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Useful resources for learning about contemporary China:

 English language Sinica Podcast

James Fallows - not always China-related, but always interesting

What's going on in Beijing:

TimeOut Beijing

The Beijinger

China Daily's Beijing Weekend 

Beijing Weather - Weather Underground

 

Useful language learning tools

Chinesepod podcast - free beginners' podcasts

Popup Chinese podcast - another very good podcast series

Hacking Chinese - interesting ideas on learning Chinese efficiently

Skritter character-learning tool for iPad/iPhone - really fun app

Sinosplice - John Pasden's site on many interesting aspects of China and the Chinese language

 

 

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Saturday
May162015

Xi'an and the Terracotta Warriors

I know it has been a few days since we have posted, but we were experiencing some difficulties with the wifi in Xi'an. However, now we are back in Beijing and we have some catching up to do. I will keep this blog post short, sweet, and to the point, so I will post lots of pictures because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! Here is a brief overview of our time in Xi'an...

May 15th

We finally arrived in Xi'an after about a 13 hour train ride and we had a long day ahead of us. We attended class taught by our very own Professor Miller and Professor Cortina at Shaanxi Normal Univeristy. 

 

Photo: It was the train to Xi'An and all through the car, not a creature was stirring...probably because there was no room for stirring or anything else for that matter.

Later that night we attended a cultural dinner and banquet sponsored by the Shaanxi Normal University (SNU) students, which consisted of games, painting traditional Chinese masks, and calligraphy. 


Photo: Game that required us to pass ping pong balls down a line using chopsticks

We ended our night by serenading our new friends to our favorite song, "Hail to the Victors!"

 Photo: The entire group singing Hail to the Victors to the SNU students at the cultural night

May 16th

Today we went took a bus to see the Terracotta warriors. There is a collection of over 7,000 terracotta soldiers currently uncovered and many more to be excavated. The terracotta army was built to guard the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.

The terracotta army was not discovered until March 29th, 1974, making its debut after more than 2,000 years underground.

Photo: The terracotta soldiers in Pit 1 (there were 3 pits total)

Photo: Posing amongst the terracotta warriors (replicas of course)

We ended our day by returning to Xi'an and having a dinner in the Muslim Quarter consisting of Xi'an's legendary noodles, plum juice, and peanut brittle for dessert.

Photo: Evening in Xi'an walking around the Muslim Quarter

May 17th

We started off our day at the Shaanxi History Museum and then headed to the Muslim Quarter to perfect our bargaining skills and pick up souveniers for our friends and family members back home! Photo: Several of us decided to get fish pedicures, which consists of fish nibbling the dead skin off your feet (...very ticklish!)

And of course we found a Starbucks, so we had to dare to eat the ice to get our caffeine fix.

Photo: Starbucks selfie. The one time we didn't have to order "Bu yao bing" (aka "don't want ice")

We concluded our day with an evening stroll around the Wild Goose Pagoda, which is where the Buddhist monks translated the Sutras into Mandarin. 

May 18th

Our time in Xi'an had come to an end, and we packed up our belongings and walked (for what felt like forever) to the train station, where we dropped off our luggage at a temporary storage place, so we could ride bikes along the old city wall, where we had incredible views of the city of Xi'an. However, it was extremely hot, so we had to take preventative measures to stay cool by eating lots of ice cream!

Photo: Walking with our luggage to the train station in Xi'an

Photo: Logan and Hannah finsh up the bike trip around the old city wall in Xi'an

We definitely slept well on the 13 hour train ride back to Beijing after that bike ride!

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