We walked around the city walls in Xi’An today (actually only a quarter of them – it is a 13km rectangle – largest intact city walls in the world!).
Now we are done with Xi’An (not a great town outside of the historical sites) we are on our way to Beijing. We managed to get deluxe soft sleeper tickets – a private 2-berth compartment with private toilet! It was only $30 more expensive than flying – $130 each! And we save a night in a hotel and the transport to/from the airport) so really it works out cheaper. It’s interesting that this class of travel, when it was launched, was done so almost in secret with no information or booking available to the public. Party members and military officers would get to use them. Now anyone who can pay the relatively high cost can travel like this! (and for us it’s about the same price as a standard class seat peak time return from swindon to london).
Oh, and we’ve got dinner, beer and some “great wall” wine.. It’s a tough life being a backpacker