The highlight of Xi’an, the ancient capital of China, was seeing the Terracotta Warriors. A collection of terracotta sculptures dating back to 246 BC, these figures were built to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang when he passed into the afterlife. There are three pits that have been dug up and open to the public and they contain thousands of soldiers, chariots, and horses; all unique. There are tons more that haven’t yet been unearthed. More than 700,000 people worked on constructing the terracotta army, and the process took over 40 years. The warriors weren’t discovered until 1974, when farmers were digging a well and came across one of them.
Walking into a building the size of an aircraft hangar, we were greeted with thousands of warriors looking right at us. It was incredible seeing them in person and witnessing the detail that went into each one. Every soldier was different and unique, and you could tell the rank of each one based on details such as hair, shoes, and weapons. It’s really crazy to think how old these are.
Our guide was excited to tell us that Bill Clinton visited here during his tour of China in 1998.
After seeing the Terracotta warriors, we climbed to the top of the old city wall. 6786 ft up and 8768 long, it is the largest and the most well-preserved city walls in China. We rented bikes and rode along the top for a while which was really fun. However, it was 100 degrees out, so we didn’t stay up there for too long.