Change Yourself…Change The World.

June 3, 2010, 7:26 am
Filed under: China, Pictures Post

Xi’an is one of the oldest and most important cities in China, and it houses the City Wall, the famous Terracotta Warriors, and was part of the Silk Road. We traveled to Xi’an to better understand the grand history of China, and to come to a quieter and more relaxed place (as Beijing and Shanghai houses millions and millions of people in their cities).

‘Quiet and more relaxed?’ Yeah, right. We had our most intense scheduling in Xi’an, and there didn’t seem to be a moment’s rest. As soon as we got off the train from Beijing, we were whisked away to a variety of events, including visiting an area where Terracotta Warriors were made (and then forced to walk through a maze of shops that sold all kinds of Chinese goods- tourist trap, anyone? Yes, each of us bought at least one thing. Damn you, China!), and then to an actually delicious lunch (we were all given hot pots and raw meat and vegetables to self-cook our own food- I must admit, it was one of our best meals). Afterwards, we went to the actual Terracotta Warriors Exhibition, which was really interesting. After a few hours of exploring and picture-snapping, we convened at a tea house for a traditional tea ceremony. Finally, we ended the night with a dumpling dinner, where we stuffed ourselves full of various different colors, sizes, shapes, and fillings.

We slept very well that night.

The next day we visited the Wild Goose Pagoda in the morning, which is an ancient Buddhist Pagoda (the building, which you will see in the pictures, is literally sagging over), and then ventured over to the City Wall, where we all decided it would be a great idea to try to bike all around Xi’an, via the wall. This was a terrible idea. The City Wall is inlaid by mottled stones, which makes the ride incredibly bumpy. We all celebrated our City Wall experience with hand calluses and scorching sunburns (at least Fan and Mary had a good time, who decided to brave the double bicycle). In the afternoon, we headed through some markets in the city to visit a mosque (a Muslim house of worship). I found this mosque to be INCREDIBLY interesting- I had never seen one like it. Since I traveled on the Comparative Religion and Culture program with Global College, I’ve seen mosques in Taiwan, Thailand, India, and Turkey– most of them are in an enclosed space. But this mosque was all out in the open– it almost looked Chinese Buddhist with the architecture, though the writings were Arabic (the language of Islam). Very cool.

At the end of the day, we all headed onto another train ride, this time 13 hours, to Shanghai. I leave you here with pictures of Xi’an!

My brother, the Terracotta Warrior

Sanket and Kevin pose. Terracotta heads were made separately from the body and then attached on after the clay baking.

Terracotta Statues

Absolutely no trampling. Travel gem.

The main exhibit that houses the Terracotta Warriors

This all used to be farm land. Local farmers were drilling a well in 1974 and discovered the statues.

These warriors were buried along with the first emperor of the Qin dynasty. I guess he didn’t want to be lonely in the afterlife.

Many of them were destroyed after lying underground for thousands of years. Archeologists have painstakingly put them back together over the past 30 years. I can’t imagine how tedious a process it must be.

No two Terracotta Warriors are alike.

Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, had these warriors constructed when he was 13 years old in preparation for his death. That’s a lot of planning.

Archaeologists excavating more remains.

I stop outside to take a picture of a white rose. I’m such a photographer.

Another building donated by Johnson & Johnson, an American company, to celebrate relations between China and the United States. The Terracotta Warrior is the largest puppet in the world. He is holding hands with a Chinese-American girl.

Another excavation site.

Terracotta Generals.

The end of the Terracotta Exhibition.

Afterwards, we rested and had a tea ceremony. These are all of the different kinds of teas.

I believe this represents the first four characters of the Chinese language.


Our dumpling dinner. This was so much fun, and so delicious.

Some jewelry

The Wild Goose Pagoda- a giant Buddhist pagoda in Xi’An.

Incense at the Wild Goose Pagoda

That is not a Nazi symbol. Originally it was a Buddhist symbol, and was stolen by the Nazis.

A view of Xi’an from the Wild Goose Pagoda.


My cousin Sam performing a ritual for good luck, long life, and many blessings.

Xi’an City Wall.

Kaelee and Taryn.

If I had a penny for every time I saw one of these structures….

Xi’an, heading out into the regular city. This was a fun and more laid-back experience.

This is a Chinese mosque. Really interesting, I’ve never quite seen anything like it!

What is this?

A canary?

No, it’s Mary Banks’ awesome hair.

Some items sold at a market.

Bye Xi’an!

7 Comments so far
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I love the Terracotta Warriors! They are so cute!! Mama

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