A Paranoid Man's Army

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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Sunday, July 10, 2011

This morning I took the grueling journey on the public buses through Xi'an to get to the Terracotta Warrior Museum. One of the good things about the Museum is that you can take the public buses there. One of the benefits of being able to read Chinese is that you can skip out on the horrendous tours offered in China and opt for a much nicer time sight-seeing. Currently tours in China are all about making money and have nothing to do with the satisfaction of the customers. You will certainly arrive at your destinations, but you will also be taken to many "extra" places where people will constantly badger you to buy overpriced tourist crap, which you could get much cheaper on the street near your hotel.
I advise you to never take a tour in China, ever! If you are ever in Xi'an and wish to see the Terracotta warriors, then simply take one of the many buses going to the train station (火车站)then head to the east side of the station and take bus 306 to the end of the line. This will cost around 8 RMB. If you feel that you need a tour guide in order to get the full experience, then you can hire one at the site, thus avoiding the horribleness of an actual tour. I feel that tour guides are not worth it anymore, since you can get all the information they will tell you for free on the internet.
Anyway, the Terracotta warriors are definitely worth a visit. It is a rather interesting feeling to look at something made over 2000 years ago for the sake of a crazy dictator, who felt the need to have an entire army protecting him in the afterlife.
The reason I chose to come to Xi'an and see the Terracotta Warriors was merely to finish what I consider the essential tour of China. If you return to America from China many people will ask you if you saw the Great Wall, Tiananmen, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Warriors. It is the same as being asked if you saw the Eiffel Tower on your last visit to France. These sites are what people imagine when they think China, and they were therefore on my list of essential sites. Luckily three of them happen to be in the same city.
My visit to the Great Wall near Beijing was absolutely horrible, sort of the reason I advise you not to take a tour in China. Tiananmen was somewhat interesting, due to its *whispers* history. I unfortunately did not get to see the inside of the Forbidden City thanks to an early closing time, but I'm taking it off my list because I saw the wall of it. Of these sites the Terracotta Warriors are by far the most interesting and worth visiting.
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