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The Terracotta Warriors

Xi'an Travel Blog

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Terracotta Oreos

Or Terror Otter Oreos, as Dragon calls them.
 
Unearthed in 1974 by a farmer digging a well, over 6,000 hand-carved life-size clay soldiers are the highlight of a visit to Xi'an. Dating back about 2,000 years, the Oreos all face east, to protect China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang. Some are still left under the earth to stop their original paintwork from eroding. The colourless ones that remain all stand to attention in rows in what looks like a massive warehouse.
 
When you first walk into the site, the Oreos are indeed a pretty spectacular sight. It was, though, a case of having had postcard and photo overload before the visit where nothing actually seemed new to me. If I had one issue with site itself it was that you weren't really able to get close to the warriors at any point.

At site 1
I know that it wouldn't really be possible to get too close to them - people would surely do them damage eventually - but we were always kept at quite a distance and weren't ever able to see too much of the carving work that went into them.
 
I dealt with the persistant vendors who plague you at the entrance and exits to the site (some even get so desperate that they sound like the cheeseburger guy from Menace II Society). When I got the, "Oreos, five dollar," I retorted with, "Sorry, me no speaka de Engleesh," in a stereotypical Italian chef's voice. It worked a treat.

For lunch, Steve, Greg and I followed Dragon to his restaurant of choice for some dimsum. It was a weird one. Within moments of helping ourselves to the buffet, we had people shouting at us, then Dragon once they realised we couldn't understand, and pointing at our food.

Lion guard at FOSM
They wanted us to pay for each thing we had bought, for some reason not being able to make up a bill. We obliged but weren't happy with the treatment we were getting. Then after trying to get some rice from the buffet and being waved away, Greg and I started to get annoyed; and we let our feelings be known to the staff. In China, it is considered embarrassing to show frustration or get angry so Dragon was obviously a little uneasy by the fact that we wanted him to tell them we weren't happy. In the end, despite coming very close to walking out, we tried to hide our frustrations and let it slip. It was the worst meal I've had since travelling, to be honest.
 
We had some free time in the afternoon before we had to catch our overnight train in the evening. Steve and I visited the Forest Of Steles Museum. Set in some attractive gardens, there were some good statues of old Buddha remnants. It also contained 2,300 large engraved stone tablets dating back to the Han dynasty.
 
If there is one thing I would change about the itinerary on my Geckos tour so far it is the fact we only get two days in Xi'an. There's so much to do and see here and it has a lot of history. It's a shame that we only had two days in which to do it all.

 

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Terracotta Oreos
Terracotta Oreos
At site 1
At site 1
Lion guard at FOSM
Lion guard at FOSM
Some more
Some more
And more
And more
Buddha at Forest Of Steles Museum
Buddha at Forest Of Steles Museum
Tablet at FOSM
Tablet at FOSM
Making a print the old-fashioned w…
Making a print the old-fashioned …
Statues at Forest Of Steles Museum
Statues at Forest Of Steles Museum
Xi'an
photo by: Deats