I loved Xian. I had always wanted to see the Terracotta soldiers and I was finally there. The visual highlight was pitted 1. Nonetheless, the actual story behind the Terracotta warriors was even more intriguing. Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, had an army of life-size warriors fabricated to battle with him in the afterlife. These artifacts, produced around 210 BC, were not discovered until 1974; local peasants who were searching for a new well site accidentally unearthed the archaeological site. The terracotta warriors varied in height depending on rank, generals being the tallest. Since the excavations had commenced, warriors, chariots, and horses had been uncovered. The estimated quantity of warriors in the three pits amounts to eight thousand soldiers, one hundred and thirty chariots, and five hundred and twenty horses. Inconceivably, the majority of these estimates still lay below ground. In fact, Pit 1 was impressive because of the massive quantity of warriors that had already been uncovered. Pit 3, in contrast, was relatively small. Pit 2, although massive in size, was only excavated in one small section. Only in Pit 1 were hundreds of terracotta warriors visually lined up and prepared for battle.
Apart from this we also visited, the Emperor Jindi’s tomb and museum. The excavations have been glossed over so you can WALK above the items left in the ground. In his tomb, all things are 1/3 size. I loved the layers of pigs, sheep, dogs and goats. We also walked on the wide intact city walls and enjoyed the Big Wild Goose Pagoda with its free water and light show.
Another overnight train and we are in Xi'an, one of the ten oldest cities in the world, dating back to 2205 B.C. Like Beijing, Xi'an is one of the four ancient capitals in China and the starting point of the Silk Road.
We spend our first day settling down in a hostel and walking around the city. Some places we will visit are the light show at the Giant White Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum, Drum & Bell Towers, and the Muslim Quarter (food alert!).
The next day we head to the famous Terracotta Army, a 45-mins drive from the city. Discovered by local farmers in 1974, the Terracotta Army is now the single biggest attraction around Xi'an. After spending almost a half a day at the site, we head back to Xi'an for a nice local dinner and some rest.
On our last day in Xi'an we bike on the city wall and get our tickets for the onward journey to Xiahe.
If Xi'an were an athlete, it would be a highly decorated one. One of the four ancient capitals of China, it is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Warriors. It is also one of the top ten oldest cities in the world, believed to have been around since 2205 B.C. This is serious!
1. The Terracotta Army- The single biggest attraction around Xi'an, the Terracotta Army was discovered by local farmers just outside the city in 1974. Most hostels and hotels arrange tours to the site, but you can take a bus from the east side of the Xi'an Railway Station and do the trip yourself.
2. Around the city- A day or two can be easily spent in Xi'an just walking around the city. You can cover the Drum and Bell Tower and the Muslim Quarter (food alert!) in a leisurely jaunt on foot. The light-show at the Giant White Goose Pagoda is worth a visit. Be there early to get good seats. Don't leave without bicycling on the city wall and getting amazing views of the city.
3. HuaShan- A two-hour bus ride away from the city this mountain is famous for its spectacular sunrises and the soldier's path. Try to climb the mountain in the dark to experience an amazing sunrise at the top.
Terracota army is one site that is must visit if you are in xi'an the lush green fields, the tress, the color of flower all these things will give feeling of a painting. Besides this place,we were treated with manyxi'a monasteries,pagodas(The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda being the most notable one),museums containing ancient relics of Tang,Qin and Hang dynasties.A night here,and we were off to Shanghai through another train.
Xi’an is an example of the richness of China’s past. The western terminus for the caravans on the Silk Road, Xi’an was already a classic world city two centuries before Homer wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey, five centuries before Buddha’s enlightenment, and many centuries before the inception of the “new kid on the block”, United States! Surrounded by a six kilometer long, 60 ft high Ming Dynasty Wall, the intricate blend of Buddhist temples, Islāmic mosques, and narrow streets with markets in the shadows of skyscrapers, shows this city’s extraordinary ability to change with the times. The 2000 year old Army of Terracotta Warriors stands guard nearby with over 6000 life-size figures, each with a unique face. A beehive of activity, this is one of those archeological places not to be missed.
We took a flight from Beijing to Xi’An. On arrival, we first visited the famous Muslim Quarter for an evening walk, followed by a delicious ‘dim sum’ dinner banquet at famous De Fa Chang restaurant. The next day we visited the impressive City Walls where we enjoyed a bike ride along this ancient fortification. Afterwards we went to the Small Goose Pagoda and the adjacent history museum.