Once Were Warriors


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Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an
May 31st 2006
Published: May 31st 2006
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Army of Terracotta WarriorsArmy of Terracotta WarriorsArmy of Terracotta Warriors

More terracotta than a May bank holiday in B&Q!
Following a twelve hour comfortable overnight train journey from Beijing, we reached the ancient capital of China - Xi'an. This city of some 6.6 million people is steeped in history and riddled with historic sites. Way too many for us to take in in just two days. On the train we met "Michael Jordan" (well that was what he told us his name was) a local from Xi'an who spoke excellent English and was keen to practice his on us. He was very chilled out funny guy and we had a good laugh with him on the train as we tried to pronounce some Chinese expressions from the phrase book.

The big draw for us and most international tourists is the Army of Terracotta Warriors. A very well preserved army of 6,000 Terracotta soldiers that are 2,000 years old and were only discovered in 1974 by peasants digging a well. We spent our first day however, exploring the city markets and stalls around the Great Mosque and visiting the Bell and drum tower. It's a very nice city in the centre and a lot less polluted than Beijing. We had arrived on a Saturday afternoon though and this meant the streets were jam packed and the temperature was hitting 35 degrees at mid day. This definitely slowed us down but it was a nice whirlwind tour of the city all the same. It was interesting to see the Islamic Chinese population for the first time on out travels in China. They were hard at work cooking up delicious snacks on the side streets near the Mosque. Also we took a walk around Xi'ans old city walls that are a pretty impressive sight encircling the city.

Day two and we rose early to visit the warriors and we were both very impressed at what we saw. The army is spread out across three large pits and are in battle formation all facing to the east. They are guarding the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's whose tomb also lies nearby. Now I don't really know what these guys were supposed to do in the event of an attack on the emperor but we can only conclude that the Japanese were planning to invade using a crack force of Garden Gnomes. Any road, it's a very impressive sight and worth the trip.

Next on to Chengdu - home of the Giant Panda.


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1st June 2006

Armies!!!
I want them in the back on me garden!!!

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