Monday, 28 March 2016

China - Part 6

To better enjoy the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

Day 10

Whilst we had been enjoying our adventures in China over the past 9 days, day 10 was magical. What a difference a clear blue sky makes. We are so fortunate to live where we have these blue skies, a large portion of the year.

Although we arrived late the previous evening, we still had an early start to beat the traffic. We thought our first destination was the Terracotta Warrior complex. Alas, it was a Terracotta workshop, but  not authentic, just recreations for the tourist and export market.

We finally arrived at the complex, however by this time it was lunchtime, followed by tea tasting - hold the fingers correctly!

Yang Zhifa, a peasant farmer, was digging a well when he found a piece of old terracotta. He thought he'd stumbled on a disused kiln which would supply him with free jars. How wrong he was: it turned out to be the first warrior of the famous Chinese terracotta army of the Qin Dynasty [211 - 206 BC] Here he is, signing books telling the story of the warriors.

Today's view of the countryside surrounding the tombs.
Before the diggings began.
        Some progress.
The enormity of the find being revealed.
Now 3 vast covered chambers reveal the gargantuan master plan of Qin Shi Huandi, the 1st Qin Emperor. [259 to 210 BC]

So many photos taken of this totally awesome, mind boggling spectacle, but I have limited myself to a few.
                  Hall 1

Painstaking reconstruction.

It was dusk on our return to the city. 

We caught our first glimpse of the 'modern' City Wall, built in 1568 AD by the the 1st emperor of the Ming dynasty. It is the most complete city wall in China and one of the largest ancient military systems in the world. Unfortunately our itinerary didn't allow time for us to explore it.

Our destination was the Tang Dynasty palace, opposite the western City Wall. [as above] It was established in 1988 to showcase the music and dance of the Tang Dynasty. Prior to the show, we dined on a selection of delicious Chinese dumplings.

Day 11

We finally had a slow morning and didn't need to board the coach until 10 am. 

Our first stop was the Da Ci'en Temple complex and in particular The Big Wild Goose Temple. Built in 652, it functioned to preserve Buddhist materials collected along the Silk Road. 

Lunch was our final Chinese banquet,  yet again at the Tang Dynasty Palace.

We then drove to the Beiyuanmen Muslim market, where we were finally given adequate time to explore at our leisure. In the long past, foreign diplomatic envoys and merchants lived here. Over time the population has increased to nearly 20,000 Muslims, with most being descendants of these immigrants. It was definitely a vibrant area to visit, with mouth-watering delicacies to tempt one. Very few did, as we had the long flight ahead of us and didn't want to take any chances. 

Making hand made pasta.

4pm saw us driving to the airport. Our 8 pm flight took us to Guangzhou, where we spent only a few hours asleep, before making our way back to the airport for the 10 hour flight home. 
In that short time, it wasn't necessary to use the gas masks supplied to all rooms!

At the airport in Xian, there were a few hiccups with passports and tickets not matching, so quite a length of time was spent standing in queue. This resourceful Chinese charged a very small amount to quickly cut our facial profile. Quite impressive results. 

I returned from  China having seen its poverty / opulence, pollution / pristine, high density / isolation, and I wonder what its future has in store. Can they sustain their population growth? Australians total population is found in Beijing. Such a huge country and its historical and natural
wonders are endless. What an exciting 11 days we experienced.

Hope you managed to follow along on my wonderful adventure in China. I would love to read your comment.


  1. What a fascinating place to visit, at such a fast pace you might need a holiday to recover! Xxx

    1. Thanks Lyn. It was fabulous, but it was back to work on return.

  2. What a fantastic trip! Glad you got a sunny day - my husband, who's traveled to Shanghai on business many times says that is rare.

    1. So were we and that we had missed the dreadful pollution levels in Beijing.

  3. What an honour to see the Terracotta Warriors... just awesome I would imagine.

    1. Totally incredible. They believe that they have only a small part of the total tomb. It is unfathomable, especially when you add in the cruelty of killing all the workers, so the tomb wouldn't be found.