China Photography travel

Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors

Part of our tour in China included a stop in the city of Xi’an. Besides being the capital of the province, it is also the closest major centre to the famed Terracotta Warriors. In 1974 a farmer was digging a well and came across some fragments of clay. When he turned them over to the government it changed this area drastically. In typical Chinese fashion, they did nothing by half measure. The area around the burial site of Emperor Qin Shi Huang has been designated as a cultural historic site and is continually being worked on.

Hall 1
The view inside Pit 1 gives you some idea of the scope of the Terracotta Warrior discovery. There are 4 halls on the complex as well as areas that have not even begun to be excavated yet. Pit 1 is the largest one being excavated.

What I found even more impressive is that even though more than 52 million, domestic, tourists visit the Terracotta Army every year, it is not the major industry of this medium sized Chinese city of 12 million residents. Apparently the service out-sourcing industry (whatever that is) is the big business in town.

Rough Start
The thought occurred to me that people will do their entire career as an archeologist here and never have to worry about job security. This gives you an idea of what they start with after the initial uncovering of the remains.
Back Together Again
These are actual Terracotta Warriors that have been excavated, cleaned and reassembled. Apparently the heads suffered the most damage and pilfering. Amazing how all the faces are different.

By my own admission I am not a huge museum fan, one cannot help but be a bit overwhelmed by the scope and size of what the Terracotta Warriors represent. For more information, learn more here.

Standard Tourist Shot
Of course one has to do the standard tourist shots at these locations.
Starbucks Xi'an
We had a free day in Xi’an which was very nice. As we walked around we continued to be amazed by the completeness of Starbucks invasion of China. I read somewhere they have over 600 stores here. I believe it. However I cannot lie, more than once we have gone in just to be able to order a simple sandwich and a coffee for lunch.
Night Shot
The nighttime lights in China have been very impressive. So one night I took the tripod and hunted out some of the fantastic lights I had heard about on the old City Wall that surrounds old Xi’an. Well, the problem with “old” things is they need repairing. So after walking around a quarter of the city this was the only view I got of the nighttime wall. I like the result, but I walked by a lot of high hoardings to find it. All part of the adventure.
Fog or Smog?
The City Wall at Xi’an is amazing. Initially built in the 14th century, this city wall is still intact and is a 14km walk to go around the entire length. We did not. Very impressive with its moat and guard towers.
Moat View
The challenge in China is determining whether you are having a heavy smog or fog day. Probably a combination of both here, but it made for a great effect as I looked out over the fortifications of the city wall.
Xi'an Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show
As part of the complete tourist experience we took in a Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show coupled with a dumpling buffet. The north part of China is known for its noodles, and the dumplings certainly were a testament to that. They were excellent.
Tang Dynasty Show
The show was well done and easy on the ears and eyes. Fantastic costumes and colours.

Keep an eye out for our visit to Beijing.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

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