Tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di
Before Emperor Qin Shi build his tomb and took thousands of terracotta warriors with him, ist was custom, that emperors had real people, who died with them in their tomb. It had been tombs excavated, which contained women and men, who died from poison or suffocated, after they had been closed into the tomb.
Chinese people beleive, that life after death is similar to live on earth. People and things, they have in their graves, will be of help in their life in heaven.
After Qin Shi the emperors took statues into their tombs, which were much smaller. Today people are burried with paper models of all the luxury, which makes life easy and comfortable.
Train Station - only one in town
Good news is there is only 1 train station in town!!!
We took an overnight train to Chengdu. K879 – leaves Xian 17:20pm and arrives Chengdu 11:20am (842kms) – travel time = 17:50 fastest = $50 approx for soft sleeper –from 302 RMB p/p. Refer to my Beijing page for train travel and difficulty in obtaining train tickets.
We secured two first class sleepers (for the girls) on the Xi'an to Chengdu trip but a hard sleeper for my husband, triple bunks which were surrounded by locals - they proved to be extremely friendly and wanted to share their food and drinks with him!!! Nice.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
I visited the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in October, 2001. I would definitely put the pagoda on my "must see" list. The pagoda itself is part of a temple complex called the Da Cien Temple, and is fascinating not only because of its design, but also because of its history. The Da Cien Temple was originally built in 589 A.D., during the Sui Dynasty. Originally, it was called Wulou Si Temple, but was later given its present name by Emperor Li Zhi, who, after making necessary repairs to the temple, named it after his mother, Empress Wende. The pagoda was built in 652 A.D. as a place in which to store sacred Buddhist scriptures and figurines brought to China from India by a monk named Xuanzang, who was made abbot of the temple and translated the Indian scriptures into Chinese. Located about four kilometers from the center of Xian, the pagoda has seven levels and stands 64 meters tall. For a small charge you can climb to the top of the pagoda (there are stairs inside) and get a different view of Xian from each of the four sides of the building. The whole Da Cien Temple complex is interesting. In front of the pagoda is the Great Hall of the Buddha (Daxiongbaodian), inside of which are three very ornate and elaborate altars, each with a different statue of Buddha behind it. At the top of the steps in front of the Great Hall is a large incense burner with which worshippers light candles. Another building, the Doctrine Chamber, contains the Amitabha Buddha. Also on the temple grounds are two smaller buildings, one housing a large drum and the other a 15-ton bell. Both the drum and the bell were used to strike time for the monks of the temple. And there is a Friendship Store for buying souvenirs, film, etc. All in all, very interesting and well worth the visit. Lots of good picture-taking material here.
The Terracotta Army
The thing that fascinates me about this place, apart from the overwhelming number of the warriors, is the story of how they were found.
No one knew that they even existed until the 1970's. A farmer was digging for a well when he found some coloured terracotta shards. Realising that they were something special, he did something quite brave for that period of time in China, as peasants were not supposed to have thoughts of their own. He went to his local area supervisor and managed to impress upon him that the items he had were of great import. That supervisor took up the reins, the goverment got involved and they discovered the tombs of the warriors. The farmer donated his land so that the find could be properly examined in return for a job for life for himself and his family.
He is still there to this day, welcoming you to the museum.
This picture shows a kneeling archer. It is one of the few statues that survived whole, which is quite surprising considering how old it is and what it went through. It is so life like that you could almost imagine him holding a curved bow in his hands, waiting for an enemies to come near.
Fabrica de seda / Silk Factory
La visita a una fábrica de sedas tiene una parte incómoda y es que te ponen a una vendedora al lado que intenta venderte media tienda , pero la parte buena es que te enseñan todo el proceso de fabricación de la seda que es muy interesante.
ves los gusanos de seda , los capullos sencillos y dobles , como sacan la seda , según si quieren sacar hilo o si lo que les interesa es sacar material para hacer edredones y al final como hacen los hilos y los tiñen
The visit to a silk factory has a non easy part and is that they put next to you a seller who tries to sell you half the store, but the good part is that you may see the whole manufacturing process of silk which is very interesting.
You see the silkworms, and the simple and doubles cocoons , how they draw the silk, depending if they want to draw threads or if they are interested in getting material to make quilts and the end how they make the threads and stain them