|Taiji master and students|
Pillows. Our hotel in Beijing included the usual two pillows, but one of them was strange -- heavy and lumpy, as if it were filled with gravel. Turns out it was filled with buckwheat husks. The first night I tossed it on the floor. But the second night I gave it a try (the other, synthetic pillow, was too fat for my comfort. I liked it. It was firm but malleable and helped me to a good night's sleep. The hotel in Xi'an did not provide a buckwheat pillow and I found I missed it. So, I bought one when I returned home and have been using it ever since.
Terracotta Soldiers. As someone remarked later in the Chengdu airport, visiting the Terracotta soldiers is one of the China tourist cliches. I saw the traveling exhibit in Seattle a couple of decades ago, but there's nothing like the real thing. I was impressed by the scale of the ancient project and the pride and care that's gone into the modern project. It's both a major visitor center and an active archeological dig.
Home visit. We traveled about an hour out of town to a rural village for a visit and a meal. We were hosted by two families and had a fine time visiting the market, trying out our "Chinese," and helping to make lunch. Both hostesses were friendly and interesting. Their houses were quite nice, spacious, two stories, with tall ceilings and nice finishing.
Flickr has an album of photos.