The Terracotta Warriors
Xi'an Travel Blog› entry 107 of 117 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.