Beginning and end of Silk Road
Xi'an is more known for its Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, an exciting archaeological findings of the 20 century. This is a place I have been wanting to see and glad I was able to be there on 22 Sept 2013. I was astonished to see the huge size of the archaeological excavation sites and had never expected to do a lot of walking. The huge number of tourists proved that this is THE place not to be missed in Xi'an. A Warrior hat was first found by a farmer on his farm during dry season and he reported this to the government . So excavations began in that area where they found 2200 years old clay warriors which were in different pits and they were all different. According to May, the guide, The Emperor of Qin Dynasty who unified China by standardizing the language, law, connecting roads with other small kingdoms, destroyed historical books of Confucius, ordered the clay soldiers to be made and be buried with him when he died. Even in his death he wanted to be protected. All the clay warriors stood facing the east, which indicated he had defeated the enemies from the east. The museum was set up in 1975 and became the centre of attraction for tourists.
Pit No 1 is the largest, accommodating over 6,000 life size Terra Cotta Warriors. Pit No 2, found in 1976, is about 20 meters from Pit 1. It accommodates warriors, archers, horses and chariots. Pit No 3. is for the high ranking army commanders. The tallest clay warrior found is about 1.97 cm in height. The clay for restoration of the warriors and the making of replicas is from Qing Ling mountain nearby which formed the background of the area.
Pit No 1 was packed with tourists which made it difficult to take photographs. We had to be patient and waited for a space to get a good shot when a person moved away. There were no benches to rest the feet except outside the Pits. I could not linger inside for I have to find a seat to rest my tired legs outside the pits.
It's unbelievable to see how detailed the clay warriors are, very human-like with perfect nails and toenails, eyes, eyebrows, and uniforms. The Kneeling Archer is said to be the only one clay warrior found intact. This is an awesome historical sight.
The Tang Palace Ground is another interesting place. We were treated with the first IMAX 3D film in Asia, screening the Legend of Daming Palace, a short love story of a Kang (Samarkand) Prince and a Tang Princess. The IMAX 3D makes the audience feel like being in the Tang Dynasty of 1300 years ago. I really enjoyed the movie, particularly the 3D effect. The Tang Palace ground is huge but we were lucky we could go by buggy. The miniature replica of Tang Palace Ground gave us the idea of how immense the complex was. We caught the magnificent sight of sun set that day.
This was a very satisfying visit with 2 other good company. We enjoyed ourselves, laughing and joking and taking in the sites. But the return journey was a nightmare. Our return tickets were a problem. The ticketing agent in Malaysia made a blunder with our return dates and Izan has to bear the brunt. Osman's return ticket was declared void whereas the two of us were OK. After a lot of hassle, Northern China Airlines finally found all three return tickets were on another computer. How come? We boarded the aircraft at the last minute. Thank Allah, we arrived at KLIA safely but was held up in the aircraft for some time because the air bridge was not working - the last hurdle of our return.