Xian - 24th June 2008 @ 3:49 am «   »

Location: China, Shaanxi Province : Xian

We took the overnight  from Taiyuan to Xian and were booked on “hard sleepers”, which basically means it is a very hard bunk – 6 beds per compartment with no door. We got the 2 bottom beds, but decided to give it to 2 old men that shared the compartment with us, because it is quiet difficult to get to the middle and top beds (very close to each other with very little space).

The train arrived in Xian at 09:30 on Sunday morning and it was absolutely pouring down. We took a bus straight to the Shuyuan Hostel – we got a flyer at a previous hostel. The hostel is very nice with open-air courtyards to sit and chill, a little restaurant/cafe and a funky bar (where everyone gets a free beer every night). The staff speaks very good English are very helpful in terms of travel info.

After having a cup of coffee and getting out of our soaked clothes, we decided to make our way to the famous Army of Terracotta Warriors as it is all indoors. We took a bus from the train station and were there in about 1 hour. We started with the smallest pit (of the 3) containing 72 warriors and horses and then moved on to the next pit with about 1300 warriors. You cannot get close to them, but in Pit 2 they had a few of the soldiers in glass boxes to examine up close. The largest pit (Pit 1) was the most impressive with almost 6000 warriors and horses standing in rows. It was amazing to see this life-size army and even more amazing to think that it took 700 000 people more than 40 years to built the tomb and the warriors for the Emperor Qin Shi Huang more than 2000 years ago. It is believed that the Emperor expected his rule to continue after death and wanted to take a whole army with him in his tomb.

After a very interesting afternoon we made our way back to town and had a proper Western-style pizza for dinner.

Xian is one of the few cities in China where the old city walls are still standing. We were very lucky that the hostel is located right next to the South Gate in the city wall. The next morning we visited the Big Goose Pagoda and the Da Ci’en Temple. After strolling the grounds (unfortunately the Pagoda was closed so we couldn’t go up the tower), we spent the afternoon walking through Xian’s main shopping street. Our suitcases are packed to their max, so we couldn’t give in to the temptations..

At 21:00 we went back to the Big Goose Pagoda to see the largest fountain and music show in Asia on the main square. It was beautiful and very impressive, except that we almost got soaked a few times and had to try to keep the camera dry! There were hundreds and hundreds of people and afterwards we litterally had to fight our way onto the bus again. The Chinese take queing and pushing to the next level – if you don’t shove people out the way with force, you don’t get anywhere!

After 2 days in Xian, we are about to take the bus to Hua Shan for another sacred mountain experience.

Click here for the Terracotta Army.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

3 Responses to “Xian”  
Pa en Ma Deacon Says:

Hi julle twee
Dis wonderlik dat julle China so baie geniet met al sy baie tempel- en berg-ervarings! Ons het nog nie weer kans gehad om na al julle fotos te kyk nie – sal kyk of ons hierdie naweek ‘n kans kry. Ek is mos volgende week met verlof en dan sal ons ook kans daarvoor he.
Ons gaan Donderdag-aand na Boney M hier in die Callie Human kyk en sien baie uit daarna. Ons wou hulle al so graag sien.
Verder gaan dit baie goed met ons. Mamma geniet haar vakansie en ek kan nie wag vir volgende week nie, en veral die tennis!!
Sus, ons het vir tannie Riens weer jou e-mail adres gestuur en sy sal nou weer probeer om vir julle te e-mail.
Nou ja, geniet julle self en pas julle baie mooi op.
Baie liefde
Ons twee
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Pa en Ma Deacon Says:

Hi Julle twee

Ons het lanklaas van julle gehoor. Ons glo dit gaan baie goed met julle. Hier by ons gaan dit ook baie goed. Dit is vandag my laaste werksdag! Ek het mos volgende week verlof en dan gaan ek net tennis kyk!
Ons was toe gisteraand by Boney M. Dit was ‘n belewenis! Dit was wonderlik om hierdie internasionale sanggroep te beleef.
Hier by ons is nie regtig nuus nie. Sune en Mamma gaan vanoggend inkopies doen en babie gaan natuurlik saam.
Nou ja, julle moet steeds elke oomblik geniet en pas julle self baie mooi op.
Baie liefde
Ons twee
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Brutus Says:

interesting that so many of the terracotta army are smiling. Guess if you going to be around for eternity you may as well be happy about it.
great shots