China Gallery ~ Xi'an
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Bell Tower at night
Oct 6 2001

The Drum Tower marks the center of this ancient, once-imperial capital city of the Shaanxi province. Once used to signal the top of each hour, it now sits brightly at the centre of a busy neon lit intersection.



Fast Food Freshly Flayed
Muslim Food Market
Oct 6 2001

For people picky about sanitary food preparation, refrigeration and cross contamination, such a sight on the street may be slightly unappetizing. I assume that to Chinese it denotes freshness. The little child on the right of the picture was being encouraged by his father to stroke the carcass - ahh, to be a child and experience those things for the first time again!


Oct 6 2001

The Chinese eat around 6 o clock, approximately the same time night approaches in October. The street vendors preparing for the evenings business casts a warm glow over the sidewalks of the narrow streets where they do their business.



Full Moon over China
Oct 6 2001

This little patriot (holding the Chinese flag for the recent National Day) is wearing a traditional Chinese toddler costume. The split rear-end offers easy access and egress and we have seen the little guys squat and avail themselves of this diaper saving feature right on Tianamen Square, amongst other very public places. In a country of 1.2 billion I suppose waiting for privacy is not an option. Then there is the government to think of...


Big Goose Pagoda
Oct 5, 2001

This large bronze Buddhist monk stands outside the entance to Dayan Ta - the Big Goose Pagoda in the background was built by Emporer Gao Zong in AD 648 in memory of his deceased mother.



Laughing Monks
Oct 5 2001

I caught these monks allowing their attention to drift - these religious Buddhist men are scattered about Big Goose Pagoda and tasked with the decidedly unenlightening job of minding misbehaving tourists



Nigel at Big Goose
Oct 5 2001

Once reserved for high officials or royalty, the lions found guarding the doorways of temples and palaces can now be found all over the world as a form of decoration. The male is always on the right and has the world beneath his paw. Here I sit with the female - she is thought to be feeding the cub beneath her paw through her claws.


Oct 5 2001

Incense, sold at a stand nearby, has an important role in a Buddhist's visit to a temple. This (Big Goose Pagoda) was the second Monastary we had visited to this point and the second time we were enveloped in huge clouds of aromatic smoke


Lively Kids
Oct 6 2001

These kids giggled at the sight of us. They were utterly thrilled to have their picture taken and quickly formed a pose complete with the "v" for victory sign -- a sign that almost all Chinese children make upon having their picture taken.



Vendor at the muslim market
Oct 6 2001

Vendors line the street sending clouds of smoke into the air from fat dripping onto the hot coals of their grills. One can buy sixteen of the spicy meat skewers for a dollar - the drinks you'll want to wash them down with will warm you further (but cost a little more).



A room with a . . . what the!?
May 1st Hotel, Xian
Oct 6 2001

We payed extra for this room because it had a window - needless to say the next day we move to a windowless room, saved $5 and bought dinner with it.



Mao Kitsch
Oct 6 2001

An apt symbol for the new China - and they can be seen everywhere - is the capitalization of Mao's image. Should your taste run to camp, you would be hard pressed to find something NOT available in a Mao variety. Though visiting his corpse is still free, China is making a mint on everything from Mao watches to Mao museums. These items are all for sale and a market price can be determined through polite haggling.


Headless Horselessmen
Oct 6 2001

After the warriors were fired, painted and placed into their formations, a wood beamed roof was built over the underground mausoleum. This wood eventually rotted, collapsed and damaged a majority of the soldiers and horses. The excavation and restoration continues to this day, almost thirty years after their accidental discovery - these still headless men are thought to have been members of the command post guard.


Terra-cotta Warrior close-up
Oct 6 2001

It is thought likely that each warriors unique facial features were modeled after the friends and family of the craftsmen who made them over two thousand years ago. Such careful craftsmanship went into each of these pieces (the shoes still show treads, the armour still has rivets and the hair still shows waves) that the entire place gave us a mournful mood. All this effort was never supposed to have seen the light of day.


Terra-cotta Warrior Vanguard
Oct 6 2001

The warriors are arranged in accordance to Sun Tzu's 'Art of War.' These infantrymen, now stripped of their bronze weapons, seem to form the front lines of the 8000+ army unearthed here.

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