Friday 18 August 2006
Highlights: Xi’an Great Mosque
Today I visited the Great Mosque in Xi’an before our afternoon departure to Luoyang starting with a walk around the many local markets of Xi’an (they had Saddam Hussein playing cards from the Iraq war).
The Mosque is very unusual, in some ways hidden among the streets and vendors but once found (I got lost) it is definitely grand. The Mosque is really a combining of Chinese style with tradition Muslim designs something I’ve never seen before. They actually had a funeral on later so the place was very solemn.
The local Muslims don’t actually wear all the standard clothes of the religion, for example the women mostly just wear a white hat but you can see their faces. Obviously the Chinese don’t really support the Mosque, the roads around it are unpaved (really the first time I have seen this) and in urgent need of repair. After my Mosque inspection I headed off to the very impressive city wall which is a total of 14 kms long. Most Chinese city don’t have these walls anymore due to the Communist Party expanding most cities under 5 year plans, Xi’an however missed out and are now reaping the tourism benefit.