May 13, 2013

Hi!! This post is about a trip I made to Xi’an last week. After so many days working I finally got some days off and I decided to take a train and go travel. I decided to go to Xi’an, it is one of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history. I was really interested in going since it is home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, considered the “Eight Wonder of the World”. I had seen many documentaries about the history of this place and I was really excited I could go to see it with my own eyes.

I took a night train to get there (10 hours – 40 minutes) and I arrived there at 9 in the morning. After arriving to my hostel, I took a shower and book my tour for the Terracotta Army for the next day. After a really nice breakfast I was ready to start going around the city, I decided to go to the City Wall, it is located in the central area of Xian City, with a perimeter of 13.74 km and 10-12 meters height, it is the most complete ancient city wall currently existing. In 1961 it was declared a National Key Protected Historic Site. I met a chinese girl who is studying there and her chinese friend who came visit her, they were really nice to me and I spent all day with them. We rented bikes to go all around the wall, it was really nice, I was able to see the entire city from there; the central city inside the wall and the modern city on the other side.

After that, we went to the Wild Goose Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. It was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming Dynasty. One of the pagoda’s many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang. The place is really beautiful, many many exhibition halls and courtyards full of Indian and Chinese art.

The next morning I took my tour to the terracotta warriors, I had an English guide and then I was able to know much more about the place. The Terracotta Warriors and Horses is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried. The figures were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers, the younger one is now 81 years old and comes everyday to sign books for the tourists (meet him at the picture below). The place is amazing!!! I am sharing with you some pictures… in case you have not been there you should go!! It was a great experience! After going back from the tour I went straight to the airport, and after two hours I was back in Shanghai!! =)