Our time in Xi’an was short, but we were okay with it as the one thing to see while there was the Terracotta Warriors. They made up part of our ‘China big 3’ aka pandas, warriors and the wall. We stayed three nights here in a nice hotel just outside the main walled city. While most people stay within the wall, we realized we could stay just outside of it in a Western style hotel with nice gym for a cheaper price. And the kicker is we could bus to the walled city for 40 cents. So with a little research, we won that travel round.
After a good night’s rest on the first not-rock hard bed in a few weeks, we took a series of buses out to the warriors. Even being the travel pros we are, China put us to the test. Nothing is in English and nobody speaks English, so you have to really watch people and determine what you should be doing by paying attention to other’s actions. If we do hear someone speaking English, we jump all over it and ask as many questions as we can to pre-emptively get ahead of future confusion.
Once we finally made it to the warriors, we spent a few hours checking out the three buildings which house them. While the tourist scene was chaotic, the warriors themselves are absolutely incredible. The whole story, how and why they were built, as well as how they were forgotten and subsequently found, is unreal. Basically the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, believed anything you were buried with you took with you to the afterlife so he decided to make terracotta versions of everything in his life so he could have it all in death. This means he had people working for almost four decades to create a whole kingdom underground, including 8,000+ life-size soldiers to protect him. All of these things were buried along with all of the workers who made them so nobody would raid the tomb after his death. Cue everyone not realizing they were there for more than 1500 years until a farmer stumbled upon them in 1974 while digging a well. Basically finding the greatest treasure of our generation on accident. The craziest part is the majority of the buried artifacts and city have not been unearthed, so there are trillions and trillions of dollars in art and treasure just sitting under the countryside.
The second day in Xi’an we explored the walled city and checked out its wild street food scene. We also fell in love with 3rd Sister Restaurant. I think I will dream of some of their dishes for years to come they were that good (a few pics below). It was easily the best food we ate in China. We finally wrapped up our time here by walking on top of the city walls (which for the record, isn’t worth the entry cost) and then called it a wrap. Sometimes we struggle on filling our time now as the mental burnout is real. After seeing so much stuff over the past 12 months it is hard to keep focused on being a tourist day after day, especially when we have a comfy hotel room with good wifi where we can just call home.