Wednesday, November 16, 2005

xi'an - west peace

the trip to china allowed me to see many sites that i have been wanting to see and experience in person for years
great wall
karst hills
and the terracotta warriors
or bīng mǎ yōng if you speak mandarin

the army consists of over 8000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses buried with the self-proclaimed first Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 210-209 BC.
chinese archaelogists are putting the army back together again as most of the figures were broken

the details of the warriors are really amazing
and it is said that the peasants who discovered the warriors in the 70's still visit the site and are kind of local celebrities
every warrior is unique with different features
and poses

this is the largest area that holds the warriors
it is the size of an airport hangar
and you have pretty close access to the warriors
there are other, smaller vaults as well
but you get the idea of simply how vast this fabricated army was here

this is steve at the entrance of the hangar, when we first saw the warriors
the site doesn't disappoint
certainly there are the usual tourist catches, an outdoor market, an overpriced restaurant
but it is very accessible from xi'an
and we took the local bus there for 5 yuan (a little less than $1)
and there is an amazing museum in xi'an that gives more depth and history to the story of both xi'an and the terracotta army

really something
and it was really rainy outside that day
as it is today in ottawa
so maybe that's what made me think of this experience

xi xie xi'an

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