Just as its name implies, the Muslim Street is the hub of the Muslim community in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province. Located to the north of the West Street, the street covers several blocks, and inhabited by over 20,000 Muslims. There are about ten mosques located in this area. The Great Mosque in the Huajue Lane is the most famous one.
Why Muslim Street is special
Muslim Street has a long history. It is said that in old days, foreign diplomatic envoys and merchants lived here. They married and had children and then the population gradually increased. Today, most of the inhabitants here are the descendants of those immigrants. All the Muslims here are the pious and devout followers of Islam so they form a tight knit community, which maintains its own culture and traditions in such a modern society. Now it is a famous place among tourists where you could find all kinds of Muslim food and Xi’an souvenir. The buildings on both sides of the street are modeled on the styles of both the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Some of the constructions are restaurants while others are stores.
Muslim Street highlights
Muslim Street which is paved with dark colored stone is 500 meters (about 547 yards) in length from south to north, the street is lined with various Muslim restaurants and food stalls. There is one thing in common: the owners are all Muslims. There you could try mouthwatering Shaanxi snacks such as tried beef, dried fruit, salty walnuts, persimmon pies, peanut candy, tamarind pulp, and so on. Also, you may interested in Shaanxi local noodles including Biangbiang noodles, Kudai Noodles (the noodle is as wide as belt), and Qishan noodles. Roujiamo (Chinese hamburger) with beef fillings is also a popular among tourists.
Souvenir market and shadow play theater
For tourists who want to buy some Xi’an souvenirs, Muslim Street is a good choice. Xibeilou souvenir store located in near the entrance of the street and Jiayongxin souvenir store is highly recommended. If you are interested in antique, you could also go to Huajue Lane, where is a big boutique market.
Tourists could also enjoy shadow play, one of the most famous local arts in Gaojia Dayuan (in the middle part of the Muslim Street). Shadow play is a kind of drama in which paper and leather made silhouettes are projected onto a white screen. Shadow play performers just stand behind the screen and control the silhouettes. When the play gets started, the performers will sing the libretto to tell the story. The story-telling procedure is accompanied by traditional Chinese music.