Written by Jennifer Li
After having visited Beijing for a few days, we took a two-hour flight to Xian and stayed there for a couple of days. Many of us were initially apprehensive about visiting a city we had heard virtually nothing about, but after further speculation and upon arriving in Xian, we were captivated by the sheer beauty of the ancient City Wall illuminated at night as well as the charm of the Inner City where we were staying. Since our experience in Xian exceeded many of our expectations, someone later said, “our visit to Xian was like going to the land of Oz”!
One of my favourite parts of our visit to Xian was seeing the Terracotta Warriors as well as biking the fourteen kilometer perimeter of the Ancient City Wall originally built to protect Xian from going under siege. These are without a doubt, the two main attractions in Xian. Since the Terracotta Warriors were discovered in Xian four decades ago, millions of tourists have flocked from all over the world to see the amazing site that attests to the grandeur of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty who lived 2200 years ago as well as to the ingenuity of his craftsmen who built thousands of clay warriors to protect the Emperor in his grave. The Emperor had ordered his workers to build the Terracotta Warriors because in these times, the people believed that the afterlife was more important than life itself. As an added bonus, I really enjoyed meeting two of the four farmers who had discovered the terracotta warriors in their fields while in the process of digging a well. Imagine being the one to come across an archaeological treasure that would bring international recognition, economic prosperity and ultimately millions of people from all over the world to visit your hometown!
After we had visited the Terracotta Warriors, we went to visit the Ancient City Wall. As a group, we agreed to take advantage of the chance to go biking up on the wall while enjoying the sites of the city down below. It was a glorious time and a wonderful experience! For forty yuan, we each borrowed a bike and a helmet for a total of 100 minutes! In addition, we got disposable raincoats to accompany us while riding in the rain! Personally, this has been my favourite experience so far since our Trip to China started.