To many people, it’s surprising to find out that China isn’t a country full of just one ethnicity. In fact, China is home to 55 different ethnic minorities and actually has a significant Muslim population. A big part of that population is the Uyghur (pronounced wee-gur) people, who mainly reside in Xinjiang, a western province that borders Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Kygyzstan and Afghanistan. But Chinese Muslims can be found all over the country and in major cities like Xi’an in Shaanxi Province. While the Terracotta Warriors are surely the biggest draw to Xi’an, the city also has China’s biggest mosque, which looks like any other temple in China except for the Arabic writing. Xi’an also boasts some delicious Muslim food.
It seems like going to China without eating dim sum is on par with going to Italy and not eating pasta. But in truth, dim sum is really a specialty of Hong Kong and Guangdong (formerly known as Canton). Fortunately, in this day and age, you can find Cantonese restaurants all over China. In Xi’an, we found a place called Star Ferry near the Bell Tower. The interior of the restaurant was decorated like a boat, and I later found out that it was named for a ferry company operating in Hong Kong.
After Shanghai, we headed to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors. We landed at night and although it was pretty late, I was a hungry unvegan. I remembered Xi’an having some great late-night street food, but after four years so much had changed in China and I hoped this was not one of them. I took a quick stroll just south of the Bell Tower and found just what I was looking for. While Shanghai had some good street skewer food (none of which I actually had on this trip), it was nothing compared to what could be found in Xi’an.