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The first thing in the morning – lazy cats on the roof:


They were bathing in the sunlight while I was leaning over a dirty sink brushing my teeth.

When I got on the highway to Xi’an though, the sun was shining upon me too, I had a can of cool herbal tea in my hand, and walking suddenly seemed really comfortable:


The city was drawing closer and closer:


At one point, a guy with a motorcycle stopped next to me and said: “Let’s chat for a while!”

And so we did – all the way to downtown, he would be pushing his bike and ask questions:

suburbian road

I enjoyed his company, and I was happy to find out that he and I shared the same Chinese family name Lei 雷 (but then of course I am a total imposter).

At some point Mr. Lei 雷先生 had to take off though, so I was on my own again, drifting through crowded streets with towering buildings above me:

tall tower

I thought this dog and his owner were cute:

guy with dog

And this one was just pitiful:

dog with leash

A stray dog with some plastic cords dangling from his neck somehow managed to cross a large avenue and make it all the way to a fruit stand before someone got a hold of him. I don’t know what happened then, because I eventually walked on by.

Xi’an is one of the few Chinese cities with a remaining city wall – and a very pretty one it is:

Changle Gate

I was going to enter from the Changle Gate 长乐门, but when I got to a courtyard inside the gate, these folks told me that there was no way through:

courtyard of Changle Gate

Feeling tired and weary anyways, I decided to hang around and chat for a while, all the while feasting on cookies and orange juice.

Then I was mentally prepared to take to the streets again:

Xi'an streets

It’s really just too many people to navigate through with a large backpack.

I was happy anyways that I didn’t have to take the bus:

bus stop

Or worse, wait for the bus:


Well on the other hand, it felt kind of nice to be in the city again.

Especially in a city as historically rich as this one:

bell tower of Xi'an

I think what it comes down to is this:


People want what they don’t have – at least most of the time.

I suddenly seemed to have everything though:

hotel room

My friend Steven from Canada had asked his friends Maomao 毛毛 and Mr. Tao 陶先生 to take care of me while I was in Xi’an, so they went all out of their way to get me this superb hotel room and treat me to dinner and find me a personal tourist guide.

Wow, I thought, how will I ever find a proper way to express my gratitude?

  • Dirk

    "…one of the few Chinese cities with a remaining city wall"
    Large parts of the wall have been built up again. About 25 years ago I saw them build up the walls so that they would look like never having been destroyed. At that time you could still see the caves people had dug into the clay that is behind the walls for dwellings.
    Keep on reporting, I like it, thanks


  • Christoph

    Dirk: Thank you for a comment as valuable as this one, I really appreciate it!


  • bikego

    哈哈,我2004年在西安上大学,2008年离开西安。而且我还去过灞桥。因为我们学校当时在灞桥有一个校区。看到你的照片很怀念。西安是一座美丽的城市。我喜欢那里。 留言于上海。


  • Christoph



  • Chen

    love your programs on You tube and this website, XI’an is my hometown and I miss here, thanks for share your interesting ideas and attractive cultures.


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