The anime community in Xi’an has gained a new hotspot recently. Indeed, it is none other than the Xi’an Anime Club, founded by our beloved Jason Rogers.
Mr. Jason Rogers comes from Maryland, USA. Amongst the sea of cartoon media during his childhood, anime was quintessential. Indeed, many of us started watching anime because of 4Kids and Toonami’s localized versions. To the young Jason, anime wasn’t too different from other cartoons, including his first anime, Pokémon, and his longest anime companion, One Piece. However, after learning about the differences between American cartoons and Japanese anime, Jason started to understand this form of media even more, which brought him to his first “adult” anime, Cowboy Bebop.
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Only a short (<10min) walk from Yanpingmen Station (Line 3) and with car access from Tuanjie South Road (团结南路), Hualuxe Hotel is very accessible. Upon arrival, we learned from the welcoming staff that the hotel had just opened last year. Everything from the decorations to the appliances to the meticulously manicured bamboo-lined entryway demonstrates a modern Chinese style.
Notable is that throughout the lobby of the hotel were cages of various kinds – a distinctive feature hinting at an appeal to affluent clientele. After all, in ancient China, only the wealthy had the time and resources to care for and admire pet birds. According to Dazhong Dianping, the restaurant is currently the #5-ranked buffet in Xi’an for environmental quality.
I once had a friend who used to complain about the lack of standalone restaurants. He loathed the fact that every half decent restaurant happened to be in a mall or jammed into the first floor of a building, not allowing for much in the way of outdoor seating or enjoyment. And it’s true, real estate is a premium and the fact of the matter is that it is more economical to save on expenses by going the mall route. It’s also almost guaranteed foot traffic to help your business along. So when you find a restaurant that breaks out of this mold; that is something to pay attention to.
You haven’t really lived in china if you’ve never had ChuanChuan! A simple but delicious dish originated from Chongqing and rapidly spread to all of the country. Once, a cheap and common food of most street food streets, ChuanChuan has slowly moved upstream with restaurants opening in some of the more fancy malls around the country and obviously Xi’an.
One notable restaurant is “Super Wow ChuanChuan” or “chao ji wa ChuanChuan” a lovely new spot located in SKP mall near the south gate
I’m a coffee guy, plain and simple. Don’t get me wrong, as a British guy I do enjoy a ‘Cuppa tea’ every now and then, but my go to drink is definitely coffee. When wandering along the side street of Mandi plaza near the Big Goose Pagoda, I stumbled across a hidden gem: Remedy coffee & beer. This place may not be the biggest, but boy do they have a good selection of drinks. The decoration of this place is very clinical with simple colors and makes it an overall relaxing environment to be in.
One of the largest art museums in the city, this museum is located near the Shaanxi Provincial Stadium. This museum often features new exhibits on a regular rotation. Open from Tuesday to Sunday 09:00-17:00 and is opened to the public.
Spittoon is an arts collective that hosts events and new platforms to share your work, especially creative writing. While I was living in Beijing, I loved attending the events and became friends with event leaders, which is how we decided to bring Spittoon to Xi’an this year. Spittoon has expanded to Shanghai, Chengdu, and Dali, just to name a few, and each city has a unique style, and although each city and event has an intimate vibe, Spittoon wants all participants to feel a part of the whole.
Some examples of Spittoon events around China include storytelling nights, music and poetry collaborations, creative writing workshops, and book clubs. As far as Spittoon Xi’an, we started with simple gatherings writers can read (or have someone else) read their work aloud, and we are so grateful for the wonderful support thus far. In the future, we will have new writing events including Poetry night, Fiction with a theme, workshops, and also, we will collaborate with others Xi’an groups including book clubs, film makers, photographers, and musicians. We are also looking for more Spittoon Xi’an leaders to be the hosts of these new unique events as well as translators, to include more Chinese language writers.
It’s no secret that pollution has been a major issue in the past, and has become one of the top priorities that the government has decided to tackle. One of the major contributors to urban air pollution is car exhaust, and in an effort to combat this, several preferential policies have been released favoring electric vehicles, such as the BMW iX3. To find out more, we sat down with Yevhen and Yuliana Balatsanov to talk about their experience driving an electric vehicle in Xi’an.
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When we arrived late at the YGTD Shopping Mall on a Monday evening, almost every table was full at Ban’s Bistro. Waiters and waitresses were rushing everywhere to deliver food. Each table features fiery tableside grills, which staff were furiously flipping meat, sending flames and crackles of sizzling fat flying through the air.
Only one problem: we were HANGRY. We thought it would take forever to get food. However, instead of waiting forever, we only waited for about two minutes before we were seated. One thing to note: when you visit this location, you will definitely want to order meat – after all, this restaurant calls itself the rouku, literally translated as something like “meat depot.”
L ocated on the 5th floor of the mall, LECITY, this restaurant isn’t at all difficult to locate, though access to public transport might be an issue for those who do not reside in the area. However, there will soon be a subway station opening nearby.
The mall houses a number of restaurants, some of which are well-known chains, but even so the Halal dim sum restaurant stays quite competitive. I arrived at the restaurant at 5:25 PM on a Saturday, which is just before the regular dinnertime of local residents, and the restaurant already had quite a number of customers. However, as the restaurant has a capacity of almost 300, there was still plenty of space to sit.
It seems like everywhere you go these days, new bars are popping up. With most of the main commercial areas already filled to the gills with chain restaurants and other similar establishments, the smaller boutique places have turned to side alleys and back streets to open up, creating tiny enclaves of unique and interesting shops. One such place is Ti Yu Guan Lu, located on a small street behind the SKP at South Gate. Here a wide variety of restaurants and tap rooms have opened up, including its most recent addition, Snug Room.
Located directly on the southwest corner of the intersection, Snug Room has a tight, almost bunker-like appearance from the outside, with a few tables sitting outside in the evening. Stepping inside, you are immediately greeted by a prominent bar, with plenty of seat around it, as well as several high-top and low-top tables for you to sit at. The windows are in a high small row that looks out onto the street, which gives the whole place a hidden feeling, as you can see out but others would have a hard time seeing in.
Opened just six months ago at the tail end of 2020, Nick Motors Coffee is a small little café on Defu Xiang, also known as Bar Street. Opened by a group of friends with a passion for motorcycles, this coffee shop is located right next to the only motorcycle wash in the downtown area. The owners opened the shop so that they would have a place to sit, relax, and have a cup of coffee while waiting for their bikes to get cleaned.
The name of the shop was selected because they thought that it sounded like the name of an old school repair shop, so there’s no actual person named Nick inside, but there are a few seats and narrow tables to sit down and have a coffee. The entire front of the shop is made from glass, so you can look out on the sleepy street and admire the numerous motorcycles parked out front, either waiting to be cleaned or having just finished. There’s even a space inside for motorcycles that are currently for sale, currently being occupied by a 500k beauty of a motorcycle.
Even if it’s too short to fully enjoy, spring time is here in Xi’an. Have you seen the cherry blossoms? They are
magnificent. But whether I’m enjoy a meal al fresco, or taking a boat ride with friends on a lake, I always find myself asking the same question; how can cocktails improve this experience? So once again, I am here to provide you with some cocktails to help take your express spring time to the next (boozy-filled) level. Yes that’s correct. 3 cocktails perfect for light breezes, sunshine and flowers blooming.
In China, it is inevitable that, at some point, you will find yourself taking the “scenic” route. In this case, we were cycling with some SHIT (Shaanxi Hills International Team) enthusiasts to Zhu Guo Si (祝国寺) along the national road (国道) 210 and couldn’t help but admire the many hundreds of murals along the way (a huge shout out to Marcus and Zerary who waited for all of these photos).
While fresh air came in puffs (punctuated with the odor of manure), we wound our way through villages. There are a wide variety of political slogans, some of which you may recognize around Xi’an. We have even provided pinyin and English translations, in the event you develop a case of culturally-appropriated patriotism.
Parks and Spring go together like any number of cliché pairings. It’s this brief period of time when the parks explode in a riot of color and greenery, and when it is not too hot to enjoy it. People head out in droves to enjoy those little slices of manicured nature, whether flying kites, piloting paddle boats, or simply strolling around and enjoying the views and the weather. There are over 146 different parks in Xi’an, but with so many people trying to enjoy the same kinds of activities, it can get a bit cramped. That’s why we’ve gathered together a list of the biggest parks in Xi’an, so you’ll have a bit of room to enjoy your Spring.
Xi’an in spring offers the opportunity to take your cultural experience and moment-capturing photography to the next level by introducing the unique element of history this city offers in abundance with the accompaniment of cherry blossoms and spring flowers in bloom. To take advantage of this backdrop, you may have seen locals walking around in traditional-style clothing in search of the perfect background to match the patterns and colours of the historically cultural fashion statement called “Hanfu”.
For many locals in Xi’an, spring means eating the bounty of fresh herbs that grow for a short period during the spring. There is a saying that a spring without herbs is a soulless one. During springtime, you will most likely find many locals heading to the mountains and fields to dig up wild herbs with shovels in hands and sunhats on head, as the potherb is the soul of theirs and this is the way they greet Spring.
Since ancient time there has been a wording 咬春 Yao Chun or Bite Spring, it is the season for potherbs in March and April switching from the heavy meats and fish of the Spring Festival holiday to lighter and more fresh tastes. So, tune into the season and get a mouthful of Spring.
There is a saying that if you ate a different Chinese dish every day of your life, you would not be able to eat every dish over an entire life time. While Chinese cuisine can be a vast and complicated subject, generally there are eight major cuisines, with a four of those considered to be the ‘Great Traditions’ recognized as the best of the best, and also meant to represent the best of the North, South, East, and West. Most people will be familiar with Chuan, the food from Shaanxi’s neighboring province of Sichuan, as well as Yue, the food of Guangdong, commonly referred to as Cantonese cuisine.