Visiting historic sites in Xian

Xian is one of the four great ancient capitals of China. Being one of China’s oldest cities, Xian is actually known for housing plenty of China’s most valuable historic sites such as the Mausoleum of First Emperor Qin Shi Huang which is home to the Terracotta Army, the Great Wild Goose Pagoda, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the Forest of Stone Stele Museum, the tomb of Emperor Jingdi and a lot more.

So from Xian, I took a one-hour bus ride that cost 7 CNY to get to the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang. For the admission fee, I paid 120 CNY since their prices were seasonal and I visited in December. They had battery-powered motor vehicles and ancient-style carriages for visitors to tour around the mausoleum; but if that isn’t your thing, they also had 30 free shuttle buses travelling between the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Just show them your entrance ticket and you’re good to go.

It turns out that the purpose of building the Terracotta Army was to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife.

When I travelled here to be an ESL teacher, I was very curious at what the Terracotta Army would look like in reality because I see them a lot on television and movies. So one day, I went to the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. It turns out that the purpose of building the Terracotta Army was to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife. Local farmers discovered the figures in 1974 in the Lintong District and each of the figures differ in height according to their roles in the army, with the tallest ones being the generals. An estimated number of 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses were in the three pits that contained the Terracotta warriors. What was so amazing about it was that every single figure looked so alive. There were also other terracotta non-military figures that were found in the pits. There were officials, acrobats and even musicians.

This place has so much history in it that I simply cannot wait for my next historical site visit. Maybe I’ll visit the Great Wild Goose Pagoda or maybe another emperor tomb. In China, you can never run out of sites to visit, because everything has much culture and history. Piece of advice, try talking to an elderly local. They know a lot about history—be sure to bring a translator though.

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