A day trip to a refreshing city called Baoji. When locals mentioned a smaller place close by, my mind immediately painted a still life image of a horse drawn cart loaded with luscious brightly colored fruit. As this concept became more vivid in my mental eye – my need, to embark on a journey to see the quaint little town with the river running through it, had to be met!
A little research showed that it has a population of close to 4 million which could just as well have been New Zealand. I was immediately led to a shocking realization that it’s quite a developed city. At this point, there were no more horses galloping in my head. Situated towards the western border of the Shaanxi Province, it rests in a perfect location – mainly for its easy transport connections to neighboring provinces.
This also explains why Baoji played a major role in times when merchants were transporting their valuable silks. Secondly, it boasts an infrastructure where industrial and commercial worlds are not intertwined.
Acquiring train tickets posed a hassle free task and the only difference between the fast and the slow train is the impact it has on the amount of spending money you set for the day. A more comfortable one-way ride on the flashy new bullet train would set you back about 50 RMB and takes just a little over an hour. You could also opt for a softer fee of 13 RMB on a harder seat for something close to 3 hours
The crisp blue skies felt welcoming and I soon realized how much the veil of smog can bog you down. The streets were incredibly clean and I had to constantly remind myself that I wasn’t strolling through the neat avenues of Lucerne. I felt that if I’d even thought about dropping a cigarette butt – everyone in the city would have charged my way. It is, indeed, one of the cleanest cities in China.
If you want to do more touristy things, there are the Fishing Terrace, the Zhougong Temple, the Jintaiguan Temple, the Tiantai Mountain scenic area, the Yangshao Culture and the Baoji Bronze Ware Museum. The Famen Temple is located halfway back to Xi’an. On the other hand, just visiting for a day could bring you back with a refreshed mind and relaxed lungs all just by wandering through this city.
I proudly managed to pick up a pack of menthol cigarettes for a record breaking 3RMB (so much for the relaxed lungs) To top it all – if you are up for a day without any hawking or gawking don’t hesitate to get your tickets and venture off to the precious chicken – Baoji.