After a great breakfast at our hostel’s sister hostel (about 1 minute down the road. They have a Jamaica Blue cafe inside- but be warned, this is western priced. The food at our hostel was cheaper but not as good) we set off in the pollution for Xi’an’s city wall.
A side note about the pollution: it was high, really high. The first day we were there it was between 700-900. I don’t really know how to explain that as, living in China, you get used to checking the pollution levels daily and you know what is good and what is not so good. But 700 is really, really, really bad (below 50 is good. At school we can’t let the kids out after 150). The worst we have experienced. I hate to think what that level of pollution does to you. Luckily it was just for a couple of days.
Anyway, back to our walk. We spent a bit of time walking around the wall, down some nice streets and past a couple of cute, but closed, cafes. There were some steps to the wall that were closed. It turns out there are only 4 places you can now get on (or off) the city wall and you have to buy a ticket to do so. We can’t remember exactly but think it was about 55 rmb each (about £5-6). I found all the sights in Xi’an to be more expensive than Beijing. I’m sure it only costs about 20rmb to see the major sights in Beijing.
Up we went, onto the wall and into the smog. Again, the place was pretty quiet. We saw few people and just one other foreign tourist. Despite the pollution, we enjoyed our walk around the wall. We made it about half way round before we decided to head down and go to the Muslim Quarter.
As we walked to the Muslim Quarter, something caught our eyes… a Dunkin’ Donuts! Two people have never been more excited about Dunkin’ Donuts (well, until we saw another one in the station and several foreigners were running towards it). I don’t know why, but Justin and I love Dunkin’ Donuts. I think it’s because it reminds us of our time living in South Korea (where they are everywhere!) and also because..donuts! This was the first time we had seen one in China (there isn’t one in Beijing) so of course we stopped for a snack and coffee. After our refreshment we continued on our way to the Muslim Quarter.