The Three Gorges

Fengdu - Ghost City

Three Gorges Dam

Dazu - Buddhist Cave Sculptures

Xi'an - Terra Cotta Warriors

An Octopus's Garden?

Down On The Farm

Hong Kong


Choosing a China Tour

  Xi'an - Terra Cotta Warriors  
Terra Cotta Warriors at Xian
Excavations at Pit 1

In March 1974, when local farmers were drilling a well near Xian (pronounced she-on), they found some pottery fragments and ancient bronze weapons.  It turned out to be one of the greatest archaeological finds ever, the tomb of Emperor Qin.  Qin's reign began in 221 BC, and you might call him the great-grandfather of China, since he created it by unifying many small kingdoms.

And what a tomb it is - it took thirty-six years and seven hundred thousand workers to complete.   So far three pits have been excavated, bringing to light a vast army of terra cotta warriors, complete with weapons and horses.


Terra Cotta Warriors at Xian Terra Cotta Warriors at Xian No one knows how many warriors there are, but Pit 1 contains about six thousand, over a thousand of which have been restored.
Terra Cotta Warriors at Xian Terra Cotta Warriors at Xian Each of the warriors has a unique face and appearance, suggesting that they were each modeled after an actual warrior.
Terra Cotta Warriors at Xian Terra Cotta Warriors at Xian In 1980, archaeologists discovered a large pit containing two sets of painted bronze chariots and horses, broken into thousands of pieces.  Their restoration took eight years.

Hyatt Regency X'ian We stayed in the Hyatt Regency, and it was first class - once we got there.  Our flight to Xian (from Chongqing) was seriously delayed due to to fog in Xian.  When it finally did take off about 10:00 p.m., it flew right over Xian and dumped us in Yinchuan, near Inner Mongolia, in the middle of the night.  There we endured a long (very crowded) bus ride over bumpy roads to a one star hotel.  Let's just say that we got to see the non-tourist side of China.

We finally got to Xian late the following day and ended up spending an extra night there when our departing flight was canceled due to more fog.  At least we had a comfortable hotel this time.