Beijing to Xi'an

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 27, 2008

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Xi'an - Shuyuan Hostel

We decided to travel by train from Beijing to Xi'an with Rene and Mariska.  This journey was to be a 12 hour overnight leaving Beijing at 7pm.
So we booked a soft sleeper (4 bunks) and got ourselves comfortable with Yahtzee, playing cards and a decent supply of beer.  We played games until about 12 and then bedded down for a few hours sleep.  It was great fun and yet again the time flew past.
7 am we arrived in Xi'an.  Through the hostel we arranged a free pick up from the train station and before long we had checked in and was on our way out of the door to see the Terracotta Warriors. (Jess, if you are reading this, I finally got to meet Tony Terracotta-Pot)
The warriors are about an hour out of Xi'an and we travelled there by bus (from the hostel take bus number 603 (1 Yuan) changing at the bus terminus then catch the 306 (7 Yuan), final stop being the Terracotta Warriors). 
The place was packed as you would probably expect for the middle of the busy season.  First of all we watched the 360 degree film that details the history of the warriors; when they were built, why they were built, how they were discovered etc). This is definitely advisable as it really gives you the full perspective of what you are about to see.
There are 3 main 'pits' to see the warriors each one differing in size.  Following the advice of several books we went to Pit 3 first, then 2 then 1, as Pit 1 is the biggest and perhaps the most impressive.
To see these warriors and the horses is fascinating but when you understand how old they are and how each one is different and the level of detail used, you can't help but be amazed. There is still on going excavation and archaeological digs taking place and who knows what else they may find down there. Not long after the warriors were built to protect the emperors tomb, rebel armies came in and smashed all the warriors and set fire to the tomb.  So when they were first discovered in 1974 they were all smashed up and the archaeologists have pieced them all together like a huge jigsaw puzzle.  No wonder they are still digging after 30 years.
Pit 1 is definitely the best one to leave until last as this is where you see the 6000+ warriors complete with horses and carriages etc.

We left the warriors and headed back to Xi'an stopping off  at the Muslim quarter which was fascinating.  Seeing the differences in culture and dress was very interesting and we tried some of the food from the street vendors.

Our stop over in Xi'an was only a flying visit and we stayed only one night there.  Next stop is Chengdu in the Sichuan Province.  We arranged our flights in the hostel and prepared to leave the following day for our one hour flight. 
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Comments on

xi'an is such a good place to visit.
xi'an is such a good place to visit

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