西安大清真寺 (Xī’ān Dà Qīngzhēnsì), the Great Mosque of Xī’ān, is an amazing monument to multiculturalism, a series of peaceful gardens and temples that combine Chinese and Arabic architecture.
The place is full of Daoist-style pagodas, dragons, and spirit walls, but also with beautiful Chinese-inspired Arabic calligraphy – and the temple complex points towards Mecca, unlike most Chinese temple complexes, which are North-South aligned.
The mosque, which calls the city’s sizeable Muslim population to prayer five times a day, is only one example of the Middle Eastern influence in Western China, where the spices and dried fruits of the Silk Road mix in unique ways with Chinese cuisine.
One famous Xī’ān dish is pàomò, a flavourful bread-and-lamb broth said to have been invented when an emperor soaked some dry bread in his mutton soup and suddenly the angels were singing. But actually, try it!
Chinese gate, Arabic writing, global wow. Baidu Baike