Terracotta Army, Xi'an
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.
This army of 6000 warriors defends the tomb of the first China Emperor, Shi Huangdi (3° century JC). Each of them is an individual because the heads are made separatly and put on the bodies. The features of each are original and may be true. There are 4 buildings to visit : the Chariots Builing, the Sites 1, 2 & 3. The largest is the Site 2 with the army. IMPORTANT : it is now allowed to take photographes.
Fondest memory: The main attraction has still to be discovered : the tomb. We already know what we will see : a sarcophagus floating on a river of mercury, in the middle of treasures, with the skeletons of the Emperor's wifes and of the workers (so, the secret is kept), all in a palace. Currently, the tomb is under a hill and the Chinese people wait to have time and means to make the research.
Fondest memory: One of the farmers who discovered the Terracotta Warriors and Horses back in the 1970's is present at the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor on a regular basis to provide autographs. You can buy a colorful souvenir book and have it autographed by him. Something worth buying and taking home while you are there!
GO TO SEE THE TERRA COTTA WARRIERS!
AMAZING PLACE, AMAZING HISTORY.
Rent a bike and pedal through the streets w/ the locals... They approach you and love to practice their english.
Fondest memory: When a guy in my group took a picture of the guard inside the museum in a spot where it said 'No Photography' on a sign behind him.
I NEVER heard so much mandarin being said w/ such conviction. I thought we'd end up in a Chinese prison somewhere.
Favorite thing: The Terracotta Army of XIAN. What you have to do is buy a ticket cost RMB60 and enter. There are many many tour guides willing to offer you their services for RMB40, they can speak English, Italian, French and more. Also, just outside the gate you can get some cute tigers as souvenirs for only RMB2 to 10 according to it's size.
This is now the main attration in Xian. Under a covered warehouse you can see the excavations (they are still unearthing statues) of the Qin King terracota warriors. You can only walk around the upper corridor and see it from some five meters above (unless you are Clinton or so). There is an interesting antiquities & souvenirs market outside the main building, but if you are in a tour, they won't let you much time to see it, so hurry up or negociate with the tour guide.
see the Imax movie at the Terra Cotta Army site. We went there last. I recommend that you go there first; then tour the pits and excavations. Do not miss the bronze chariots and riders.
Did you know that the terra cotta soldiers are dug up in broken pieces and shards, then reconstructed in a workshop and returned to the pits after being pieced together?? A real Chinese puzzle.
Fondest memory: I loved it all. Wished I had more time there.
The pregnant buddist nun, the sleeping buddist monk, the hotel garden, they have only just begun to excavate the terra cotta army..........it will be different everytime that you return.
visit #1) TERRACOTTA WARRIOR SOLDIERS - There are several buildings containing the statues. Quite impressive. From Xi'an, take a bus to the site. #2) GREAT MOSQUE -Never knew that there was a prominent Muslim population in China. It was fascinating to see this part of China, in Xi'an. #3) OLD XI'AN - Near the Great Mosque. Take some time to walk around the walled portion of the city.
Fondest memory: Ha, so many. Please read 'restaurants.'
Favorite thing: The impressive remains of the Terracotta army of emperor Qin Qi Huang Di are worth a travel of thousands of kilometres and every effort!! It is as overwhelming as the Pyramids in Egypt or Angkor Wat!
Fondest memory: My fondest memory has to be meeting the farmer who discovered the Terracotta Army and him signing my book about the army. It is something I will never forget.
Favorite thing: The Terracotta Army is the main reason for visiting XiAn - and yes those photos were taken in the factory shop!!
Favorite thing: In the past, you are not allowed to take picture in the pit, but now you can take your picture with the warriors.