The Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Most people hate making funeral arrangments. Not Emperor Qin Shi Huang. He took everything but the kitchen sink to the afterlife!

Today we visited one of China’s most well-known tourist attractions, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Farmers digging a well near Xi’an in 1974 discovered the first pottery remnants of the army. Three pits have now been unearthed containing 8,000 clay soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses. There are even musicians and acrobats among the life-sized figurines.

We met up with a local university student who volunteers to take visitors around Xi’an through the Global Greeter Network. If you’re thinking of travelling, take a peak to see if your destination is listed!

Kally, Xi'an volunteer tour guide

Kally, Xi’an volunteer tour guide

Kally helped us take our first bus in China to see the warriors, which turned out to be a totally mundane experience. I think I was expecting jam-packed buses, possibly with the odd chicken, but I was completely wrong. Even in rush hour there were still seats available, and the driver was nice enough to point out our stop on the ride home.

We did learn however, that when the bus stops with a wide berth from the sidewalk, you need to look both ways before heading to the curb. There just may be a scooter or bicycle whipping through the space between!

Kally was totally shocked when she saw us get ripped off buying ice cream. We apparently payed 15 Yuan for something that she would have only been charged six. Such is the life of a foreigner!

She took us to a local restaurant where we had a traditional Xi’an dish – mutton soup with bread. Even Claire liked it!

On the ride home, Kally stuck her head out the bus window and negotiated pomegranate fruits for everyone. Never seen pomegranates sold through a window before!

Getting back to Qin Shi Huangdi, he was definitely Type A. He not only became the first Emporer of China at the age of 13, he unified seven important cities under his reign and held the them together with a civil administration system that lasted several centuries after his death. He also standardized weights and measures, and introduced a uniform writing script. Maybe the clay army was fitting of his accomplishments!

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2 Comments on “The Terracotta Warriors and Horses

  1. Hi Allan, looks like you and your family really enjoy the trip of China and have lots fun. Xi’an is my second hometown. It is nice to see the pictures posted.


    • Hi Howard,

      We’ve been having a really good time in China! The language barrier hasn’t been a problem, because everyone has been so friendly. I never realized how unusual we would be to people here. They are always wanting to take our kids’ pictures!

      We loved Xi’an – very beautiful city. I would like to spend more time there.


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