XI’AN (China) – city with the oldest army in the world!

It was my dream for a long time to see the famous Terracotta Army so I was very excited to have an opportunity to spend one long weekend in Xi’an, the capital city of the Shaanxi province.

Grey sky and high humidity welcome us upon our exit from airport hall. The city itself has approximately 8 million inhabitants and is spread out on a dusty plane, which makes it appear quite unattractive. Nonetheless, its History is surprisingly ancient, more than 4,000 years old! For a long time Xi’an was situated at the end of the Silk Road, providing a brief pause for the merchants and other pilgrims.

MY TOP MUST-SEE PLACE here is the TERRACOTTA ARMY.

Here are some interesting facts… this Army never went into battlefield! WHERE did an army of about 7,000 fighters come from? The Army is modeled from yellow clay and is unique in a sense that it was built as a defensive army for the extensive “necropolis” that suppose to protect the tomb of the DESPOTIC and certainly not completely normal ruler Qin Shi Huang.

MORE than 750, 000 people worked for more than 36 years on this unreasonable project. The Emperor tyrant was constantly obsessed about death, which he obviously couldn’t escape, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, all his concubines have been buried alive with him as well as workers who were building the necropolis for ages. The entire SECRET PROJECT was supposed to be hidden for an incredibly long time! In fact only recently in 1974 peasant has “unveiled” it!

QIN unified China about 2,200 years ago! For this entire time, all infantry, archers, officers, horses and wagons also remained waiting under the ground…always ready to defend their leader, even after his death. They still look the same, each of them keeping a unique facial expression; only the colors are faded which makes them a greyish appearance. This doesn’t seem to bother thousands of visitors from around the world who daily admire them.

GOOD TO KNOW. If you wish to visit the terracotta army, it’s surely more beneficial to wake up earlier. Traffic is important in the area and the journey lasts for at least an hour. It can also come in handy to have a local guide! The complex is enormous so all you need to find is a parking spot and the right waiting line for the tickets, which is not always easy in the stifling heat.

What else can you see in Xi’an?

  • GIANT WILD GOOSE PAGODA – as a symbol of the old-line XI’AN. Originally built in 652 during the TANG DYNASTY.
  • BELL TOWER and DRUM TOWER of XI’AN – are the symbols of the city! One of the grandest of its kind in China.
  • THE CITY WALL – is massive, tall and long – 13.7 km, now! We even tried a biking tour – quite expensive but original and fun.
  • SHAANXI HISTORY MUSEUM – it is great complex of buildings in Tang Dynasty architecture style. You can see a lot of unique materials of the ancient Chinese civilization.

Evening’s program was interesting! There was beautiful night scenery around the Bell Tower, watching the music fountain performances, just imagining how it used to be here a long time ago…how people lived and worked here.

Other thing you shall not miss is KTV (karaoke television). Local people love modern and popular KTV bars or disco clubs where they can sing and drink, having fun with friends and relatives. But we decided for more classical evening dance and music show in Shaanxi Opera House. It was so colorful and real cultural experience.

The local cuisine is not so famous like for example Sichuan cuisine. We tried cold noodles – served with sliced meat, sausages and greens. Typical traditional dish – Yang Rou Pau Mo – hot mutton soup is also very popular. Although my favorite and universal Chinese dish are the dumplings the dish from the popular Muslims Snack Street and it just tasted fantastic!

In the end I have to say that this short trip and an “appointment“ with silent warriors was really unique and unforgettable.

98 thoughts on “XI’AN (China) – city with the oldest army in the world!

    1. Kamila Pala

      Oh, yes, the story about discover is really untypical 🙂 But I am fascinating about its unique history! Unbelievable. And about KTV, yes, there are a lot of opportunities and Chinese love it 🙂 have a nice weekend. K

      Like

  1. Kamila Pala

    Pleased you liked that, Lola. Yes, this place has a long history… and there are many interesting facts! When the dark came – the grey city changed into the beautiful scenery. 🙂
    Bye. K

    Like

  2. Kamila Pala

    You are welcome! China is a really big country and so many people (workers) lived there 🙂 This place is not so popular like the other places in China but still very famous and original. Nice Saturday. Kamila

    Like

    1. Kamila Pala

      Many thanks for nice comment, Jet!!! China is hugh country with a fascinating history and rich culture…so I have to say you are a good observer – history versus reality, love it! BTW the food on the streets was really delicious 🙂 Bye. K

      Like

  3. Ami (Yearful of Sundays)

    Whoa, incredible! The first view of this awe-inspiring Terracotta Army must be such a view! Strange that it wasn’t discovered till as late as 1974… the first guy (the peasant) who saw it must’ve been terrified to come across it, I’d imagine! At least I would be, lol. How tall are these terracotta soldiers, would you know? And I’ve heard so much about KTV! Would love to visit one whenever I get a chance to land in China. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kamila Pala

      Yes, this story and history of this “Silent” Army is incredible! It was impressive and interesting watched them all (human size – 150cm) – face to face! About KTV – it is big fun for local people 🙂 Bye. K

      Like

  4. YellowCable

    Very interesting place! I like how you put it – “this unreasonable project”. I was imaging of how life would be to be caught at that time and place.

    Very nice set of photos you captured- giving the senses of being there!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hcyip

    Xian is a great historic city that has a lot of interesting sites, though the Terracotta Warriors get all the attention. That’s all I only knew about Xian until I actually went there. It’s good you got to see those other sites too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dalo 2013

    This is my favorite post of yours ~ mostly because this is where my first China experience took place… Xi’an may be the coolest city in all of China (if not the world), not just for the amazing pieces of history but mostly for the creativity and appreciate for art/culture that it seems most people of Xi’an share. Great series of photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kamila Pala

      Thank you! I am pleasantly surprised that you know and like that city :)…China is a huge country with fascinating history and has a
      lot of interesting places…this is one of them, very special vibrant place. Bye. Kamila

      Liked by 1 person

  7. RMW

    The Terracotta Army came to Los Angeles a few years ago, of course it wasn’t the full complement and it certainly wasn’t in China itself… nevertheless the exhibit was pretty impressive so I couldn’t even imagine how exciting it was to see the real thing in situ… maybe one of these days I can go…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Girl Gone Expat

    The story behind these warriors is truly amazing. I did not know each one had a different facial expression, that’s interesting! And the amount of man-hours that went into this strange project is impressive. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. anotherday2paradise

    Great post, Kamila. I was there almost sixteen years ago, and it was really thrilling to see the warriors. We saw the Karaoke bars everywhere, and wondered what KTV stood for. In South Africa, KTV means Kids TV. 🙂 Loved seeing all your photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kamila Pala

      Thank you for nice comment 🙂 Happy that you have been there and still you like my post 🙂 And about KTV, I have to say I am not in “fun club” but I like to watch the local people…Have a nice day. Kamila

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Tina Schell

    I too have wanted to see the warriors ever since they were discovered and finally, last year, my husband and I visited China and Xi’an. It was definitely one of the highlights of our month in China, and every bit as fascinating as I’d hoped. I wish everyone would get a chance to see them as we have. The history is amazing, but even more amazing is the number of soldiers and ancillary people still unexposed but known to exist. Thanks for a great reminder of a fantastic experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kamila Pala

      Thanks for nice comment, Tina 🙂 Great to know that you have been also in this special place! BTW, you have beautiful and interesting blog!! I look forward to sharing our experiences. Bye. Kamila

      Like

  11. backpackerlee

    Another great post Kamila. I loved Xi’an. It was a city I went to without any expectation, and I really loved it. Of course the Terracotta Army was the main attraction but some of the other places like the Wild Goose Pagoda were also great places to visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. rommel

    Terracotta Army’s been my long dream destination too. But I haven’t been. 😀 Lucky you. How I wish to see it, how I wish. Well thanks for the virtual travel, Kamila. Nice blog you got here.

    Liked by 2 people

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