The Terracotta Warriors are one of China’s most fascinating and well known attractions after the great wall. They are every bit as impressive as they seem in pictures and the museum which houses them is a treasure to visit.
We saw the Warriors in their entirety at the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum. This is located around 45 minutes outside of the city of Xi’an the ancient imperial capital of China. Xi’an itself is a place with many great luxurious lodging options with good prices.
It is possible to arrive via a hotel car, private taxi or van and even a public bus, these leave every 10 minutes from the central train station (there are several, the closest to the walled part of town). In the parking lot of the train station there are several buses that go to the Terra Cotta Warriors. Be advised some are costlier private transports and others are scams that will bring tourists to a replica site. The surest option to arrive by public transit is to take The bus number 306 (some call this line 5). It also says Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses.
Riding the bus is a worry free experience. The bus only costs 7 RMB (little more than a dollar). Once you are seated and the bus begins pulling out an agent comes to collect the cash payment. The last stop is in the entrance parking lot of the Museum.
Entering the Museum
Once one arrives the first stop should be the ticket office. The entrance costs around 38 USD and students with valid ID pay half the price. You do need to present a form of identification to purchase tickets at all so make sure to bring your passport!
How to navigate the museum
There are many guides available, but we preferred to do the trip by ourselves. There is a bus pay service from the ticket counter to the main entrance to the pits (the place where the warriors are) but it is so short a walking distance that there is no reason to take it.
The experience of seeing the warriors is amazing, It is something that transcends words. To witness these thousands of human figures, each with a different face is the memory of a lifetime. There are several buildings with exhibitions and once you has seen everything on this side it is possible to take a bus (whose price is included in the same ticket entrance) to go and see the nearby mausoleum.
Many tourists to Xi’an go for pricey all included tours with guides, transport and tickets included. While that is one way to do it, it is perfectly feasible as a “do it yourself” trip, it just needs a little extra planning and overall to have the time and the resources to embrace such an adventure that certainly is a worthwhile one.