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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 a little ways outside of the city of Xi’an the ancient imperial capital of China. Xi’an is a city 1400 kilometers from Shanghai and 1000 kilometers from Beijing. It took us a little planning to get there because we included it in a route that went all across China in sleeper train. We really recommend this method and please contact our travel advisor if you are interested in having us put together such an itinerary. Many package tour groups do this trip as a flight stop between Beijing and Shanghai.
Xi’an itself is a place with many great luxurious lodging options with good prices. It is possible to fly to the airport of Xi’an located one hour from the city. There are, as well, several buses getting there everyday from many different cities. Once you get to Xi’an it is important to understand that the warriors are not in the city, but in a suburb called Lintong. It takes around one hour from the downtown to get there.
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. The stop in located next to the walls in front of China Post Office. The bus number is the 306 (some call this line 5). Riding the bus is a worry free experience. The bus only costs 7 RMB (little more than a dollar) the last stop is in the entrance of the Museum. Once one is there the first stop should be the ticket office. The entrance costs 150 RMB (around 25 USD) and students with valid ID pay half the price.
There are many guides available, 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 almost needs no words. To witness these thousands of human figures is a memory that will stay in your mind forever. 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.
Xi’an may sound far, but it is not an impossible trip. It is perfectly feasible as a “do it yourself” trip, it just needs some extra planning and overall to have the time and the resources to embrace such an adventure that certainly is a worthwhile one.