Growing up I read National Geographic Kids and I remember very clearly reading the article about the Terracotta Warriors and thinking it was “so cool.”
The main reason for my trip was to see the Xi’an was to see the Warriors. I dedicated a whole day to them in my schedule. I had a later start than I wanted but I wasn’t too worried as I was in no rush. I was told to to take the bus to the train station. At the train station was a “square” and I would be able to find the bus that would take me to the Warriors. The story goes that the Warriors were found by farmers so it makes sense that its a ways out there.
When I got the “square” it really wasn’t a true square and it was chaotic and probably slightly more chaotic than usual because of the upcoming holidays. I looked around a bit and knew I wasn’t going to be able to find the tourist bus on my own. I looked for a person to ask. And I found the one person who was standing still: a man selling bread. Everyone else was running around doing who knows what. Thankfully I had written down the Chinese characters and the bus number on my phone for ease access. The man grabbed me by the shoulder. Time stood still as if a wise man was guiding me to the promise man. He pointed to the direction of the buses and I thanked him in Chinese.
Looking back I probably got on the fake tourist bus. Yes, they even have fake buses in China. Along the way they played Chinese sketch comedies which was highly entertaining. The rule of threes did not apply. The longest one included a man who was somewhat “chubby.” He sang a song that included the lyric “I love you.” The song kept on going on and on an on and every time he would do any even crazier physical challenge like flips and backbends and handstands while still singing. It really went on forever.
And then the bus the stopped. We still had a way to go (and this is how I know I went on the wrong bus). Everyone got off except me and the other tourists, a family of three. They made us switch busses and thankfully we didn’t have to pay any money. I think the real tourist bus wouldn’t of done this.
When I got off the second bus I walked through the parking lot and then got my ticket. And then I walked some more. Finally there was three buildings. I read somewhere online to do the pits backwards “3,2,1” for a more rewarding experience. I couldn’t really tell which was which but I ended up picking a museum. After I ended up at the 3rd pit which actually might be my favorite. It was the most damaged of the three but I was mesmerized by the broken warriors. And yes the warriors are put back together. They were not found all put together. And they are painted but the paint falls off when exposed to air.
The 2nd pit was my least favorite but I walked around a bit.
And finally I arrived at the third pit.
It was massive. Really huge. Like most tourist things in China it was surrounded by tour groups so I either had to dodge around them or wait patiently for them to pass.
The first time I walked around and took pictures and tried to take it in again. After recharging with some water at a little restaurant I walked it again but didn’t take any pictures. I did end up taking a few because there were some cool things I missed out on.
It really is a digging site. Maybe less than a quarter of it is actual put together warriors. But once again I liked finding heads or other body parts. It was more interesting.
I debated if I should pay for the cheesy tourist photo. I decided why not and asked how much it is. I could take pictures with my own phone for super cheap. The man made me do four different poses including one where I touched the horse. He instructed “touch, touch!” Best ten yuan I’ve spent.