Our journey to Xi’an was with a tour company called Insiders Experience. First day breakfast we stopped for delicious local foods on our way to see the famous Terracotta Army. Afterward we visited an ancient Taoist temple in the Lishan Mountains and then a local lunch. After lunch and the next day we drove around the countryside visiting small villages and exploring rural China.
Xi’an Terracotta Warriors
The official name for the “museum” is Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor or in Chinese 秦始皇兵马俑博物馆. The mausoleum and surrounding buildings are all indoors so you can visit without concern for weather. Because the site is considered a “must see” you should expect huge crowds. We visited during an off -peak time and still the place was packed although with a little effort we could get up front to see the statues.
Another thing, I recommend using a guide to get around and explain what you are looking at. There is so much detail and history and if you can get someone to show you around it’s a better experience. Little things that make it interesting such as the “hole” on the side of the horses used to vent air during the kilning process. Or how lucky we are the site was not discovered during the time of the Red Guard because they likely would have destroyed it all!
Click on the photos to see larger and slideshow!
Town & Country
The second part of our journey took us into the country side outside Xi’an. We had a blast riding in the jeeps and exploring old farm villages, mountains, and so much more. I feel we had a great opportunity here because getting out in to the rural areas is pretty difficult for foreigners who do not drive.