Wednesday, July 18, 2007


We arrived to Xi'an early in the morning and settled into our hostel. The plan for the day was to go to Bingmayong to explore the Terracotta Warriors. Ranking up there with the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, the 2,000 year old army remains stunningly well preserved. The vigilant force stands guarding the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang. There are three vaults to view the massive archaeological site. The most impressive underground vault is the first. The 6000 terracotta figures of warriors and horses face east in a rectangle battle array. They appeared to be ready for battle at any moment. Some solders appeared to have crossbows and longbows. While other armoured soldiers have spears, dagger-axes, and other long-shaft weapons. Every solider differs in facial features and expressions. After leaving this place, it made me feel that I was ready for battle at any moment.
Later that evening, we ran into our buddies, Rob, Nick, and Dave from England. We explored the city and made our way from the Bell and Drum Tower to the Muslim Quarter. The Bell Tower is a huge building the marks the center of Xi'an. To the west of the Bell Tower is a smaller building, the Drum Tower, marks the beginning of the Muslim Quarter. Here we walked the backstreets to find tea and an interesting Islamic food market. Later that night, we said good-bye to our friends and hoped that we would meet again in Tibet, Nepal, and India.
The next day, we attempted to sort out our train tickets and buy plane tickets to Chengdu. We were not in the mood for traveling 17 hours in an hard seat.
Before our flight the next day, we went to the Great Mosque. This mosque was one of the largest in China. It is built in a Chinese architectural style with most of the grounds taken up by beautiful gardens. This is an active place to worship, it holds several prayer services each day. We were only able to visit the courtyard of the mosque, only Muslims may enter the prayer hall.
Around 9:30pm, we were on the train heading to Chengdu to see pandas and get our Tibetian permits.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I always wanted to see these guys. So cool!