Xi’an is probably most known for the Terracotta Army which in a previous blog post (you can read about my Terracotta Army experience here) you can see wasn’t the highlight of my trip that I had expected it to be. Now that being said there were numerous things I saw and experienced in Xi’an that more than made up for this. One of the big ones was definitely the Muslim Quarter. One of our first nights in Xi’an Cameron and I wandered into the Muslim Quarter and were immediately entranced. It was our first time in China and I guess we weren’t expecting much in terms of diversity. And looking back now, I had very little knowledge of China outside of the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall. But being such a huge country there is an immense diversity which shows in terms of the cities you visit, the people and food. There is so much great food to be eaten in China and so much variety!
Now, back to the Muslim Quarter…on our first venture in we were attempting to get some food and perhaps find the Great Mosque of Xi’an. Well, we succeeded at one of those. The street food in the Muslim Quarter was fantastic…you can check out more pics from that experience here. Even though we were unable to find the Great Mosque we still managed to stumble upon another mosque and I befriended a very friendly cat!
Finally during a day excursion to the Muslim Quarter we were able to find the Great Mosque of Xi’an and it was fantastic! The gardens and buildings were beautiful. It was unexpectedly large since the entrance was a bit unassuming. You may notice I am dressed a bit like a crazy person. There is reason for this. This was my first visit to a mosque and I had not idea what to wear but I knew I wanted to be respectful. So I covered myself in all the clothes and even bought a scarf just in case I needed to cover my hair. Cameron described my outfit best as someone who “owns all the cats.” Thanks. Anyways, there didn’t seem to be a dress code, there were other visitors there walking around in tank tops and mini skirts but I’m still glad I put in the effort.
As mentioned before the Muslim Quarter was one of the highlights of my trip to Xi’an. It had a great energy both at night and in the day. Often at night we would forgo hitting up a restaurant to go snap up some street food offered in the Muslim Quarter. Now that I’m living in China I am thinking of taking another trip back!