Had a super cultural day on day five.
Kicked it off with a 45 minute drive to the Terra Cotta Army Museum of Antiquity and Artifacts of the Qin Dynasty. 45 minutes during which our local tour guide spoke the entiiire time. She managed to relay the whole history if the Qin dynasty and the story of the army and the farmer who discovered them, without even breaking a sweat. I don’t think I even know enough words to speak for 45 minutes straight. Too much Xi’an tourguide swag to handle.
We arrived relatively early (8.45am) in order to beat the crowds. On a normal day the museum has up to 20 000 visitors. On holidays (which today was; the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival) it can have up to 90 000.
It’s easy to tell why.
The museum is split up into 3 different buildings. The first building houses the 7000+ army.
It’s a bit overwhelming walking into the huge space and being faced by thousands of clay soldiers. Each and every one is unique and has different facial features/ clothing/ weapons (some were even rocking a side bun like I was).
The cavalry was lined up at the entrance and towards the back of the room was the “soldier hospital” where some of the statues were being restored
^selfie with soldier dudes in the process of restoration
The other two buildings were excavation sites and had more versions of the soldiers. In the third, you could get up close looks at the figures as well as see what they looked like when they still had their coloured paint.
All in a it was quite the jazzy cultural experience. Even got to see the farmer who discovered the first soldier. He comes and chills in the museum shop to sign books and take photos with visitors to the museum (only allowed if you buy a book…but I snuck one)
After the soldiers we visited an art gallery where we were given a guided tour and a lesson in Chinese calligraphy. My matric art skills chose not to cooperate and needless to say it was a dog show
It’s the halfway point of the trip now and it’s all flying by so fast:( every day is so exciting and full of new experiences and activities. All very exhausting. So I celebrated the halfway point by face planting my bed. Best. ever.