Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Ludo Binguan

Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Must have been more tired than I thought as I didn't wake until gone midday. We had decided to see the Terracotta Warriors today so it probably wasn't the best idea to sleep in so late.

We had decided against doing the organised tour as it cost 240 yuan and included loads of places I had no interest in visiting. We also needed to book our train out of Xi'an for the 14th. The train station was carnage! Only desks 9 and 10 had English speakers and one was closed for lunch. It turned out to be a very frustrating hour with people pushing in left, right and centre, much to our annoyance. They really need to learn how to queue. Even more frustration at the front when told there were no hard sleepers left for Yichang, only hard seats. I think the woman was making it up so we would pay for soft sleepers as she looked pretty surprised when we said yes to hard seats. We'll just try to upgrade on the train.

By now it was 2pm and getting pretty late to visit the warriors so we quickly jumped on the bus for 5 yuan. An hour later we were at the warriors and paid the 90 yuan to get in. To get to the entrance we had to walk through a market with loads of people selling souvenir statues.

The warriors were a bit of a disappointment. I was glad we visited the pits in the wrong order, and saw the big one last, or it would have been really bad. The statues were impressive but I expected them to be grander and more expansive. It states there are 2000 in the main pit but it didn't seem like it. A lot were also scattered around broken. I thought you would be able to get closer to them rather than on a balcony.

It got me wondering what else is still to be discovered in the world if these statues were only found 30 years ago by some guy digging a well! One of the funniest things I read whilst there was that the statues were discovered in March and opened to the public in Octobe the same year! If that doesn't show China knows how to make money then nothing will.

Once outside the exhibit we were soon set upon by the market stalls. Simon managed to get a small box of warriors for 5 yuan which is a bargain! I managed to get a larger statue for 10 yuan so I was happy. No doubt it won't survive the surface journey home but that would make it more authentic as most of the real ones were broken!

Whilst walking around starving earlier we had spotted some restaurants on the street with food in the window that looked delicious so we went there for dinner, much to Dave's protestations that it looked disgusting. Turns out he was right and it was our second bad meal in as many days, hopefully no one will get sick as a result.

As it was my birthday in a few hours we put a group together and headed out to a club, 1+1, for the night. In a group of 8 there were 3 Rich's! Drank a few cheap beers in the lobby first before heading out.

It was a great night. We were getting charged double for the beers so bought 12 bottles off the Chinese menu at the same price as the locals! At about 12:30 Jim Beam, the hotel manager, came out to join us and bought about 20 bottles!

The music was really strange and the Chinese have no idea how to dance. They just stand on the same spot, swaying from side to side. Rich called it Planet of the Apes style! Even with my terrible dancing I looked better than them. The strobe light was also on constantly all night which got really irritating. At 3:30 we got a taxi back, pretty wasted and hoping for a great nights sleep.
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