One of the oldest cities in China, Xi’an is known for its Terracotta Warriors; one of the most famous archaeological finds in the world. With more than 3,000 years of history, this place has an amazing historical heritage with numerous historical sites and cultural relics dotted around the city. In contrast, the city itself actually has quite a modern feel to it (see the Starbucks below!).
It’s just outside of Xi’an that you find the army of terracotta warriors and horses, which gets over 2 million visitors each year. An in-site museum has been built over the three excavated pits displaying 2,000 life-like terracotta warriors (there are believed to be around 8,000 in total), 100 or so chariots, and 30,000 weapons. The assemblage has been billed by the tourist industry as the Eighth Wonder of the World and a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.
The army of warriors was discovered randomly in 1974 by peasants who were drilling a well. The underground vault eventually yielded thousands of terracotta soldiers and horses in battle formation… Pretty cool!
Fun fact: Out of the thousands of warriors, no two faces are the same.. Crazy.
As you walk around (the warriors are behind a glass screen) you can see the Excavators working on warriors, brushing of the dust and fixing repairs which is quite mesmerising.
It’s fairly easy to get a bus to the Warriors – From Xi’an Train Station’s eastern car park, take an air-conditioned bus (green or blue and labelled ‘Terracotta Warriors’). These run pretty much every 10 minutes – you want to stay on until the last stop. The car park is a 15 minute walk but everyone will be heading in the same direction, so follow the crowd!