Saturday, June 23, 2012

Final Day in Xi'an

Today we visited two important historic sites in Xi'an, but before that I started my day in a fascinating way. I had heard from some in my group that the park across the street from our hotel was filled with people exercising in many unique ways, so this morning I took a walk in the park and checked it out for myself. It was indeed an exercise mecca- people, mostly elderly, we're doing a variety of exercises both with park equipment and without. Many were doing various forms of martial arts, even with swords and bamboo sticks. There was even a dance class in a nearby parking lot! What a wonderful way to start the day! While the US struggles with an obesity epidemic, I wonder if this is part of why there are very few overweight people in China.

Later in the morning we visited the Wild Goose Pagoda. This was built by a monk who traveled all the way to India and back and who brought Buddhism to the country. There is a temple at the foot of the pagoda where one can light a candle or incense in memory of someone or to make a wish. Our guide told that around 25% of Chinese would consider themselves Buddhists. We then visited they city's impressive wall which consists of miles of wall and 94 guard houses.

In the afternoon we flew to Shanghai.

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