We traveled from Beijing to Xian by a short plane ride for which once again I was drugged up on Gravol. We arrived late at night and just went to bed. The next 2 days we saw a few sites around Xian. Most of the sites are quite far from the city center so we would take a 1-2 hour bus ride to get to them. Hong’s cousin Yao came to Xian by train from her home city to tour with us.
Day 1 – Terra Cotta Warriors/Qin Dynasty tombs, then the Han Dynasty tombs
First stop in Xian was to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. I for some reason had the impression of these being really big, even though I distinctly remember them being described as life-like. When I got over the initial shock of seeing human-sized figures, it was pretty impressive just how extensive this burial site is.There are three dome buildings built over top to protect the excavations. You can see in the middle picture all the fixed up figures on display (most were damaged when unearthed and then rebuilt). The picture on the left is what they looked like initially when dug out, but colors are gone due to a fire.
Here’s a close-up of the warriors, each having a distinct face. It was said that each sculptor who made a statue made the face their own, so that each one is unique.
The Han Dynasty tombs had some slightly smaller statues..
And a whole lot of animals, and bones of animals, and even dinosaur bones. The emperors seem to want to be buried with everything they can possibly be buried with.
For some reason we chose this place to finally take a picture of the bathrooms. In China, most public toilets are squat toilets. I tried explaining it to my Mom before we went but she didn’t really get the full picture until she saw them in person. So we took a picture to show people back home.
Hong did a crazy jump just outside the tombs. He actually did a lot of poses and jumps that we’ll put in a Facebook album eventually. It’s hard sometimes to get the timing just right with the camera..
Day 2 – Famen Ce (Buddhist temple) and the City Wall in Xian
The Buddhist temple we went to see was simply enormous. We didn’t even see the entire complex because of time constraints. The entrance is a huge building that leads onto a wide pathway with a bunch of large Buddha statues. You can buy incense to light and pray at each of the Buddha’s.
At the very end (it was long, there were even little trains you could ride) was the big temple to pray at, and through the large set of doors was the big Buddha statue.
We prayed so much, we actually levitated.
And here is a rare group photo!
We visited the ancient city wall which surrounds the center of Xian.
There were these guys in the front of it that were spinning tops by whipping them.
It was gorgeous up on the top of the wall. You could rent bikes and bike along the whole thing. We just walked around for an hour taking pictures. I could have stayed up there all day it was so nice.
And then Hong really walked the wall.