electric beach

Christian Schormann

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Xi’an: Street Food

Usually, this blog spends all its bits and bytes on Expression Blend, Silverlight, Windows Phone, WPF and other related topics. This post is about a rather more basic need instead: It is about food, in particular food on the streets of Xi’an in China. You can click on any image in this post for slightly larger pictures.

We arrived in Xi’an late at night, to heat and humid air filled with mist. Xi’an is one of the older cities in China, an ancient capital, and the inner city is still encircled by an immense city wall. It is probably impossible to write anything about Xi’an without mentioning what the city today is probably most famous for: The vast armies of warriors made from terracotta that have been guarding the peace of Emperor Qin Shi Huang for well over 2000 years.

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Some of the army stands serene and tireless. Some of it is wounded and full of melancholy. Every man and horse is crafted with beauty and an immense love of detail – a shimmer of life hovers over the army. The air is filled with the silent breadth of thousands of men of clay, just waiting for an instant before their life resumes.


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But back in the city, far from the army that guards the emperor, the streets are very much alive. Within the city walls, behind the ancient drum tower, there are markets, bazaars, a mosque to discover, and as the sun sinks, the streets are becoming more and more alive. And on these streets, one thing is sure: You won’t need to go hungry. And there is no serenity and no subtlety of life on the streets: Life is loud and colorful and brash, and the air is filled with thousand smells.

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And now, the food:

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Later at night, there’s room to relax and play on quieter streets.

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A few days later in Beijing, we found a wonderful place to have roasted duck in a small hutong, in what looked like a small village street. The restaurant appeared to be a family house, without even a rest room (next one across the alley), with a motley collection of small rooms and random furniture and delicious food.

We also found streets as vibrant as in Xi’an. In this case the food on offer was a little bit more exotic. And in case you wondered, yes, the scorpions on the stick were still alive.

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I hope you enjoyed this post.

Best Regards,


posted by cs at 22:47  

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