(From our trip in April 2018)
Finally it’s time to get the hell out of Disney Dodge….I couldn’t be more pleased to reset, exorcise the Disney demons and get this show on the road…or in the air as we are heading to Pudong Airport in a cab to fly to Xian.
The airport is a large and intense situation but fortunately since we are flying out early the crowds are low. I can imagine during “peak flying” time this place would be stressful with a capital PASS THE VALIUM!!!
I have to make a confession, like the true worst catholic ever Catholic I am, I was a bit nervous about flying China Eastern Airlines. I can be a bit judgy-mcjudge-bitch when it comes to dodgy little airlines that I’ve never heard of because….well I’m HUMAN and I want to stay that way!!!
I mean, did I think we may have to flap our wings to get this bird in the air? Hmmm kinda. Did I worry that my plus size arse was not going to fit on the chicken crate they were going to pass off as a seat? Yeah guilty. Did I have some concerns that I may have to jump in and do the safety chat with the arm swings, pointy fingers and life vest like the incredible air hostess I’ve always hoped and dreamed of being??? (ugh I know, I know politically correct police….they are flight attendants but as a young girl dreamer of the 70’s/80s it will always be air hostess hotness strolling through the airport like the amazon air princess I knew I could be….so shut up). Wait…..what?! I digress.
Anyway, back to the confessional – I have to say I could not have been more WRONG about China Eastern Airlines. The flight staff were so sweet and friendly, the plane was modern and clean and can we talk about leg room people. LEG ROOM FOR DAYZZZZZ!!! I mean completely wasted on me since my legs are legit the length of a Victoria Secret Models, if you chopped off her legs, hacked them into quarters and then reattached one of those quarters to a living human woman. (ummm I’m starting to think I need to stop listening to all those true crime podcasts 24/7).
I wouldn’t hesitate to fly with this airline again, whether it was internally in China or internationally. They have won me over big time!
We had a driver pick us up at the other end because we are VIPs and shit. We are, ok!!! It’s always a relief when you see your name on a card – so elitist but I don’t care. My man likes the finer things in life and I’m all about making husband happy. Bahahaha lies but I do like a nice private car and driver.
I had booked this very cool boutique hotel called Eastern House Boutique Hotel I went with this one because the location was spot on and the price was very very good for the quality of the rooms. I did wonder whether when we got there “boutique” was going to have a whole other meaning hahaha, but I had read a ton of reviews and was feeling good about it. I was thrilled with the place. Free mango juice on arrival, free afternoon tea each day and a complimentary breakfast. I know, all I’ve mentioned is stuff to put in my belly but that’s the important stuff right. The room was very fancy modern as well.
We had a food tour booked for the afternoon/evening which had such amazing reviews. Our hotel was within walking distance of the meeting point which we thought was a great opportunity to see a little bit of Xian on the way since this really is a whirlwind visit to the city. What we hadn’t anticipated was the rain so it was a bit of a drizzly dreary trudge if I’m being honest.
The food tour was with Lost Plate Food Tours. We met outside what can only be described as a government office block in an uninspiring part of town. While we waited with our guide, Harvey for the rest of the people to arrive he handed over a can of beer so what can I say – The Kelly’s managed to keep it classy swigging beer out of a can on the streets of Xian. Kidding, we weren’t classy at all #classless.
Turns out all of the people on the tour were Australians!!! It was actually kinda fun because there is something about being in a foreign country and meeting someone from your own country that bonds you instantly. I mean some of the peeps were dodgey as and I wouldn’t probably be mates with them back home but here in China – BFFs for life!!!
To get around from place to place we had to jump into these Tuk Tuks which are essentially little tarp covered bike wagons of death. I cannot confirm or deny whether I had my eyes closed for much of the chaotic zipping in and out trips we did in the Tuk Tuks of Terror.
Most of the tour was set within the Muslim Market area of Xian. First up was a place famous for their noodles. I’m such a noodle lovin nerd so I was mesmerised by watching them make these long ass noodles. The quick precision and symmetry of it was amazing.
And then we got to eat the noodles which was even better. So these amazing bowls of yummy goodness has only 1 noodle in it. The noodle was so long it filled the bowl. Gotta tell you it challenged my chopstick skills. I’m fine with rice based things but slippery noodles send me into a messy embarrassing spiral of “pass me a damn fork”.
Next up was a place known in Xian as having the best dumplings. They sure weren’t joking.
These dumplings were the same as the Shanghai dumplings with the delicious soup mixture inside but the meat was beef instead of the traditional pork. The beef and the broth were sooooo flavourful – just like little chewy dumplings of HELL YES!!! Thank you Jesus of Dumplings, or should that me Allah of Dumplings? Look I just want to thank all of the gods and deities of the world for these dumplings!!!
Next up was BBQ – this guy just sits out the front here cooking away on his little set up having the time of his life. Our guide explained that this man has made plenty of money and no longer needs to work in his business but he just loves it so much so here he sits – bbq-ing his heart out to feed us. Get in my belly meat on sticks!!!
We went to a few more places, ate a few more things and the whole evening was fun and yummy.
Some of the exteriors of these fine dining establishments left a little to be desired and if left to our own devices we would never have ventured inside but that’s what’s so great about food tours. They take you behind the “pretty facades” and into the real food of a city.
We finished the night at a brewery and honestly we both could’ve kicked on a bit but we had a very early start and a huge day tomorrow so like the responsible adults we always like to tell people we are, but rarely act like, we headed back to the hotel for a sleep. The walk back with all the pretty lit up buildings was lovely.
Huge day of hanging with the Warriors tomorrow….can’t wait!!!