Exploring Xi’an: Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The group poses on our first trip to the city’s most famous Pagoda.  (We frequent this location as it is very close to the Indian restaurant that never fails during our please-anything-but-Chinese-food moods.)IMG_0886

The students follow Kevin’s advice and try a touch for good luck. IMG_0905

Taken moments before our climb to the top.   Unfortunately, it was fairly overcast during our visit.  I didn’t get a good shot of the view.  IMG_0901


Train to Xi’an: Type 2 Fun

We arrived in Xi’an on the morning of February 14th, after doing serious amounts of group bonding for 14 hours on our train ride from Hangzhou.   We may not have looked our best after literally rolling out of bed (read: cot) and trying to clean up in the dirtiest bathroom we had encountered, but, we were warmly welcomed by a big crowd none-the-less.

Here are a few of the highlights from our trip into Xi’an:IMG_0768 Maya and Pabs find entertainment from a toy vendor while we wait to board the train.  Maya wrote a great blog about this very moment.   Read it here.  IMG_0774Note for future CHEX-ers:    Train tickets in China look much like train tickets in America.  You may have the tendency to lose them, toss them in your coat pocket, or rip them into pieces.   Don’t do this last thing in China.  You will need to hand your ticket in to someone working on the train.  Here we are taping a ticket together to avoid getting kicked off the train.   Good thing CHEX 2013 thrives under pressure.  IMG_0782
We were hoping for something a little more Harry Potter when we heard we’d be traveling by train.   Like I said,  lots of group bonding.