AsiaChinaXi'an

The Terracotta Warrior Army

Xi'an Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 39 › view all entries

So, off to Xi'an it is.


We checked out of our hostel at midday but our train didnt leave until 9.30pm so we put our bags into the hostel's storage room and went off to visit the fabled Silk Street Market. We didn't have any intention to buy anything all we wanted to do was take a gander at all the things they had for sale. The market is actually indoors, set over 6 floors in a huge mall type building, with each floor selling different items.

Part of the wall around the town
We were immediately bombarded by sales people from every direction, 'lady come look', 'lady you very pretty come look here' 'lady you want chopsticksfanspicturesbraceletsilkscarf...' it went on and on, with some over zealous ones actually reaching out and grabbing our arm to try and get us into their shop! We managed to fend them off without losing our cool (it was sometimes close) and stopped at a stall that was selling 'hand painted' pictures on scrolls. Rachel had taken a fancy to one so we enquired how much. The lady told us it was 250Y (Yuen is the chinese currency) but I think she could tell by the look on my face that was way more than I was prepared to pay as she asked me to name my price. I said 40Y, she shook her head and named 240, I shook mine and said 40 again. It went this was for a while, her giving me a slightly smaller figure, with some reluctance.
Anyone hungry??
We got to a gradual stalemate so I decided to walk off, only for her to call out a sum much smaller than before, but still not the one I was wanting it for. We were almost around the corner before she caved and called me back, agreeing to sell me the picture for 40Y. I managed to haggle her from 18.50 down to 2.96, yay me! We also got two ties for 100Y, when the starting price was 680Y for 1!


After our very successful shopping trip we headed back to the hostel to get some food and chill out a bit before catching a taxi to the station. The train ride itself was ok, we got two top bunks as nothing else was avilable but at least they were in the same cabin. We arrived on Thursday at 10am, half hour later than scheduled. The hostel we had booked into said they would pick us up from the station so we disembarked the train and followed the crowd out, eagerly looking for our name being waved on a piece of paper.

Undamaged warrior on display
There was no name......There didnt even seem to be a station....we had emerged from what looked like a side entrance

onto an area where all the cargo from the train was being unloaded. Oh dear, no one was here to collect us, we didnt have the hostels address written down and we didnt have the number to call them *scratches head* what do we do?? Rachel wandered about, seeing if they were standing somewhere else and spoke to someone from another hostel that was there to collect someone but didnt have any joy. She eventually found someone who told us to walk inside the city wall (there is a huge castle type wall that encircles the town) and turn right. With these detailed directions(!) we started walking. Just inside the wall we came across a western woman and decided to ask her if she happened to know of the hostel we were after.

Half buried
By sheer chance and a stroke of good luck she was actually staying at it and had a map on her showing where it was which she very kindly gave to us, thank you!!


It was a fifteen minute walk to the hostel, which is housed in an old communist barracks. We checked in and found that someone had waited two hours for us (sorry!) and that the station was actually not far from where we had been waiting. We always seem to have problems getting to our hostel! Later that day we took a walk down to the muslim quarter. We walked down tiny streets filled with people, avoided the huge potholes in the road, dodged the many many bikes & cars impatiently tooting their horns to try and get through the crowd. We saw many little shops, selling some strange looking food, street vendors selling squid on skewers and stalls with duck heads waiting to be bought *vomits*.

Thousands of warriors!!
We stopped at a restaurant but purchased nothing but a bottle of beer each, though looking through the menu was an experience. If we had so desired, we could of eaten sheep spinal cord, ox entrails, ox tongue, 'lucky celebrates hunchbacked palm '(I have no idea what that means), sheep foot with hot sauce, aluminium dusting powder finless eel section and a host more....Mmmmm, yummy(!). The next day we walked down to the train station and booked our beds on a sleeper to Chengdu (to see pandas!) then joined a queue for a bus to the Terracotta warriors. The bus took about an hour to get there but only cost 7Y. Once there we paid our entrance fee and trekked up to the site. The site is the original discovery site, a farmer digging a well stumbled onto one of the pits in 1974 and the other two were discovered during excavation work. We read in the guide book that to get the most out of the visit we should do a backwards tour of the site (thats see them in reverse order, not walk backwards round it), starting with a film which explains the history of the warriors. It was good advice, as we ended our tour with pit 1, which is the biggest pit and holds the majority of uncovered warriors.


On a bit of a different subject, I have to mention a downside to being in China. Staring. Now I get that we are going to stick out like a poodle in a pigeon race and are going to attract some looks but could you please look at my FACE!! Every man we pass stares at a point about half a foot below my face, yep my boobs. Yes I am wearing strappy tops, and yes men are programmed to look, but here its in a different league. The men stop in front of you and just stare, blatently at your chest. Even when I'm covered up, they still look. Ggggrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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Part of the wall around the town
Part of the wall around the town
Anyone hungry??
Anyone hungry??
Undamaged warrior on display
Undamaged warrior on display
Half buried
Half buried
Thousands of warriors!!
Thousands of warriors!!
Xi'an
photo by: Deats