This was a highlight and an expensive treat given our time constraints, however I could not go to China and not see this amazing place. I had asked others who had visited and they agreed it was a must so we squeezed one day into our itinerary to visit. Of course, one day is not enough for anywhere however sometimes you have to take what you can and be grateful for the experience.
We woke at 4am, collected by our driver who took us to the airport. The flight takes around 2 hours and I was a little nervous flying a local airline in misty conditions over mountains. However, in hindsight these experiences are what makes travel interesting.
Upon arrival in Xi’an and we were met by our guide a lovely young woman and a driver. She took us everywhere! We started of course at the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. The Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses were discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well. It is one of the most significant archeological finds of the 20th Century and I was so pleased that we made the effort and expense to visit.
They are remarkable and it is hard to imagine a farmer accidentally coming across them in his field. There are 6,000 life-size painted terracotta warriors and horses and were made to protect the mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang. They are over 2,000 years old.
Excavation is not complete however we saw three sections and it is something I would recommend. China has now announced they are continuing with the excavations. http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/excavations-reveal-new-terracotta-army-at-ancient-emperors-tomb/story-e6frfq80-1227334856593
After lunch, we travelled to Xian City to visit the ancient City Wall which was used to protect the city in ancient times.
The final stop was to see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built in 652. This Pagoda is a holy place for Buddhists and very well preserved buildings. I could wander through there for hours.
We were finally transferred back to Xian airport to take the flight back to Beijing after the tour. We walked into our hotel room at midnight exhausted but exhilarated by our tour.
Our guide and driver was excellent and spoke English very well. We learnt so much in such a short time and have fond memories of that day.
I was also surprised to find that Xi’an is more than just the Terracotta Warriors and could easily spend a few days there.
Have you seen the Terracotta Warriors? I’d love to hear your story.