Friday, December 14, 2012

The Great Mosque of Xi'an

On the freezing late afternoon, we walked into the famous Great Mosque of Xi'an at last. We were very stunned and speechless to see its very ancient Chinese architecture instead. It does not have any domes or minarets at all. The whole walled complex of 13,000 sq meters was so well preserved, neat and beautifully landscaped with so many artistic arches and 4 big landscaped courtyards. I took over 100 exciting photos here but will only post some 20+ nice shots.

The mosque was built in the year 742 A.D.during the Tang Dynasty and it was restored over the years with many ancient furnitures and buildings being added on from the period of Ming until Qing Dynasties.

  It is simply awesome to admire them when cold teperature always made Anay's mood very HAPPY.

 They were so many layers of arches and doors to explore........

......... and so many interesting corners to camwhore!

I simply loved this corner as the buildings were so greyish and tranquil looking!

 Anay surely had to pose there and do his signature "golek kaki" a bit. Tell me nice or not?

It was lovely to walk around and Winter is definitely the best time to visit Xi'an as thousands of tourists would normally jostle here everyday in Spring, Summer and Falls.

 The grounds were spotlessly clean and well swept. We loved it.

 We spent over 2 hours relaxing on the benches like new courting couples in love.

 There are different arches to pass through before you enter another courtyard.

 Even their washing area before prayers has the majestic and grandeur looking entrance!

 I saw an old bicycle!! ........Anay was going to fetch Letchumy to ronda-ronda!

 Letchumy waited lovingly for Anay to come on his old bicycle.

Poor Letchumy had to carry so many heavy bags of souvenirs!!! Anay bought so much dried fruits for Lina, Ah Hua and the rest of the Hamsap bloggers & relatives!

.....Every door leads you to a new environment.....
"May each new day leads you to a new happy beginnings"

 Letchumy mumbled that she wants to climb the 99 peaks Jianghuai Mountains in Anhui next year!! Poor anay's legssss!

 An ancient well.

 Here is where they kept the big drum to call for daily prayers.

The Chinese Muslims are mostly the Hui Clans and they are friendly & very polite. This grandfather was surprised that Letchumy could speak fluent Beijing's Mandarin but she is from Maaaalaaaaaiiiissiiiaaaaa! (Long ago Letchumy was doing the voice over to speak & report from Malaysia during the News Hour at Astro-Phoenix Channel) So she pandai to croak out her Beijing Putonghua.

This kind man offered to show us around to view some ancient stone tablets which were displayed in the museums. The Great Mosque is over 1,250 years old and has received more than 10 million visitors since it opened it doors to the public in 1978.

There is a lovely mosaic art piece of the Mecca and they were made from tiny pieces of jade pieces in its natural colours!

It was very warm to see all the Muslim brothers chatting away happily in every available corner prior to their prayers.

This is the final arch and you will enter the main building of the big prayer hall. No photos were allowed inside and I had to stay outside as a respect too.

 All the Muslim brothers hurriedly walked into the hall on time for the call of prayers.

 At that moment the Azan filled the air, naturally I suddenly thought of our friend Blogger Lina, therefore I told myself that I had to dedicate this interesting post to her with the hope that she could bring her family there someday in Winter too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Streets Of Xian

This is my 2nd last post about my happy Xian trip. Follow me to tour along the Chinese Muslim streets in Xian where they sold many interesting native products and food. I loved the ancient looking shops there with all the Chinese carvings on their beams. We found that most of the Muslims in Xian are most good looking with their mixed features and have very polite manners. I read up some facts that there are over 20 million Muslims in China.

We started walking from here on the way to see the beautiful "Great Mosque".

We passed all the Muslim shops and restaurants which were run by Chinese Muslims. Their food was interesting and delicious!

This street is a must to visit, for all visitors to Xian. Everything is very much cheaper compared to the street markets in Taiwan or Hong Kong.

Anay posed outside the most famous dumpling shop in the whole of China. We went in there to have our dinner.

They sold very colourful stuffed decorations made of cloths with good luck charms and greetings. I regretted for not buying them!!!! I thought I could get them in Singapore but I forgot about the price conversions!

Xian has interesting  many sculptures everywhere along the boulevards.

My wife sat on the bench as I was always busy snapping photos. I realised she smiled to the Lion Stone and they were chatting!!!!

A young lady weaved using the traditional way to make scarves. Many people crowded around to watch her speed!

Letchumy was stunned to see them selling fried hot BIG chillies mixed with nuts!!!! The Xian Muslims ate them like peanuts. We bought one bag and never finished till now.

This guy sold the best Sesame Biscuits I had ever eaten. I came back twice to buy from him. It was so fragrant and crispy thin.

Their Xian food was nice and unique! I did not take much photos as I am not a food blogger.

It was a popular stall selling a latest clip that could tie a beautiful hair bun in less than 30 seconds.

I was impressed to see many stalls selling huge sized paper-cut motifs. All were hand made and beautiful.  I could not bring them up the plane without tearing them.

Guess what was that brown stuffs on the right?? It is Walnuts inside!! You need to crack its hard shells to extract the walnuts out.

The meat sticks dipped with yummy sauces and grilled over charcoal. It was nice to eat them in cold Winter.

This traditional bread seller looked like a handsome Bollywood actor - Saif Ali Khan but he is a Chinese Muslim.

My wife loves this and bought so much!!! I forgot its name but ate them like junk food tablets when I was in primary school. My mum used to say they were toxic colourings! All wrong, that is the original safe colouring.

They sold many funny things but I was not sure what they were. Any idea?????

We have reached the walls outside the beautiful "Great Mosque". I have saved the best for the last. I will post them this Friday and dedicate to Blogger Lina. Thank you for reading.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shaanxi History Museum & Big Wild Goose Pagoda

I love to visit Museums very much! The biggest I have visited was The Metropolitan Museum of New York City which took 2 days to finish! In China there are only 3 top and biggest museums that are located in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian - Shaanxi.

The museums in Beijing and Shanghai houses many ancient collections from worldwide but the one in Xian only houses their own collections unearthed from Shaanxi Province!! They have over 300,000 items inside and they were all very interesting indeed.

They have so many beautiful & rare items salvaged from the eras of Zhou Dynasty until the last Qing Dynasty. The items from Tang Dynasty started to have tri-colours with interesting designs.

There were altogether 13 Dynasties in Xian when it was the first capital in China. That is the reasons they have so much historical relics unearthed from so many tombs of the Famous Warlords and Emperors.

"Fat Was Beautiful" during Tang Dynasty. All the most beautiful ladies during the Tang Dynasty had to be meaty or on the fat sides. It was fashionable to look enormous!

 The earliest Guan Yin statue found during the Tang Dynasty using just 3 colours.

Interesting! 300 Honour Guards made for the Prince Qinjian during the Ming Dynasty (Year 1368 - 1644)

The enlightened Buddha's statue in the caves of Dunhuang, along the Silk Road where Buddhism was first preached in China.

This temple is the most famous for its legendary tales of "Journey To The West" where there was a Monkey God and the monk who carried the Sutra from India to China. This is a real piece of history and the Sutra was kept inside the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian.

The famous monk's statue outside at the entrance.

 The main entrance to Big Wild Goose Pagoda

 Anay & Letchumi - Sweet couple hugging on a cold day at 3 degrees C.

 History recorded that a real Big Goose crashed itself to death at this temple! The monks and devotees turned vegetarians since then.

 Outside the temple is a huge park with a big musical fountain area. Here a couple waited for the show but ended up fighting instead. The China Doll got pissed and smacked the guy's head repeatedly besides pulling his ears like a Donkey.

 It was a spectacular show with so many dancing fountains. Thousands of families gathered to watch the Sunday's weekly shows.

Goodness! It was too cold and my head turned into a block of ice! I stayed on just to snap these photos for you to enjoy.

Unforgettable Day

😓 Yesterday was the weakest day of my whole entire life. I had to crawl my way to stay at my sister's place. At her Mont Kiara condo...