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vbx000 Xi'an - A travel report by Veronica
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Xi'an,  China - flag China -  Shaanxi
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vbx000's travel reports

Xi'an & The Infamous Terra Cottas

  26 votes
Page: 1 2
Xi'an as a city is great. After two rough weeks traveling along the silk road our group was delighted to get into a real hotel with western comforts. But, as for the Terra Cottas- MASSIVE LETDOWN. 8th wonder of the world my ass.

Pit 1. Gag me.
Pit 1. Gag me.
Xi'an, old western capital of China and vantage point from which Emperor Qing united the country under one flag. New Xi'an, nice modern city with a Chinese flavor and a hint of the western comforts plus a whole lot of history. The Terra Cotta Warriars and Qing Tomb. Ugh. First off, no way did archeologists piece together 5,000 terra cottas that we found in shambles and ruined the moment they opened the pits to modern air. Second, if they WERE real they woudn't be sitting out in the open like that nor would they allow flash photography. things that old have to be kept at a certain temperature and normally a vaccum. Only 1 terra cotta was found whole, only 1! You are telling me that they put together the other 4999 to that near perfection? Do you know how long that would take? And, with China's technology?! No way. Fake. Except for the 3 terra cottas that are encased in pressurized glass in the musuem, the rest are all bloody fakes. The fact that they have a museum where REAL objects are kept in controlled atmospheres shows that the rest of stupid fakes. You can buy your own terra cotta for handsome price that looks EXACTLY like the ones in the pitts. Or, you can leave the official terra cotta area and buy one from the many vendors littering the road to the area. Please China, don't try to pull one over on us this time and boast of an 8th wonder of the world. I've been here for 10 months and travled around extensively. One thing you quickly learn about China is that they are ingenius at creating tourist attractions and raking in the money because of them. You can't leave China without seeing the Terra Cottas but I left Xi'an so angry... I'm still angry. ;-)

Favourite spots:
View from our Hotel. Xi'an the city was great.
View from our Hotel. Xi'an the city was great.
Another rant... please for heavans sake dont to go the Qing Emperors replica tomb. Our tour guide explained it as very disturbing, very scary- and kinda of like disney land. Give me a break! I wish my program didn't waste our tuition money on that bs. The Qing Emperor has this huge hill that is apparently home of a very luxerious grand scale tomb. They have never opened it because they are afraid they don't have good enough technology to preserve the heavenly secrets it must hold. You can go to this hill, walk up it and take pictures with horses attached to a fake chariot. It strikes me as funny that they are afraid of destroying it but don't mind tourists tromping up and down the hillside that is also apparently the roof of the tomb. Do you think thats a bright idea? I don't. They also put on a pretty colorful show that is supposed to depict the Qing emperor, who p.s. killed millions of people and was basically a huge asshole tyrant.

What's really great:
View from the city wall.
View from the city wall.
Then, you can climb into your overpriced tour bus where they will cart you away to the REPLICA of the tomb THEY'VE NEVER OPENED! They claim they've x-rayed the land and have a pretty good idea of whats inside. My boyfriend fell off the great all, broke two arms and their x-rays showed he only broke one. I doubt, if they can't figure out if an arm is broken they can figure out the exact layout of a tomb. Our tour guide described this REPLICA tomb as very frightening, disturbing and kind of like disney land. It actually made me want to gorge my eyes out. We also weren't allowed to take pictures inside the fake tomb. You are allowed to take pictures of the real Terra Cotta Warriors but you can't take pictures of the replica tomb. Another point against the legitimacy of the terra cotta warrior army. I've read somewhere that like, flashes from cameras actually destroy plastic but help preserve ancient pottery. Grrr.

I told you so! All imitations. Bastards.
I told you so! All imitations. Bastards.
Back to my hate fest:

The only good thing about the terra cottas was the museum of the ones in glass cases and the chariot.

The only frightening thing about the Qing tomb was that if there would have been a fire in the last moments of my life would have been spent in that peice of shit replica of an unopened tomb.

After this day of tourism that created an mind numbing headache I skipped the other two days of activities and went shopping.

Emperor's Chariot. Our tg compared it to Air Force 1. :-|
Emperor's Chariot. Our tg compared it to Air Force 1. :-|
We stayed at the Xi'an City Hotel. It was REALLY nice with a great location. I'm sorry to report that Xi'an does not have a starbucks... but they have this place called King Coffee that has VERY good coffee.

The iced frapp's from King Coffee were the only thing keeping me sane as I was dragged from one dissapointing attraction to another.

Favorite part of the day- feeding these horses peaches. Poor guys were tied to an immobile chariot
Favorite part of the day- feeding these horses peaches. Poor guys were tied to an immobile chariot
Sorry, didnt do any clubbing here.

One of five potentially legit terra cottas.
One of five potentially legit terra cottas.
We went to a few different bars where we just sat around and drank, and bitched about the terra cottas and replicas of unopened tombs.

I led the bitter army of American college students against shoddy tourist attractions.

Can you imagine being fully tacked and tied to a chariot that never moves? Poor poor creatures.
Can you imagine being fully tacked and tied to a chariot that never moves? Poor poor creatures.
I didn't eat Chinese food while in Xi'an. Pizza hut, Mcdonalds breakfast... umm yea actually thats it.

Other recommendations:
And for what- tourism? Everything else is fake, why did they have to use live horses?
And for what- tourism? Everything else is fake, why did they have to use live horses?
Shopping in Xi'an is pretty good but a little bit more expensive than what we are used to in Beijing. THey arn't quite so flexible in the bargaining, at least in the stores we went to but they have really unique clothing and some really good gems if you have the time to look.

Unlike Beijing where when the vendor says 600rmb you immediately say 50rmb and end somewhere around 100rmb. Here they say 600, you say 50 and they show you the door.

PS: For the people that commented this report is too negative or vulgar. I absolutely have the right to share my negative OR positive views on any place I visit. And, saying 'ass' doesn't hurt anyone. I speak Chinese, I've been here for nearly a year, and I can dislike a place I visit. I can also judge a place I visit. No way was I going to write about the amazig terra cottas because I didn't feel like they were. I STUDY chinese, chinese culture, economics, and culture... and just like any culture there are negative aspects.

Published on Friday October 28th, 2005

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Mon, May 15 2006 - 12:33 PM rating by frenchfrog

Like your report, and I respect your point of view, it is good to know that kake tourism attraction exist, at least if you go, you might not get conned!

Sat, Jan 14 2006 - 11:21 PM rating by brucemoon

V - B a bit smarter!!! It's not whether U like/dislike your experiences. We are all entitled to our views. It's not about expressing our views or sentiments. Rather, on the BIG issues upon which you comment, it's about first getting your facts STRAIGHT!!! As a 'student', you might have done some RESEARCH before U mouth off!!!

But, let's put this into perspective - anyone that pines over American style coffee is... well... pathetic.

There's a wonderful (but now aged) book that you might like to research (ie read)... It's called The Ugly American.


Sun, Nov 06 2005 - 10:44 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Pleasant reading and honest

Fri, Nov 04 2005 - 04:00 PM rating by nedkelly

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha wonderfull totally laughed my preverbial breasts off!!!!! if you dont like it dont read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it and so did others shame I can only give you 5 stars!!! I love the way you stirred up the old hornets nest here, be unique, be real , be you......and anybody doesnt like it.. go read Wheres waldo!!!

Fri, Nov 04 2005 - 06:30 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice report

Sun, Oct 30 2005 - 11:50 AM rating by jackning

I feel sorry, angry girl. There are two kinds of people in the world, positive and negative. Xi,an has no problem. It is your attitude which has something wrong. If Xi'an made you angry, you should have stayed home and never go Xian again. I think, Xian will be Xian without your present and you will be fine without the bother from Xian.
Travelling makes people happy and understand each other. If not, please stay home.
I am very astonished that there were so many dirty words, such as asshole, came from your mounth.

Sat, Oct 29 2005 - 05:12 PM rating by miguelmarchi


Sat, Oct 29 2005 - 04:24 PM rating by jesusferro

Another beautiful China report of yours

Sat, Oct 29 2005 - 03:12 PM rating by toribio


Sat, Oct 29 2005 - 12:06 AM rating by horourke

Do you speak Chinese?
It is possible to express indignation without anatomical references.

Fri, Oct 28 2005 - 11:48 AM rating by mistybleu


Why don't you say what you feel......

This is a highly charged report and it made me laugh, which is good.
I agree with you about the Qing Tomb, I was very disappointed to go all that way and only see a hill, but I really enjoy seeing the Terra Cotta army, in each of the pits. - Hey different strokes... -


Fri, Oct 28 2005 - 10:12 AM rating by gloriajames

Hiya Veronica
Honestly, I disagree with you and your negative comments. Plus point, you have uploaded some nice pics.

Fri, Oct 28 2005 - 08:56 AM rating by etelka610

love it!

Fri, Oct 28 2005 - 07:34 AM rating by bear495

Nicely written. Your report was really interesting.

Fri, Oct 28 2005 - 04:37 AM rating by isaacmolina

nice and good

Fri, Oct 28 2005 - 01:48 AM rating by davidx

Your excellent and very individually styled reports are making my morning!

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