipedia: Bell Tower of Xi’an).
It’s quite a busy spot as it’s in the center of a roundabout that is at the crossroads of the four major streets in Xi’an. You can get to it by way of a tunnel which also leads to the subway.
Just west of the Bell Tower is the Drum Tower. I will visit both of these the day after tomorrow.
After my dinner, accompanied by a German beer, I head back to the hotel, where once again, though free wi-fi is advertised, I have to use wi-fi in the lobby as it doesn’t work in my room. It seems I’m encountering this problem too many times in China. Tomorrow, I’m going with a guide and a small group of tourists to see the Terra Cotta Warriors and a few other sites outside the city. 🙂