Birthday’s are always special. It is the time when you first stepped into this beautiful world. I always wanted to make my birthdays special. To do so, I try various new activities each year. On the 26th birthday, I decide to travel to Xian, a city in China mainly famous for the trail of Mount Huashan. It doesn’t ring a bell.
Wait a minute.
Look at this pic & then decide.
I wanted to trek to this place on my birthday. When I disclosed this idea to my friends. They started teasing me by saying. People spend money to enjoy life & you are spending to buy a death :P. This was just tip of an iceberg. There were lots of other things that were said to me.
Ignoring all the vague thoughts, I was adamant to do this trial of Mt Huashan. It was on bucket list as well :D.
Ticket & Visa:
Working in a private firm & earning a decent sum, people tend to save money for rainy days. But here I was planning a solo trip to celebrate my birthday. A story unheard of. It is often seen saying & doing is a different playground. Booking ticket is heart pounding experience for various reasons, what if my visa get rejected & I lose all my ticket money, what if something bad happens, what if I get robbed or killed etc. All these scary thoughts come into the mind when a lower middle-class guy books a ticket (In fact, it was in my case :D). But, listening to Nights by Avicii for about 2 days I finally decided to book a ticket without giving it any more thoughts. I checked ticket from Skyscanner & booked tickets from Yatra. As it provided me with the option of EMI at a decent rate.
Visa is always a tricky part. As the whole trip depends upon getting a visa. The visa requirement for China was tough from a financial point of view. It is mandatory to show 1.6 INR in a bank account. With decent salary, it was very tough to show this amount, but I managed it with the help of my friends ;).
Xi’an is one of the oldest city in china. The city is built inside a wall which is still visible & there are few operators who offer cycle tour to these walls. Public transport is awesome here, buses are easily available; taxis are equipped with meters. But, the thing that can bother you while traveling is communication. It is very difficult to communicate with the local as 90% of the population don’t speak English. It is advisable to get everything translated prior to roam freely.I did the same. Xi’an is a traditional city with good options of eating outside, going clubs but it doesn’t have backpackers kind of vibe which you feel in Bangkok or Bali. This is not a holiday destination. The place is mainly famous for Terracotta Army & Mt Huashan (One of the dangerous hiking trails).
How to reach:
Xian: Xian has an airport hence one can find flights with ease.
Mt Hua: Xian is the nearest big station. One can hire a rental car from Xi'an or can opt for train to Huashan.The best way to reach Mt Hua is by Bullet train from Xian Bei station to the Huashan north station. Rental cars are also available if cost is not an issue for you.
Places to visit:Mt Huashan: Mt Hua is famous for trekking & plank road which can be experienced while trekking south peak. It's a must do activity for adventure seeker. Total trek is more than 12 KM both ways & it is meant for the toughest of persons.
Bell tower & drum tower are local delight it is easily accessible & can be covered in half day.
Terracota army: It's a archaeological site & can be reached by taxi or bus. Direct Buses are available from Xian railway station. Garden is amazing with lots of color & greenery.
Small wild goose pagoda: It's a ancient site for prayers of buddha. It is spread across huge landscape & greenery. Half day is enough for this place.
Big wild goose pagoda: It's a bigger version of small wild goose pagoda.
City walls: City walls are square shaped & most of the city is constructed within these walls. It's a magnificent creation & very beautiful to visit.
Accommodation: I had done my booking of hostel from booking.com because it offered me lots of reasonable deals & also it does not require to pay before. Accommodation prices are average hence staying won't cost you much. I spent 125 Yuan for 5 nights by staying at Xian Travelling with hotel This place had wifi & was near to metro stations & major bus stops
Food & Alcohol: Finding vegetarian food is a difficult task as most of the people eat non-vegetarian. Best possible bet would be to buy on street as you would be knowing what you are eating . Food is not expensive. Alcohol is easily available & that to in very reasonable rate. I completed whole tour under 40 K INR which includes flight cost, travelling cost, living cost & also eating cost. With this tour done i am hoping for more adventure & more learning on this beautiful place called WORLD.