Terracotta Army and Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Saturday morning started off with a warning from Forrest about the possibility of a cold shower at 6 AM. However, I entered the shower in time to receive scalding hot water and was able to rely this message back to Forrest who responded with expletives. Today, we had planned to spend the day outside the city of Xi'an at the site of the Terracotta Warriors and the mausoleum of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang.

Our breakfast was served by the local staff at the Han Tang Inn hostel, which had an American Breakfast option. It included eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and toast. It was well worth the value at 20 RMB, whereas the Bridge Cafe near BLCU features a near identical breakfast for 35 RMB. Once he had filled our stomachs, we plotted out a route that would take us to the world famous Terracotta Warriors. We asked the hostel staff for instructions for local transit and set off from the hostel by 9AM.

We elected to utilize the local transit of buses within the city and to the tourist sites. We caught a bus near our hostel and it dropped us off at the Xi'an railway station where we would take another bus that would bring us to the Terracotta Warriors. After spending 8 RMB each, we had arrived 45 minutes outside the city and at the famous site. A very cost effective and efficient way to travel compared to other local tour offers. Local tours would have offered the same trip for 200 RMB per person.

Upon arriving at the Terracotta Army museum, we were overwhelmed by the number of tour buses and tourists in the area. A downside was the significant development around the area of the Terracotta Warriors which distracted me in a sense if they were to discover more significant artifacts, local construction may have disrupted its future value. Nevertheless, we found our way to the entrance of the museum and proceeded forward. Our first visit was to excavation pit #1, we were entranced by the epic scale and labor placed into the creation of each statue. It was an amazing site to see so many uniquely designed soldiers in once location. There were some that did not survive throughout the years, however many of them still retained their demeaning appearances on their faces. Excavation pit #3 contained Qin Shi Huang's commanding officials in a smaller location, many of which were headless and were oriented to assist the emperor in his afterlife journey. Excavation pit #2 was also large as it contained many horsemen and archers.

After viewing the Terracotta Army location, our paid admission also allowed us to visit the emperor's final resting place as well. Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum's is a large earth mound, shaped in a pyramidal structure. The story behind his burial included rivers of mercury that represented the stars and rivers of China. He also placed many hazardous traps for those who would risk their lives in reaching his body. We reached the site of the mausoleum and walked around the structure. After catching a glimpse of people walking on the mountain, we were also inclined to do so. We when around the base looking for an entrance way up, however none was to be found. This lead Forrest to bolt up the mountain through the backside by following a water hose. The group of us trespassed up the back side of Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum until Forrest reached the top where he discovered the construction site. We quickly hushed and starting working our way back down to avoid being caught. Forrest hung around long enough to snap a couple of photos. This clearly made his trip to Xi'an worthwhile.

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