Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

Shanghai    Suzhou    Guilin    Wuhan    Yangtze    Chongqing    Beijing

Touring the Sites in Xian

The main attraction for us in Xian consisted of the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors. A mile and a quarter east of the Tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang lies the Terracotta Army Museum and archeological digs. But first we stopped at a factory that makes replicas of the warriors and horses. The artisans create their replicas with the same method as the artisans did 2,200 years ago. One replica in particular had a vaguely familiar face.

Many of us had seen a small part of this incredible army when China shipped some of the soldiers over to the States. But we were unprepared at the sight of 6,000 of them standing where they were placed over 2,000 years ago. Most of the statues had been crushed, and workers had to painstakingly piece them back together. We first entered Vault One. The immensity of the excavation overwhelmed us at first. Walking around to the far side, we saw areas with statues in various stages of being put back together.

In the third pit of the museum complex stood some imposing bronze horses and chariots. When we’d finished exploring the museum complex, we boarded our bus and headed out for lunch. After lunch, we stopped at a lacquer ware factory.

Lacquer Ware Factory and Store

To get to our next stop, we passed through the main gate of the wall surrounding the city of Xian. The most well-preserved and intact of the Chinese ancient walls, it looms forty feet-tall and stretches on for eight-and-a-half miles. During our free time, some of us ventured to climb the wall and take a walk on it, but found out that you had to pay to get up there. No matter because we never did find the entrance to the stairs.

The detailed work of the lacquer ware impressed us quite a bit. Lacquer screens, reproductions of the warriors, and other artifacts filled the adjacent store. Many of our group bought smaller statues of warriors and other trinkets.

Tang Dynasty Show

Dinner took place in a large room filled with far too many other tourists. The focus of the room was the stage, where an actor demonstrated his ritual of making himself up for the show. The dinner was very crowded with tourists and uncomfortable seating with waiters banging into backs of chairs as they tried to thread they way through to serve dishes to the tables. The food tasted bland and forgettable.

The show, on the other hand, was an eye-pleasing display of colorful costumes and dance. This memorable performance ended the evening and ended our tour of Xian. The next morning, after a breakfast buffet at the hotel, we boarded our bus and headed for the airport and Beijing.