Thursday, July 19, 2012

China: Xian and the Terracotta Warriors

Days 4 and 5 we spent in Xian. We really wanted to see the Terracotta warriors while we were in China, so we took the night train out there. The train ride was alright, and we made it there around 6:30 in the morning. Straight away we went to buy our train tickets back to Beijing. They also have someone who speaks English at the Xian train station. Bad news, their sleeper trains were sold out. Even more bad news their seats were sold out. We conversed and went back to the window and she said oh yes, seats, and gave us our tickets. If your ticket doesn't have a seat number, don't buy it! Even thought she said we had seats, we did in fact not. We got really lucky and somehow ended up with one seat, and I slept on the floor of the train in the isle at Hal's feet.

Now back to arriving in Xian. We tried to navigate the local bus system looking for the #14 bus that was supposed to go close to our hotel. Fail. The Bestay Express. I had read online, and it had great views, but their website was really confusing and we couldn't figure out which room to book, so we just showed up, after we getting lost first. The hotel was fine, it was like a step down from a Holiday Inn, so it was nice to us. We showered and headed out to find the bus to the Terracotta warriors.

We read online to look for tourist bus #5 also known as 306. There is a parking lot directly east of the train station, outside of the wall. Look for bus #(5) 306. There will be lots of others there who try and get you on their bus, but stick with this one. It's 7 RMB each way. They will drop you off in the parking lot next to the terracotta warriors, and will pick you up there also. They just have lots of buses coming and going, so there should always be one bus waiting.

The tickets to get into the terracotta warriors are expensive compared to the rest of the tourist attractions in China. It was 150 RMB, the Great Wall is 1/3 of that! Well, if you're a student, or have a card that even remotely looks like a student ID, you get half price at 75 RMB. We're volunteers, we're poorer than students, but we didn't have any of our old student ID we used our Peace Corps Medical card, and that got us in.

We had heard the warriors were cheesy and to not get our hopes too high, so we didn't. Well, they were awesome. I was shocked at how many of them there are. Maybe it's because our expectations were low, but we both really enjoyed all 3 pits. It was so cool how different all of the warriors were, their hair styles and their facial expressions were so unique.

After the warriors we headed back to the hotel, and then headed to the Muslim market. Other PCVs had recommended it. It's really close to the Bell and Drum towers, so we got to see those too, but sorry no pictures. The market is definitely worth a visit if you want some cheap souvenirs.

Our last day we got rained out from going up on the Xian City Wall. You should go if you have time, the wall is beautiful.

1 comment:

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Besides the Great Wall this is what I'd love to see of China. That's great that you weren't disappointed!

Blogging tips