Tag Archives: Xian

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

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Journey across the Silk Road Part1

Hello World…It has been ages since I last posted anything, life…school..work..school has been keeping me busier than I would like but I’m back now and I’m back for good..There have been a lot of changes in my life since I last posted.

I moved from Malaysia..to Botswana and finally to Beijing China where I currently live and for the next few posts I will be catching all of you up on my travel adventures since that time back. Starting with my awesome historic trip across the Silk Road last summer.

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Day 1: Beijing to Xian

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The whole traveling group on the bus on the way to the train station

As a traveler, being told that I will get a chance to travel four cities for free with some of my best friends is the best news I can hear all day. But when I realized that I will be traveling with over 30 people I did not know what to expect, there were to be too many people from over fifteen different countries and you never know if cultural boundaries will be crossed. Will there be a lot of misunderstandings; will I like all the people I will be traveling with, will the foreign students get along with the Chinese students? There were too many questions and not enough answers and as an explorer I was more than looking forward to unveiling the questions.

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Yellow shirts for everyone..#TourGroups

Meeting everyone for the first time was nerve wrecking, with so many personalities all in one place there is bound to be clashes, my expectations were low with people but high with the trip, and they were definitely surpassed. The moment everyone meant we bonded immediately, we were assigned our partners and even though we did not know how those partnerships were chosen we were excited to get to know each other more. From the get go the foreign

students were all paired up with Chinese students and  partner, Joy and I hit it off like a house on fire from the moment we started getting to know each other.Her profile stated that she is an avid reader, writer and traveler, so i knew right away that we were going to build a strong friendship and I couldn’t wait to learn all about her travels and her hobbies.

The journey started off in Xian, Xi’an is often called the birthplace of Chinese civilization. Capital of Shaanxi Province and eastern end to the Silk Road, the history and cultural significance of Xi’an stretches through China’s ancient past and into its bright future.

Xi’an was the capital city of 13 imperial dynasties, the most for any city, and many ancient structures are preserved. “The First Emperor” united China from his base in the Xi’an area, and he has left a mighty legacy.

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Small Wild Goose Pagoda

We took the train from Beijing to Xian and when we arrived we were whisked straight to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. It was the best way to begin our trip because not only did we get to see the famous Pagoda, we also got to learn a lot about Chinese culture on the very first day of our trip. Even though it was extremely hot in Xian, the excitement overwhelmed the fatigue and heat we were experiencing. We got a chance to see a shadow play and to try and create a play of

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Shadow Play Show

our own which was no small feat. We created the love story of the millennia, an emperor and his concubine want to spend the rest of their lives together, they go through trials and errors to finally end up being together even though the whole village and country did not want them to be together. Their union is celebrated with a huge ceremony and partying.

We then got a chance to walk around the Small Wild Goose Pagoda grounds and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, even though it was scotching hot throughout the day we found ways to have a good time. We had some ice cream to cool off, took tons of pictures(ok, maybe more like hundreds of pictures) met interesting and very curious locals and I even got a chance to bang the bell.

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After the visiting the Pagoda we went to check into our hotel and have dinner and a little bit of relaxation. When we were well rested we decided to explore Xian at night and it was beautiful. We went to the night market and also took a walk in the city discovering the beauty of the city at night.

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There is not much of a party or night club life in Xian, most places close down by 10pm and its either you head back to your hotel to sleep or you find a way entertain yourself like we did. One thing about Xian is that it is a very safe place, even though we had never been there before we ended up just walking around the small town for hours exploring the small town never at any time feeling like we were in any danger until we eventually went back to our hotel to call it a night and prepare for the day after.

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Me and my friend AK(from Vietnam)

Tune in Next week for part 2 of my very awesome trip….