Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 7- Terracotta warriors, Xian

There's not much activities on Day 5 & Day 6 as my hubby has some unfinished assignments to complete. After days of walking tirelessly in Beijing, I need to perk up my energy level. I actually had plenty of time to rest at the hotel but I didn't sleep the whole time. Infact, I enjoy strolling around the city searching for souveniers and lingering over my cuppa at one of the many streetside cafes. My vacation to Beijing is something I'll cherish for years to come.

As this was our 1st train journey within China we didnt really know what to expect. Hubby and I arrived in Xian at 7 a.m., after 12 hours on a sleeper train from Beijing. It is a bit of a walk to the 3 huge pits that house the terracotta warriors and there are many vendors along the way. The vastness of the tomb and the attention to detail is simply amazing. There is a lot of ground to cover and the main pit ,No. 1, is the largest and most popular. There is approximately 6000 warriors, all facing East, in battle formation, towards the Emperor Qin's tomb, which is 2000 years old. All warriors are ranked and dressed accordingly. Each warrior has a different and unique appearance, no two are exactly the same. What we saw in the museum is only a fraction of the army; many, many more figures remain buried. The Chinese have not decided how to excavate the emperor's tomb because the ground contains very high levels of mercury. Although picture taking is strictly forbidden, we were lucky to be visiting on a day when the Chinese guard was oblivious to tourists using digital still cameras.

Then it was time to catch another overnight train (17 hours this time) to Chongqing. We would have all liked to stay longer in Xian, it was a great place to just wander around in.

The major excavation pit (Pit 1)

Horses ready for battle

Every piece carefully put together

Pit 3

Restored for exhibition

Many of the figures have been restored but are missing heads.

Restored for exhibition (Pit 2)

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