Day 6: Mask On

Starting off our last day in Xi’an, we had breakfast and made our way for the Terra-Cotta Warriors. Since I have learned about this historic place in middle and high school, I was pretty excited to finally see it in person. On our bus ride, we learned that Xi’an was the capital of China for 1100 years, the longest time by any city. My overall opinion from this visit was that the display of the warriors is somewhat underwhelming, but the actual creation of the warriors is what I am most impressed with. I think the display itself was not what I expected because I thought there would be more warriors on display alongside the king’s actual tomb. It turns out the warriors we saw were in a separate spot from where the actual tomb is. We saw about 2000 clay warriors and animals on display, but there are over 6000 warriors still in the tomb. I respect the Chinese government for deciding not to extract the rest of the tomb because it would ruin most of the objects in the tomb. For example, most of the terra-cotta warriors on display have some damage to them from pulling the warriors out and moving them along with just simply being exposed to oxygen. None of them have their original paint and some of them have “body parts” missing or broken. 

The King’s tomb was originally found in the 1970s by a peasant farmer who was digging in a field by his home. Supposedly he is now extremely rich and labeled a “hero” in China. The Chinese government knows where the remainder of the tomb is and has it under surveillance so no one breaks in and tries to steal all the treasures by the tomb. 

The thing I am most impressed with the Terra-Cotta warriors is how impressive and detailed the clay warriors are. The warriors looked way more realistic then I thought they would. Their metrics are very precise and their “clothes” are extremely genuine. Realistically, there were 1000s and maybe even millions of people that took part in creating the tomb for China’s first emperor. That blows my mind that these people dedicated their entire life for a single person’s afterlife. If that is not tragic enough, the first emperor had his son kill all of the peasants who helped with the warriors and knew where the location of the tomb was. His logic was so the tomb would never be discovered. 

After the Terra-Cotta Warriors visit, we went to lunch where we had some beef ramen soup which was extremely good. Then we made our way to the Xi’an city wall. This wall was one of the oldest and largest preserved Chinese walls. I stress both of these adjectives because, during this visit, we biked around the perimeter of the wall. The concrete on the wall was extremely bumpy and worn out. This represents the significance of the old part of the wall. The wall took about an hour to bike around the perimeter. This felt like an eternity and speaks to how long the wall is. During the ride, it was extremely windy. This was an issue because today China had the most smog and dust since we have been here. Because of this, everyone wore a mask to try and lessen the chemicals poisoning our lungs.

Overall, our last day in Xi’an was very productive as we saw arguably the two most famous and impressive landmarks in a longtime former capital of China.

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