Heading northwest from Chengdu one reaches a city called Xi'an. It is most famed for the discovery of the marvellous Terracotta Army, thousands of buried terracotta soldiers set out in battle formation ready to guard the soul of China's first Emperor Qin Shu Chang - which is a thorughly impressive site. Archealogy aside there's also lots to please the intrepid gastronome. Xi'an is home to a large Hui (Chinese muslim) population and whilst they may not differ genetically from the Han Chinese a visit to the Muslim quarter shows their diet does, not least through the Chinese staple meat of pork. I've heard it said that the pork issue was the biggest barrier in China to the spread of Islam and with its central place in Chinese cuisine, and the importance of cuisine here, I can well believe it. The religion spread pretty well in these parts though so in Xi'an the sheep plays a big role. I'm a it behind on the blogging so will have to do another list style post, I'm sure I'll do another format some day soon though.