We departed on Sunday at 9pm from Chengdu and after 15 hours arrived in Xi’an at 1pm the following day.
Xian was formerly the capital city of China for 6 Ancient Chinese dynasties and is home to 8 million people. It was also the beginning of the Silk Road and the mountains divide North and South China.
As we were welcomed by 35 degree sunshine we rested in the hostel until the weather had cooled and at 4pm we took a bike ride around the ancient walls.
On Tuesday we had an early start to take the hour journey to the terracotta warriors.
The Terracotta Army, dubbed the 8th wonder of the world, is one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 21st century.
Emporer Qin took to the throne at the young age of 22 at 221BC. Although this emperor introduced many positive ideas into China such as the introduction of currency, the construction of the great wall and unity throughout China, he was very ill-natured and murdered around 1000 people during his rule. Its beneficial to note that the emperor was very greedy and wished for eternal life.
While alive he chose the Leshan Mountain as the place for which he would construct his tomb, and the Terracotta Army was constructed to maintain his rule in the after life.
It took four decades to construct this magnificent tomb, and the terracotta warriors were made through a very lengthy and complicated process for which it took numerous Chinese craftsmen many years to make and arrange underground.
In his desperation for eternal life, the emperor took ‘tablets’ that promised this, however due to the metal they contained the emperor unexpectedly died at the bright age of 49. A year after his death, resistance overthrew the Qin dynasty and his precious tomb and the beloved Terracotta Army were burnt and buried.
Fast forward 2000 years to March of 1974, while digging a well farmers rediscovered 700 terracotta horses, warriors and chariots and so here we are.
After lunch we ventured around the Muslim quarter. As mentioned previously, Xian is the beginning of the Silk Road. It is rumoured that the emperor suffered In the evening we had the pleasure of seeing the water and light show at the Big Goose Pagoda. This pagoda dates back 700 years ago, when a Buddhist ventured to India, bought back his teachings and stored the Buddhist transcriptions in this pagoda.