Xi’an, located in the northwest of China is probably most known for the Terracotta Warriors.
Their history is fascinating.
The shortened story is that they were buried with the emperor in 210-209BCE and their purpose was to protect him during the afterlife. They were discovered during the 1970s by local farmers. So far 8,000 soldiers, 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses are thought to have been buried with many left untouched.
You can visit a select few during a trip to Xi’an either by taking a tour or by going yourself. I’d recommend going by yourself as it works out cheaper, you can have as much time there as you want and you won’t be stuck taken to markets among other things on the way.
Take the bus from outside Xi’an railway station (not Xi’an north station) . The bus should be easy to find as they’re bright blue and have ‘Terracotta Warriors and Horses’ written on the side. At the time of writing it costs 7RMB each way. Journey time is approximately 80 minutes.
When you get there tickets are a hefty 150RMB. Make sure you go to the warehouses in reverse order 3-2-1. It’s the most impressive way to see them because it leaves the biggest pit last.
And of course there’s lots of gift shops to make your own Terracotta Army. The most impressive souvenir of all has to be you as a soldier in a holograph stone – because that’s obviously a souvenir that’s in demand. To prove this they have one of Barack Obama as a warrior. They unfortunately wouldn’t let me buy it.
Have you seen the Terracotta Warriors? Would you like to go?