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On The Silk Road

XI'An Snacks Street in Xi'an

Local cuisine in Shaanxi has a longhistory and peculiar flavor. Some famous old restaurants have been flourishing for several dynasties. To have the dilicious food and wine in Xi'an is indeed a pleasure and also a mearis to learn about food culture. In Xian there are many restaurantsfor foreigners, in which Shaanxi cuisine, Guangdong cuisine, Tang Dynasty cuisine. Huaiyang cuisine, Muslem cuisine and local snacks are available.The most interesting place is the Local Snacks Street in Damaishi, the most famous Muslem snacks street in Xi'an. On the two sides of the 200-m street, there are many restaurants of different cuisines and snack shops of different flavors. Here tourists can have the true Muslem cuisine and snacks, including mutton soup with cake,sausage, mutton and porridge. While having food tourists can learn customs of the Hui nationality.

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Visiting Hui Families and Residence in Huajue Lane

Huajue Mosque, to the northwest of the Bell and Drum Tower, was built in Ming Dynasty. It has a grand style and reasonable layout, with towers, platforms, pavilons and halls forming an organic whole. Nearby the mosque is a Hui nationality neighborhood. After visiting the mosque, tourists can visit the Hui families. Hui men wear white or grey round hats. In summer they wear a black sleeveless jacket over a white shirt, looking very neat and clean. Hui houses are very tidy and clean. Hui people are vary hospitable. When guests enter a Hui house. they will be offered tea, fruits and snacks. If they like muslim cuisine, tourists can have dinner at a Hui house according to Hui customs.

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Shuyuanmen Ancient Cultural Street

Located on the eastern side of the southern gate of Xi'an, the 200-m street is in the architectural style of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The street is paved with blue stone tablets; shops on the two sides are antique and elegant in style, in which four treasures of the study, metal and stone carvings, callligraphy, paintings, jade carvings and curiosities are available. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the area nearby Guanzhong Academy (of classical learning) was the cultural center of Xi'an. Guanzhong Academy is located on the street, on the relics of which Xi'an Normal Institute is was built up. The street has now become a tourist spot with a cultural atiosphere, including shopping, dinning, recreation and sighseeing.

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Seeing Folk Paintings in Hu County

Shaanxi peasants are rough and bold, a character typical of northwest China. Rural life in Shaanxi are simple and involve many interesting folk customes. To understand such life and such people one can visit the Hu County Folk Painting Museum in the Huazhan Street in the county seat. The museum includes 12 exhibition halls, in which the paintings are arranged according to the years of their creation and to their styles. Since the 1950s, peasants in Hu County have created more than 200,000 paintings. Most of the paintings are about rural life, with bright colors and a closely woven structure.

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Fengxiang New Year's Paintings

Fengxiang New Year's Paintings were originally created in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The new year's paintings, made in the tradlitional way, has a primitive simplicity. Usually ancient models are used, such as 'Happiness Bestowed from Heaven,' 'Auspiciousness' and 'Wealth and Prosperity.' The new year's paintings are all hand made. Tourists to the place can watch the whole precess of making new year's paintings including drawing , engraving and printing.

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Fengxiang's Color Clay Sculptsure

Bodiless color clat sculptures of Fengxiang County, with a history of 600 years, have exaggerated shaoes, bright colors and show exquisite workmanship. They are usually birds, animals and characters from drama, folk tales and historical events. The clay sculptural works are all hand made. First a folk craftsman would make a model; then a roughcast is made in copy of the model; a special kind of clay is applied to the roughcast; then the roughcast is taken out; white clay is applied; finally designs are carved and colors applied. After seeing the whole process, tourists can make a clay sculptural work themselves.

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Shaanxi's Window Papercuts

In Shaanxi, an important birthplace of Chinese culture, window papercuts have a long history and are very popular.During Spring Festival every year, people in the central Shaanxi Plain that live in greyish white brick houses or cave dwellings will put bright red papertuts to the white paper on the window. The papercuts, with various designs, including human figure, birds. animals, fish insects flowers , plants, add cheerfulness to the atmosphere. In northern Shaanxi, the style of papercuts is simple, rough and bold, while in the central Shaanxi Plain the boldness and roughness are combined with exquisiteness and elegance.

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West Palace Folklore Visiting Farmers' Houses in Fengxiang

In the southeastern part of the county seat of Fengxiang , there is a man-made lake called East Lake. By the 140,000-sq-m lake there are more than 20 ancient buildings, exquisite and of various styles. Water in the lake is clear with reflections of willow trees and pavilions in it. Tourists can visit the peasants' houses near the lake, work with them in the fields, cook with them, dine with them and chat with them.

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Xining Herders' Homes on the Bank of Qinghai Lake

Located in northeastern Qinghai Province and called West Sea in ancient times, Qinghai Lake is the largest inland salt lake in China. Aroune the lake there is a vast grassland with luxuriant grass , a fertile pastoral area with beautiful landscape typical of a plateau grassland. Simple houses and tents, inhabited by herders , are scattered here and there on the grassland. The simple and hospitable herders will welcome guests warmly. Tourists will find a home away from home when having a chat with the herders and having meals and buttered tea offered by them.

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Visiting 'Regong Art' of Huangnan Tibet Autonomous Prefecture

There are four villages, birthplaces of 'Regong Art,' nearby Longwu Town, Tongren County (called 'Regong' in Tibet), Huangnan Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. 'Regong Art,' a folk art with strong Tibetan Buddhist characters and mainly consists of heavy-colored gongbi (traditional Chinese realistic painting characterized by fine brush work and close attention to detail) paintings of Buddhist themes and human figure seulptures, has a history of 600 to 700 years. It is an important art genre with pecul ar characteristics in Qinghai, especially in the sphere of Tibetan Buddhist art. It is a bright gem in the treasury of Tibetan culture and widely known.

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Zhangye Clty Mati Temple Tourist Area Yuku Nationality Folk Customs

Mati Temple Tourist Area in Zhangye City is mostly inhabitited by Yuku nationality people. Here tourists can see the peculiar life and production style of the Yuku people. The Yuku people, who was originally the Huihe people in Tang Dynasty, have very peculiar costumes. Men wear a gown made of woolen material, a felt hat, long boots and a knife on their belt. Women wear a short jacket over a high-necked gown; their clothes and ornaments are of bright colors. Tourists can also attend to Yuku style weddings which are very peculiar and interesting.

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Night Market in Dunhuang

At the west end of the Hexi Corridor, Dunhuang is the iocale of the Mogao Grottoes, a sorld famous treasury of art. In the history of China, Dunhuang had been an important communications hub between the East and the West. In Chinese classical literary works, Yang Pass and Yumen Pass are places of tragic heroism.

Dunhuang has magnificent landscapes and historical sites. Dunhuang also has a rich and colorful night life. From April 1 to October 31 every year, night markets are open in Shazhou Market and nearby streets of the city. In the night markets, local flavor snacks, handicrafts and souvenirs are available. There are also music tea houses. Local snacks include rice noodles soup with mutton, yellow noodles, beef noodies and cold flat bean noodles . Replicas of sculptural works and frescoes in Mogao Grottoes ard liked by tourists. It is indeed a pleasure to stroll on the street, or take a rest in a tea house, enjoying the snacks and watching the great variety of costumes.

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Kashi Going to Bazaar

'Bazaar' means market of agricultural products in Uygur. Bazaar in Kashiis the largest bazaar in Xinjiang. As early as 2,000 years ago Kashi was a place on the 'silk route' where goods are distributed and collected. Every Sunday, a bazaar day, all local and special products , handicrafts, fruits and vegetables are sent to the bazaar. Here one can see old men in their holiday's best going to bazaar on donkeys. On the different stalls there are vayious kinds of local and special products, handicrafts, nationality costumes, daily necessities, fruits and vegetables. Tourists can choose whatever they like and bargain with the sellers.

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Yinchuan Najiahu Mosque in Yongning

Located in a street center of Najiahu, a Huinationality village 1.5 kilometers to the west of the county seat of Yongning , Najiahu Mosque is large and has a long history. The Chinese architectural style and the lslamic decorations are natually combined .Occupying an area of more than two hectares, the obiong mosque includes the gateway with an arch above, the religious service hall, rooms at the two sides and bathrooms. There are exquisite lslamic brick carvings on the upper part of the gateway. On the two sides of the Bangke building there are two two-storied 'Looking to Moon Buildings' with awl-shaped roofs. The large hall has no wall decorations and can contain 1,000 people at the same time. The Mosque is very quiet and has a solemn atiosphere.

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Nanguan Mosque

Build up at the end of the Ming Dynasty in the southeast comer of the old Yinchuan City, the original Nanguan Mosque was grand in style and was later destroyed. The present Nanguan Mosque , occupying an area of 2,074 square meters , is in lslamic architectural style. The 22-m-high two storied mosque has a green lorty dome. The upper floor is a 22-m-loing, 22-m-wide religious service hall that contain 1,000 people at the same time. The ground floor includes a bathroom , a small religious servici hall and the imam's chamber.

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Shapotou is an 80-m-high cresentmoon shaped sand hill on the bank of the Yellow River. Looking down from the top of the steep sandhill, You feel giddy. Looking up from the foot, you see Yellow River water, merged with the white clouds, resembling waterfall flow down from heaver , Sliding down from the sand slope you feel you are dropping to the earth from the sky and hear sounds of dells; theis is called the 'ringing of bells on the sand slope.'Tourists can also do sightseeing on the vast desert on camels, experiencing the feelings of ancient merchants on the Silk Road. They can see the strange scene of steam locomotives crossing the ,Tenggeli Desert.

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  Information provided by China National Tourism Administration.


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