Terracotta Warriors are a Treat

Day 30, Grand Asia 2017

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 – Xi’an, China

You can look at one or even a dozen terracotta warriors and be impressed. But the real impression comes from looking at a thousand of them. When I saw a small traveling exhibit in Chicago in 2016, I knew that wasn’t enough. So today I stood in awe of an entire army.

We began the day with a transfer to the Guilin airport and a morning flight to Xi’an. We discovered upon landing that today would be a cool and rainy day in Xi’an. We dug out our jackets and umbrellas and joined our Abercrombie and Kent tour guide. She spent the hour-long drive describing the amazing discovery by a farmer in 1974. The Chinese have unearthed at least three pits, but believe there are many more in addition to the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.

img_0913The warriors are housed in an extensive complex, with beautiful and large buildings covering the three pits open to the public. Despite the rain, the crowds were large. In fact, what I hadn’t been prepared for was the army of tourists pushing and shoving at the entrance to Pit 1, where an army of 6,000 warriors is buried.


DSC08164Once we moved away from the entrance and its commanding view of the unearthed figures, we were better able to get closer views and take more photographs.

Many of the warriors were damaged when the wooden roofs over the pits collapsed, and an area in the back of pit 1 is dedicated to piecing them together. It is called the infirmary.

In addition to visiting three pits, we saw two bronze chariots and made a stop at the museum store, where several in our group purchased their own small warriors to take or ship home.

I had worried that our tour hadn’t scheduled enough time at the site to meet my expectations, but it turned out to be just about right. We saw just about everything I expected.

Another five-star hotel (the Westin) awaited us back in Xi’an. At dinner we were reminded that it is Halloween. The staff had fun renaming some of the buffet items – although given that we have seen some strange-to-us food on this trip, we wondered which names were real and which were made up. I’m glad to report that again the beer was outstanding.