China’s history and culture is amazing, and it seems every Chinese person has a great depth of knowledge about their country’s past, so it was wonderful to have cousin Wei as our personal guide through some of China’s best sites. Coming from the West, I had previously only paid attention to the much publicised Chinese icons such as the Great Wall, the Giant Panda’s and the Terracotta Warriors. But after our visit, I am in awe of the vast array of heritage sites far beyond those we typically associate with China.
As a key historical region, Shaanxi rates at the top. “It was here were it all started for China. As the heartland of Continue reading →
A wonderful delight in Xi’an was cycling around the old city wall. In fact we liked it so much that after completing our morning ride with Karin and Wei we returned the following day to do a sunset ride. Steve aptly named the circuit the “Red Lantern Ride”.
Xi’an is one of the few cities in China where the complete city wall is still standing and that’s pretty amazing because it was built in 1370 during the Ming Dynasty. This is a huge structure, the walls are 12 metres tall, 12-14 metres wide at the top and 15-18 metres thick at the bottom. The walls form a rectangle with a perimeter of 13.7 km.
Initially the wall was built with earth, quick lime and glutinous rice extract. This made it Continue reading →
It’s been described as the greatest find of the 20th Century, and touted as the eighth Wonder of the World. I was only 15 in 1974, and it was in that same year when a group of peasant farmers in the Lintong District, Xi’an, digging a well, discovered the Terracotta Warriors (Terracotta Army).
We have all seen pictures of them, but the enormity of this discovery only becomes evident when you visit the site. Awe-inspiring, Gobsmacking, Amazing, and Incredible, are all words that immediately come to mind when you first see the Army lined up in formation in their pits, but these words don’t come close to describing the sensation you have at first sight. It was much more.
The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The sculptures were buried with the Emperor in 210-209 BC, and their purpose was to protect the Emperor in his afterlife. Estimates from 2007 suggest that Continue reading →