The Terracotta Army – Attracting the Crowds

On May 24, 2012, in Historical Relics, Must-sees, Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Since the discovery of the Terracotta Warriors in 1974 close to the city of Xi’an it has been one of the main destinations for tourists all over the world and it is the main reason for people to travel to Xi’an. It’s not that the city doesn’t have other interesting sites of historical value to […]

Since the discovery of the Terracotta Warriors in 1974 close to the city of Xi’an it has been one of the main destinations for tourists all over the world and it is the main reason for people to travel to Xi’an. It’s not that the city doesn’t have other interesting sites of historical value to offer but none that can get close to the importance of the warrior and horse statues. For decades it has now been the number one place included in all Xi’an Tours. The warriors, chariots and horses had the purpose of defending the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in his afterlife. Built in the 3rd century BC the army now counts as the most significant find of the 20th century and was declared a UNESCO World cultural heritage in 1987.

 

To avoid disappointment however, it’s helpful to be prepared to what to expect. It is one of the most visited historical attractions in the world and for that reason very touristy and crowded. In general in high season the place always seems to be packed with groups and individuals. To avoid ‘rush hour’ you can try to get there either early in the morning or late in the evening during the opening hours. A convenient and cheap way to get there is by public bus number 306 for as little as 7 RMB which leaves frequently from the Xi’an Railway Station north of the center. You pay for your ticket on the bus and it takes about an hour to get to the Terracotta Army. This public bus lets the passenger off at a smaller parking lot next to the main one where all the tour coaches park. The bus back to the city leaves at the same place, so remember how to get there.

 

Once you get off the bus you have to walk a little bit to get to the ticket both where you’ll be surrounded by guides offering you a tour and lots of helpful information about the place and its history. It’s up to you to decide if you think it’s worth the money and be careful, some people can get really pushy trying to convince you of their service. After you got your tickets you need to walk up to get to the actual entrance gate. Just follow the crowd or the signs, it’s hard to miss. The way leading towards it is almost built like a small village consisting of countless souvenir shops for all the visitors offering more or less the same articles. For really original souvenirs you might want to go to less visited places where you can get better souvenirs at more reasonable prices.

 

Once you’ve made your way up and have passed the gate you’ll get to the large main area with newly constructed buildings, clean and well taken care of. There are in total four separate pits and a museum in different buildings. Pit no. 1 is the biggest and most popular one with the largest number of well preserved warriors and horses. My personal advice is nevertheless to start with the second pit. It is much smaller than the first one and has a lot less warriors and horses but the building has a lower ceiling and is darker and cooler inside with lesser visitors than the biggest pit. This adds to the magic effect those ancient statues have on visitors. Don’t leave out the first pit, though. Just be prepared to people pushing you around to get a good picture close to the entrance with the warriors in the background. And apart from that, the arched hall constructed to protect the warriors seems like a hangar and takes away the ‘glamour’ or the special atmosphere which you’ll find in the smaller pits.

If you want to eat something before getting on the bus to head back to your Xi’an Hotels there are lots of food stands and smaller restaurants where you can get anything from ice cream, fruit and snacks to full meals. It’s no secret that food is overpriced and generally not very high standard at touristy places like this one. So you could consider bringing food yourself or waiting for dinner until you get back to the city. As mentioned in the beginning, the Terracotta Army is one of the most important historical sites in China, so go ahead and plan your trip, but keep in mind that you’re not the only one who has this idea.

Tourism at the Terracotta

On May 16, 2012, in Cultural Experience, Historical Relics, Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Mentioned in countless China travel guides and sometimes referred to as the ‘eighth wonder of the World’, the Terracotta Army (The Army) is a must-see attraction. If you have ever watched the 2008 Hollywood movie, ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’, then this is in line with what you can expect to see at […]

Mentioned in countless China travel guides and sometimes referred to as the ‘eighth wonder of the World’, the Terracotta Army (The Army) is a must-see attraction. If you have ever watched the 2008 Hollywood movie, ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’, then this is in line with what you can expect to see at The Army and all the more reason to travel to Xi’an. The exquisite representation of these periodic sculptures will captivate your imagination over China’s ancient past.

Discovered by locals in 1974 and covering over 16,000 meters squared, The Army holds great significance not only as a find, but also as an important part of China’s history. The manufacturing of the (potentially 8,000) ceramic warriors is a magnificent achievement to personify the first Emperor of unified China in the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC). Along with the warriors, the Emperor Qin Shi Huang is supposedly protected in the afterlife by over 100 horse and 500 chariots. At first glance, warriors appear as refined pieces of art in pristine condition. Yet it is amazing the think that on discovery The Army was a cluster of piece and that it took years to reconfigure the statutes currently on view. Admittedly, to this day, not all the statutes have been found and the excavations are a work in progress. For this reason, tourists are prohibited from taking photos in the excavation areas.

Indeed, with three pits, and exhibition area and the Emperor’s Mausoleum to observe, there is little reason to be disappointed with what the museum has to offer. Take note, however, that there is a fair distance from the entrance of the museum grounds to the actual exhibition area. This stretch can be referred to as a ‘tourist trap’ considering the amount of shops selling the same items and tour guides encouraging you to sign up with their tour. Interestingly, as we figured out, the further you walk into the museum grounds, the price of the tour guides generally reduces. Also, actually in the area around the pits, be prepared to have people persistently trying to sell, typically a box of terracotta warriors, to you. Still, due to the quantity of these identical items, you will be guaranteed to get a cheap deal through haggling.

As a consequence of The Army’s monumental impact, the site was accordingly given World Cultural Heritage status by UNESCO in 1987. The museum itself is rather expensive at 150RMB, but as this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience perhaps it is worth stretching the purse strings and provides a good excuse to book China flights sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

 

Wonderful China Travel: Just for You

On October 15, 2010, in Cool Places, Cultural Experience, Shanghai, by Jack Li

Wonderful! It’s time for you to have china travel, to enjoy the ancient culture in Xi’an, to appreciate the modern and prospect city Beijing, to feel the peaceful and beautiful scenery in Guangxi, to find more wonderful travel experience, just join our China Tours. For most visitors who come to China for the first time, […]

Wonderful! It’s time for you to have china travel, to enjoy the ancient culture in Xi’an, to appreciate the modern and prospect city Beijing, to feel the peaceful and beautiful scenery in Guangxi, to find more wonderful travel experience, just join our China Tours.

For most visitors who come to China for the first time, the best option for your travel in China is the Multi-City Tours, it means that you travel to several cities at the same time and along the travel routes you have made. It’s better that these cities are not very apart from each other, and be sure that the routes will give you a pleasant trip. In the following passage, I will give you some options for Multi-City Tours.

Mystery of Silk Road—the whole route is Beijing to Xi’an to Dunhuang to Turfan. During this travel, you can experience of world’s oldest and most historically important trade routes and its influences on the culture of China, Asia and the West. Trace the footprints of ancient Silk Road from Xi’an to Kashgar discovering the gems in China.

The most amazing attractions are followed:

The Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Caves of A Thousand Buddhas, are set into a cliff wall of the Singing Sand Mountains about 25km southeast of Dunhuang, the oasis city in the Gobi desert. The 3 or 4 tier grottoes extend 1.6 kilometers. According to historical records, the Mogao Grottoes were carved in 366 AD. There are 492 grottoes in existence with some 45,000 square meters of murals, and 415 painted clay figures. It represents the height of Buddhist art and the world’s richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.
The vaults or pits containing Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Army are located about 40 km east of Xian. This army of more than 6,000 life size terracotta warriors, with horses and chariots lined up facing east and ready for battle, is one of the world’s most remarkable archaeological finds. The terracotta warriors were made for Qin Shihuang also known as The First Emperor, and with his mausoleum lying only 1.5km, (0.9 miles) away it is assumed the army was made to accompany him on his journeys after death.

The Grape Valley is at the western foot of the Flaming Mountains, between the township of Turpan and the mountains. Grape Valley and the nearby city of Turpan are an oasis in the Turpan Depression which is one of the hottest place on earth due it’s altitude of more than a hundred of meters below sea level and supplied by melting snow water from the hills around by the ancient Karez irrigation system. The valley is dense with grape vines and various fruit trees. Despite the extreme heat, especially during the summer when the tempetures can reach over 45 ° during in Turpan, the Grape Valley, an eight kilometer long and half a kilometer wide oasis remains cool and humid. Historically the grape, melon and many other fruit growin and wine production in and around Turpan goes back over 2,000 years. The grapes are grown on trellised walkways, that in July to August, are heavily laden with large bunches of grapes. The valley produces the famous seedless white grape, and red and black grapes later in the season. The grape growing covers about 220 hectares and peaches, apricots, apples, pears, watermelons and melons are also grown in abundance.

Do not worry about the transportation; you can go on your travel by China Flights, it will give you more convenience and make sure you have a comfortable and pleasant trip.

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Amazing Tour in China

On October 13, 2010, in Great Wall, Places of Interest, Terracotta Warriors, Tours, Travel Info, by Jack Li

For every foreign visitor who wants to china travel, the best option is the Multi-City Tour, so that you can have a more general impression ofChina Tours. However, how to find your best trip routes? Here, I will give you some suggestions about it. Wonderful! You can choose your travel routes according to different themes, […]

For every foreign visitor who wants to china travel, the best option is the Multi-City Tour, so that you can have a more general impression ofChina Tours. However, how to find your best trip routes? Here, I will give you some suggestions about it.

Wonderful! You can choose your travel routes according to different themes, such as Sightseeing Tours, and several options are showed to you: Beijing—Xi’an—Shanghai.

Along this route, you can enjoy both the most renowned Chinese gardens and historical sights with interest and passion. From Terracotta Warriors for the first Chinese emperor to the imperial Forbidden City to the last emperor, from the most developed city of Shanghai with skyscrapers and bars to the tranquil countryside. This is the one just for you.

The highlights of this package tour are followed: the ancient China civilization and modern progress Review glories at Olympic Park, the ancient life size Terra-Cotta Warrior Corps Feel modern development in Shanghai… And more details are followed:

Great Wall

As a symbol of ancient Chinese civilization, The Great Wall of China has stood for more than 2,000 years. The Great Wall of China was built in stages from the 5th century BC up to the 16th century AD as protection against northern nomadic tribes. Stretching from the coast of the Bohai Bay in the east and ending at the Jiayu Pass in the west, it snakes along the back of mountains, deserts and valleys for 6,350km (3900 miles). It is said to be 1 of the only 2 human engineering projects visible by astronauts from space with the naked eye. Built of huge granite slabs and special sized bricks, the Great Wall at Badaling 75km (47 miles) north of Beijing is most typical part of the Wall during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). There the wall is wide enough for 5 horsemen to ride abreast or 10 men to walk side by side. And there is a famous saying in China, which is: you are not a hero until you get up to the Great Wall on your own effort. So nowadays, the Great Wall is one of the first attractions that foreign tourists will visit.

Terracotta Army

The vaults or pits containing Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Army are located about 40 km east of Xian. This army of more than 6,000 life size terracotta warriors, with horses and chariots lined up facing east and ready for battle, is one of the world’s most remarkable archaeological findings. The terracotta warriors were made for Qin Shihuang, a great emperor in ancient China and also known as The First Emperor and with his mausoleum laying only 1.5km away it is assumed the army was made to accompany him on his journeys after death. This attraction will give you another view of the prospect of ancient China.

The Bund

The Bund is the classic image of Shanghai and the city’s main attraction. Sweeping along the western side of the Huangpu River, the majestic buildings date back to Shanghai’s grandest days. Many banks and financial companies built impressive offices here in the early 20th century when Shanghai was the financial capital of Asia. The city side of The Bund is packed with classic architecture. Buildings to look out for include the old Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, the Customs House and its landmark clock, the Bank of China and the Peace Hotel. By the way, you can enjoy the World Exposition which is held in Shanghai now.

OK, here is just one of suggestions for you, and if you want to learn more information, you can go to the website on chinatraveldepot.com, or if you just want to Travel to Beijing, you can find whatever you want here. Good luck.

 

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