Eggs, bacon and terracotta warriors
So after a decent nights sleep (probably due to the fact that our legs had almost fallen off walking the Xi’an wall the day before) we got up and joined the group for our day out to see what everybody comes to see in Xi’an; the Terracotta Warriors.
We should probably mention that in Xi’an is something of a misnomer. Two hours after we had set off we were strolling up to the ticket office and after a quick scan of the price boards almost had a heart failure. Being such tight arses we’d already worked out, according to the Lonely Planet guide, how much money we would need to get in. Unfortunately in the time after the book had gone to print the asking price had almost doubled! The only way that we could get in would be to fake it as students. So our hearts in our mouths we queued up with our very out of date student IDs praying for the best.
It seemed that luck was with us that day as we managed to con our way in on our student IDs and so we started out on the warriors. Luckily Joy our tour guide is amazing and so we did everything in the right order. Instead of rushing off and seeing the most impressive thing first she made us leave the best till last and so we discovered more about the warriors that way and also it meant that the big wow was left until the end. Sadly for Alex though just before stepping into the final viewpoint of the warriors one of his contact lenses split in his eye. He then had to spend half the time that we had in there trying to fish it out. Just before the ambulances were called and after pinching the skin of his eyeball several times he finally managed to get it out and so we were able to make our way around and marvel at the sight of the silent and ever watchful ranks of warriors. It was amazing just how many warriors were lined up and of so many different ranks. There were horsemen, archers, generals and infantry just to name a few.
After having taken our fill of the seemingly never ending hordes of soldiers all put there, as everyone knows, in place of the sacrifice of thousands of actual warriors to serve the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first ruler to unite China, in the afterlife, we then set off for the long dusty trek back. We really enjoyed seeing them although the distance from Xi’an meant most of the day was taken up so we decided on an early night before a day set to be filled with museums.
Our sights were at first set on the Shaanxi History Museum. Sadly it was not shown on the maps in our Lonely Planet and so we asked at the hotel for directions. They very kindly gave us a sheet with the route we’d need to take to get there. So after a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, lettuce and sauce all wrapped up in bun we set off on our way. Sadly it was the wrong route. Wildly wrong. It was like the museum had vanished into thin air, or the Xi'muda triangle! After having stumbled about for most of the day trying to find the place we eventually gave up and after a quick bit of research found that it was actually about twenty kilometres in the opposite direction to the way that we had gone! Still it was an interesting day and we got to see a lot of the city that we would have otherwise missed. Crossing a six lane motorway was definitely one of the nerve wrecking highlights! Now we’re just waiting for the joy of our fourth overnight train. We cannot wait!
Rex’s Rules of the Road
- If you go to see the Terracotta Army in Xi’an make sure that you do the halls in reverse order. Start with the cinema then do hall three, then two and last but by no means least; one.
- Beware of rising prices wherever you go and make sure to carry some extra cash to cover all eventualities.
- If you are stuck for directions in China ask. And then check online just to make sure!
- Check out Rach's review of the warriors.