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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Xian, Shaanxi, China

Aug 18, 2015 - Xian and the famous Terracotta Army

The famous Terracotta Warriors are on every traveller’s must see list in China, and rightly so. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered that these warriors be created to guard his funeral tomb when he first took control of China as a teenager. He was also credited with conquering several warring kingdoms and unifying them into China, connecting separate walls of the kingdoms into the Great Wall during his reign. At the site, visitors can see three pits, each containing warriors that are interesting in their own way. My photos are...

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Aug 17, 2015 - Walking the Plank at Hua Shan Holy Mountain

The pictures pretty much speak for themselves! We went high high high into the air on the most incredible cable car I've ever seen. We hit five peaks chock-full of Taoist temples, rich in color and architecture, hanging precariously off cliffs. In addition to hiking to the top of all five peaks, Rinske (a fellow truckmate), Fran and I were the only trucksters that braved the plank. The wait for the plank was the hardest part, particularly as we saw shell-shocked Chinese coming off of it, not responding to our inquiries of "fun, right??" The...

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Aug 1, 2015 - Xian-Terra Cotta Warriors

August 1-Terra Cotta Warriors The Story In 246 B.C. the 13-year-old future emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang, began work on his mausoleum. In 1974, a local farmer, Mr. Yung, discovered the first evidence of the Terra Cotta Warriors while digging his well. A life-long Communist, he told government officials what he had found. Unearthed in three of have been more than 7,000 life-sized terra cotta archers, infantrymen, soldiers, horses and chariots in full battle gear standing in formation that were buried with the emperor. This army...

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Aug 1, 2015 - Xian

August 1 – Xian Today was Terra Cotta Warriors day, which we’ll tackle in the next entry so we can share a bit of what thus far is our most favorite Chinese “village” as it has only 8 million people. As Wuhan has played a major part in modern Chinese history, much of the ancient history of China rests in Xian. The city is: • 3100 years old • was China’s capital for 12 dynasties, the most influential being the Tang Dynasty • was the beginning of the Silk Road • has the most complete ancient city wall in China (90 miles long; four gates and...

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Jul 31, 2015 - Chongqing to Xian

July 31: Chongqing (Chong-ging) to Xian (she’ an) Oh what a morning! Alarm 5 a.m. Check out 5:30 a.m. Wireless credit card machine not working as we’re still on the river instead of docked. Breakfast instead. 6:30 departure scheduled, but still not at dock as during the night the Chongqing navigation control changed the river to one way traffic, which slowed traffic to a stop and then crawl. 6:30-7:30 standing in line for the old swipe the card method of collections and then hanging around in the lobby with 249 other people and our...

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Apr 15, 2015 - Xian Great Mosque

Xian Great Mosque, built in 742. The present buildings are mostly rebuilt in the Ming (1368-1644) or Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. This mosque is the largest in China and is an island of tranquility in a crowded, lively area. Surprisingly, photography is permitted. We could not enter the actual prayer hall, still in use by a large group of Muslim men. A loudspeaker broadcast the call to prayer throughout the area. Very historic and picturesque. We felt refreshed just spending time within its walls.

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Trip Journal


Northern China 2015

Apr 15, 2015 - Xian Muslim Quarter

High temp of 86 degrees expected but Xian is so dry it doesn't feel that hot. Walked to the Drum Tower on West Street then turned into the Muslim quarter market area. A friendly man said hello and tapped Nancy's bare arm, letting her know that bare arms are not OK in the Muslim quarter. (So that's what all the stares were about!) Stopped in a shop for a scarf to cover her arms. She's read that it wasn't acceptable to bargain hard in the Muslim quarter but it slipped her mind--offended the vendor and was being told to leave! So she paid his...

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Trip Journal


Northern China 2015

Apr 14, 2015 - Terracotta Warriors

In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang declared himself the first emperor of China, subduing and uniting the seven warring kingdoms with his fierce army. By all accounts he was a horrible tyrant and the Qin dynasty ruled for just a short time (220-210 BC) but he left a staggering legacy: standardized weights and measures, common currency, standardized script, and a system of centralized government. He established a system of roads and united the segments of existing walls to form The Great Wall of China. He ordered the production of a life-sized army of...

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Northern China 2015

Apr 14, 2015 - The Terra Cotta Warriors

We called in at the “official factory” that makes the replica Warriors and the “official guide” Roger showed us how they were originally made and how they are reproduced. Roger is Chinese but with very good English, we asked him where he learned to speak it so well and he told us he was told by his school teachers to listen to the BBC World Service, this accounts for his very interesting Anglo/Chinese accent…. The same factory makes traditional Chinese furniture, all done by hand and the work is so detailed and intricate, would not fit in...

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Apr 14, 2015 - Enroute for Xian

13 April 15 After dinner last night we repaired to the Yangshou Maccas for a sundae. This involved a very pleasant walk through a Chinese town at night, something we would never have thought of doing in China Town in Sydney. During dinner we tried to educate Felix on matters Australian, if he wishes to attract our attention I taught him how to “Cooooeeeeeee” which we are going to try on the Great Wall. Lindy gave him an illustrated talk on Australian wildlife including the Platypus, even though he saw the pictures I think he thinks we are...

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Apr 13, 2015 - Xian arrival

Xian was the ancient capital of China, centuries before Beijing. We were met at the Xian airport by our local guide, Bing. He told us that is from northeastern China, an area known for its harsh winter. He was born in January and his mother named him "Bing" which means "ice" in Chinese. So glad we arranged to be met/sent off at each city since the logistics are the worst part of travelling. On the way into Xian, Bing took us to see the nearby Tomb of Emperor Jingdi, an incredible ancient burial site that is overshadowed by the earlier,...

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Trip Journal


Northern China 2015

Mar 28, 2015 - The Eighth Wonder of the World

Xian has a population of 8 million expected to be 12 million by 2020! There is much construction going on. Demolishing old buildings and putting up high rises. At least they are still keeping tree lined streets and plants. Many of the trees are blooming; pink, white, purple and red colors. Cherry blossoms are abundant and looks like honeysuckle is blooming. Sun is shining today! We visited the Big Wild Goose Pagoda built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. It is inside a temple where some 50 to 60 monks reside. the pagoda is modeled after the...

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