After our action packed evening we had a good sleep and a later start so we were refreshed and ready to go. We were also very excited as today was the day we were going to see the Terracotta Warriors.
Before we got there we headed to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It’s a Buddhist temple and has been standing in some form or another since 652, ranging in “layers” from 5 to 10, resting at 7 today. We wandered around the complex which had undergone a lot of regeneration in recent years (there was a shopping centre built and opened in like 3 years!!!)
We decided to pay extra to head up the Pagoda stopping on each layer to have a look over the city. It was a pretty good view but not amazing. We were also told that there was piece of Buddha’s bone on one of the layers – we weren’t convinced!
We then drove to a terracotta factory near the warrior site. We were not expecting to go here and were a little annoyed as it seemed much like a “shopping stop” which I had been reassured wouldn’t happen on this tour. We whizzed round and did purchase a few warriors as gifts as they are much much cheaper here then at the site.
I was tempted to buy a life size version for the garden!
After lunch of Xi’an noodles (very yummy despite one dish being cold) we finally made it to the Terracotta Warriors. On the way into the site and all along the surrounding roads where hundreds (and I really mean hundreds) of people selling pomegranates!
We headed quickly to the main pits, our guide advised that it’s best to visit the pits in reverse order and I would agree with this, working from the smallest to the largest.
It was pretty busy but what do you expect really, we did have to contend with Chinese pushing as no-one is very patient but they tend to speed round so eventually you do get your turn.
Our guide kept us informed of notable sites such as the “hospital” for fixing broken statues and the site of the well where they were first discovered. I think if you had done some research it is possible to self guide your way round.
Jim did advise us that only 1 warrior had come out whole so far! Plus there were still thousands which haven’t yet been uncovered due to the technology to retain their colour not quite being there yet.
Personally I love them in their pure terracotta colours but can see why historically it would be good to see them in colour.
The site is big and it does take time to work your way round and there are extra areas such as the bronze statue exhibition and film about the warriors.
The Terracotta Warriors are harped on about by Chinese people as the 8th wonder of the world. Personally, I was a little let down. It didn’t give me the shivers that The Great Wall did nor did I feel it had really been done justice. It is hard to judge when you have seen such amazing sites in China from the modernness of Shanghai and Imperial China in Beijing so maybe we just fell down with timing.
Most people who visit are blown away by them and I have to agree that the warriors themselves are impressive, up close you can’t deny that as each of them is individual it’s spectacular. Add that to the sheer scale of warriors in pit 1 I would still recommend going I just feel it could have been done better. Perhaps its Western snobbiness thinking we could do everything better but with new pits being opened in the near future I feel more could be spent on the facilities.
We made our way back to Xi’an for a rest in the hotel before heading out again for the evening. Check back for my post on the Tang Dynasty and Dumpling Show!
What is your 8th wonder of the world? Is it the Terracotta Warriors?