Visiting Terracotta Army in our visit to Xi’an

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Visiting Terracotta Army in our visit to Xi’an

Terracotta, in Lintong District,  was another place we, as well as practically everyone else, wouldn’t dream of missing out during our trip across China.

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Rosi and Ariadna (some kind of relatives 🙂 from Tenerife) had already given us a fair bit of info about the city, but, thanks to the insider info given to us by a Spanish couple, we took the comfier bus instead of the cheapest. We had met this couple from Madrid when we were still in Pingyao, and they very kindly gave us a map so that we could be as organized as possible when we got to our next destination.

8 am arrived and Anna was already there (she had arrived in Xi’an the day before). It took us about an hour and a half to get our luggage together (it was check-out day), catch the bus and arrive at the train station. Traffic in Xi’an on a Monday morning isn’t the best …

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So, we caught the bus at 10am and, after an hour-long journey, we arrived almost at the principal entramce. We bought our tickets from there and decided to catch the mini-trolley which took us to the buildings that made up the tourist area.

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We started with building 1 where there’s a museum which gives you a general introduction and where you can find bronze carriages.

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Family Travel Secret
Qin Shi Huang was the first Emperor of China and was the founder of the Qin dynasty. He was a megalomaniac and, from the moment when he ascended the throne aged 13, work on his tomb had already begun. It is said that roughly 700,000 people worked on the various elements that would accompany the Emperor into the afterlife.

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Afterwards, and after meeting back up with Anna (who had gotten separated from us for a while earlier), we headed to the second building where we could see the numerous excavations and remains of the great Terracotta Army. The pit contains the Emperor’s military forces, comprised of archers, war chariots, foot soldiers and horsemen. The excavations are still underway.

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At one side there are various display cabinets which contain the excavated remains of the different types of soldiers, such as the generals, archers, the cavalry with their horses, etc. Each one was a different size and was in a different position, which was based on their rank and function.

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Noah and I took photos there next to the Terracotta Soldier replicas, and Noah managed to get close to the horses – although not on top of one! 🙂

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The third building we saw was a little smaller, but the remains there were in a better condition and there was more to see.

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In the fourth and most popular building was the legendary and vast army: hundreds of clay soldiers, all stood in line to create a powerful, and also terrifying, image.

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Family Travel Secret
Roughly 1,000 statues are on display in this area, but it is estimated that there were approximately 8,000 warriors in total.

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A number of the statues were missing pieces (either because they hadn’t been recovered yet, or they had just simply disappeared), others were wrapped in plastic and were in the process of being ‘renovated’, and others were still being dug up. It really did seem like a battlefield (field hospital included!) 🙂

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Family Travel Secret
The third pit contains the area that was discovered by a farmer in 1974. You can also see that restoration work on the statues is done through the night because there are no visitors and it is a lot cooler.

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We had a snack and a pear that was shaped like an apple! 🙂 By this point, we were so worn out from the heat (the 41 degree weather had taken its toll on us 🙂 ) that we couldn’t see ourselves walking the one and a half kilometers between the main buildings of Qin Shi Huang’s tomb.

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Family Travel Secret
The tomb remains closed due to the fear that the dry air in Xi’an might damage the artefacts it contains. They think that because the majority of the remaining paint on the recovered soldier statues has disintegrated within seconds or minutes after they are unearthed.

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All in all, we had a wonderful day in Xi’an 🙂 . Noah and Anna became very good friends; they played together all the time!

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Next stop, Luoyang and the Longmen Grottoes!

Important facts:
Entry to the complex that contains the Terracotta Warriors costs about 120 RMB and the trolley that takes you to the entrance costs 5 RMB. 4-5 hours would be enough time to see everything there is to see in the complex. To get there, you can either take the no.9 public bus to the Lintong district (7 RMB), or take the tourist bus (9 RMB). We recommend the tourist bus as it’s more comfortable and not that much more expensive.

 

Ruth

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