The famous Muslim quarter (also called Islamic Street) located behind the Drum Tower. It is home to around 30,000 people of the city's Hui (Chinese Muslim) population.
During the 8th century AD, Xi'an was the largest city in the world with over one million inhabitants, among which one third of them were foreigners. It used to be the starting point of the Silk Road. This road linked Constantinople with China. The journey used to take more than two years. Horses, camels and carriages brought precious goods from one part of the world to the other. But it was not only material things that were transported; culture, religion and languages were also brought to China from what is Turkey today.
Two of the world's leading religions arrived in China along the Silk Route, Buddhism and Islam. Islam became particularly popular in the city of Xian. The ancestors of these Muslims dwelled in Xian with Han people harmoniously and built Great Mosque for worship simultaneously. Still today part of the population of Xian is Muslim.
Muslim quarter is a fascinating area where you can find exotic food, interesting people (some of the residents are still look like their Arabian cousins) and great souvenir stalls. You can taste many authentic Islamic snacks, like beef or mutton Rou Jia Mo (Chinese Hamburger), northwestern style noodles, Yangrou Paomo and many other attractive snacks that will not make you disappointed. The restaurants and eateries here are serving their food in budget prices.
When night falls, the Muslim quarter is one of most busy place in Xi'an. The fact that this area has been a home to Chinese Muslims for over one thousand years yet the dividing line between the two cultures is immediately apparent is something that most visitors unfortunately never notice or think about.
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