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How The Big Wild Goose Pagoda In Xian Got Its Name

Big Wild Goose Pagoda was named after prayer that was answered by Bodhisattva.


Stunning #sunset in #Xian, #China by the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. #travel

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

After watching the stunning sunset in Hangzhou, I made an attempt to capture a sunset in every city I visited. I missed my chance to see one when I was at The Tiger Hill Pagoda in Suzhou. This time, I made sure not to make the same mistake in Xian.

After my visit to the Terracotta Army, I went to The Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Here’s the story behind the funny name:

A legend goes that there were two branches of Buddhism in India, the Mahayana and the Hinayana. The Mahayana believers are vegetarians but the others are meat-eating people. One day, the Hinayana believers couldn’t find meat to eat. Suddenly a flock of big wild geese flew over the sky. A monk murmured to him: ‘Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.’

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Xian’s Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army was discovered by local farmers and created to protect the Emperor of China in his afterlife.


Terracotta soldiers in #Xian, #China. #Travel

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

Xian is most known for the Terracotta Army, an excavation site located about an hour away in the city’s suburbs. Inside the old city walls, plenty of tour companies run the route. Like many major attractions, buses drop off visitors at local markets where rows of shop owners sell identical souvenirs. Other than getting ripped off, these tourist traps are the second most annoying thing about being a tourist.

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Biking On Xian’s City Walls

Looking down on the city of Xian from the city walls gives a stark comparison between new China and old China.


Old fort on top of the #Xian wall. #travel #China #backintheday

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

Xian’s city walls, one of the most well preserved walls in China, were built to defend against Japanese attacks. Bullet holes can be seen scattered by the South Gate. The top of the walls is wide enough to transport horses, troops and their artillery.

Outside the walls is the new Xian sprawling with development. Inside, the old Xian is topped with traditional rooftops and laced with air-dried laundry on bamboo sticks. China has a way of putting me in two places at once – the past and the present.

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