Xi’an and Its Easy Bargaining

The trip to Xi’an was my last group trip before the long flight home. Others will travel to Meixian next week, but I have chosen to spend my last three weekends in Shanghai. I just couldn’t give up the remaining time to any other place. In less than three weeks we will be back on American soil!

Like always, I’m so happy to be back in China’s most diverse city. Even though this trip lasted barely three days, I didn’t need to spend any more time in Xi’an. We went to see the terra cotta warriors and that’s what mattered most.

Our visit to the warriors excited me more than our tour sites in Beijing. While you might think the weather had something to do with that, hold that thought. When we woke up Thursday morning, it was cold and rainy, but thankfully it wasn’t snowing. As the day progressed, the weather improved and so did our spirits.

During the tour, our guide, Alan, informed us that most, if not all, of the warriors we saw were replicas. Bummer, right? The real ones were badly destroyed many years ago. I had not known this, but I didn’t let it clout my experience, at least, not a lot.

Like Shanghai and Beijing, Xi’an has its own fake market. You know me, I can’t resist a fake market, especially when I’m only around for a short time. At the market, one can find Longchamp, Louis Vuitton, and Prada bags, Polo, Paul Smith, and Burberry shirts, and quite the assortment of “pearl” jewelry. Sadly, these fake goods can’t compare to the ones in Shanghai or Beijing. The quality isn’t that great, so I didn’t purchase any bags, clothes, or jewelry.

I had 60 kuai in my pocket, about 10 USD. How could I buy anything for 60 kuai? You’d be surprised. I made two purchases that night, and good ones at that. I found something that intrigued me, so I asked the price. I don’t remember the starting price, but whatever it was, it was too much. Remember, the asking price is always too much, even if you think it’s a cheap starting price. With a little input from Shanel, I bargained the owner down to 25 kuai. Here’s a tip: if you want to pay less, buy more than one. You can always give one to someone as a gift, or keep both for yourself. I decided on two and bargained the owner down to 20 kuai a piece . With only 20 kuai left, I doubted I could bargain for anything else. Sadly, I saw a pair of Vans I liked. White ones. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have enough money.

As much as I’d love to show and tell, I’m keeping these two purchases a secret. If you see me when I’m home, maybe you can figure it out, but I doubt it. Don’t worry; I still have one more trip to Han City. Wonder what I’ll walk away with this time? Let’s hope I don’t lose my cool with the shop owners.

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