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Journey Across the Silk Road.. Part 3..

Day 3: Destination Xian to Tianshu

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img_20160622_162153Day 3 was for sure the day that I felt more like a foreigner than any other days during the whole trip. Tianshui City was once the first stop that the Silk Road made upon entering the Gansu Province. Situated in the southeastern region of Gansu, it lies halfway between Lanzhou and Xian, and along the upper branch of the Weihe River, where Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan provinces converge.

We went to the Fuxi Temple, now let me give you aimg_20160622_151150 little bit of history about the temple. Fu Xi Temple was originally built to commemorate Fu Xi, a legendary ruler of great antiquity. It is said that Fu Xi was born in Tianshui. Fu Xi Temple was built in 1490 of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and rebuilt in 1524 of Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). The temple has three rows of buildings, with the front gate facing south.

myxj_20160623071029_saveFrom south to north are the memorial archways, temples, the terrace, stele pavilion, the main hall and the ancient cypresses in the 3,700 mu (1 mu equals 0.0667 hectare) of the temple yard. The construction of the temple is of typical Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) style with symmetric structures, formed and precise layout, and marvelous carved beams and painted rafters.

The Hall of the Deceased King built on the open terrace in the central yard is the main building in Fu Xi Temple. With double eaves and corbel brackets (set of brackets between crossbeams and columns, each set consisting of tiers of outstretching arms called gong, cushioned with trapezoidal blocks called dou), colored glaze pantiles and the ornamental design of dragon mouth, the whole building looks very primitive but elegant.

img_20160622_162744The moment we arrived at the temple we were given a task to take the funniest picture we could take as a competition of the day. Whenever I go to a small town in China I always end up being the tourist attraction of the day, resulting in me taking countless picturesmmexport1467276339466 with Chinese people, so I decided that since I was already attracting so much attention from the locals in Tianshu, I wanted to see how much more attention I could generate just from standing there. So I found a high stoop in the Temple and just stood there to see if people will come forth to try and take pictures with me.

 

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Needless to say that the experiment went further than we expected, within a few minutes we had people lining up like a concert to take pictures. One after the other they posed withmmexport1467276550997 me, each one wanting a picture. The moment we decided we were done they kept following us throughout the temple wanting more pictures. It was controlled chaos for the next 2hours while we were in the temple grounds. The plan completely backfired on us and we ended up having to leave sooner than we wanted to because we caused way too much commotion.

I would say if you wanna see how friendly local Tianshu people are and how beautiful the temples and historical places are definitely book your ticket today..

Journey Across the Silk Road..Part 2

Day 2: Terra Cotta Museum

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Terracotta mausoleum

The second day of the trip we went to visit the Terra Cotta museum where we would learn about all the history of the clay sculptures of the armies in the museum.

img_20160621_093649The Terracotta Army, aka Terracotta Warriors and Horses, are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province.

img_20160621_104028Let me start off by giving you a quick history about the army, upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. It is also rumored that the people hired to build and bury the mausoleum were all img_20160621_092150killed in order to preserve the secrecy of where it was. Some locals even claim that the museum was built in order to confuse enemies into thinking that there was a massive army waiting to slaughter them when they charged into their territory, i’m not sure how true this is or if it is just a folk tale but I personally believe this is an ingenious idea.

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Selfie in front of the army

A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists

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Masters in International Journalism class of 2017

immediately. They came to Xian in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin

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Destroyed statues

Dynasty (211-206 BC). Most of the statues have major damage because of the many years they have been buried and most of them got destroyed during their unearthing.

 

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Trying to figure out how to work my selfie stick

We were taught about the different roles of the different sculptures and why they were created and I found it fascinating that the museum has been preserved so well for thousands of years and the Chinese government is really astonishing when it comes to taking careimg_20160621_104126 of historical places for decades. I believe this is the only country in the world that takes historical and cultural monuments so seriously and respectfully, the preservation of historical monuments in China is of no comparison with any other country that I have traveled to and it would do many countries good to bench mark on their methods of preservation in order to attract more tourists

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Shaanxi History Museum

After the Terra Cotta museum we went to the Shaanxi History Museum where we got to see all the inscriptions on the walls that have been there for thousands of years and it was an educational experience.

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the couple bike is even better for lovers

After the long walk around the mausoleum, we went to have lunch then set about going for a tour around the wall around the city the best way you can, with couple bicycles(that you rent on site) which was in no way an easy feat, but the view

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failed jump short

from the top of the wall was well worth it. You can see all of the city below from the top and the mountains do not make for a bad picture as well.

img_20160621_233803After a day well spent walking around and learning and soaking in history we wanted to paint the town red, we decided to go out and explore once again the small town at night and managed to find a few

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A night out on the town

bars open and because of the large amount of tourists that pour into the town the bar promoters were all over the streets trying to lure us into each of their bars with promises of a good time, alcohol and music, which we got in spades. We ended up in a small pub which served foreign bear and offered us an opportunity to play our own music and even sing up on the stage if we wanted to.

Xian is definitely a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China