Friday 18 October 2019

Day 7 - Xi'an

Today was our first full day in Xian, and it was my birthday! We, finally, got to have a sleep in, as we could wake up at any time we wanted and have breakfast before 10am, which was when we needed to leave. We hopped on the bus to go see a Terracotta Warrior museum, which took us an hour to get to from our hotel. 

We entered the production section of the museum where we saw two ladies recreating smaller versions of the original Terracotta Warriors to be purchased in the store. Our museum guide Oliver encouraged us to buy items from the store (surprise surprise), but nobody did as everything was really expensive.

We then went upstairs to the restaurant for lunch, where we tried various traditional Chinese foods, such as the first hamburger and the famous bng bng noodles. We also tried some amazing cookies that we ended up taking back to the hotel in a plastic bag to eat later tonight.

Once we arrived, our tour guide informed us that it was going to be so crowded and loud that we wouldn’t be able to hear her and would have to wear ear pieces which linked up to her microphone. However, once we put the ear pieces on, we realised that we couldn’t hear her any louder than before, even on full volume. 

We got our tickets and entered the gate into the souvenir shop, where we were surprised to see that the farmer who discovered the Terracotta Warriors 45 years ago was visiting today. We got the opportunity to meet him and shake his hand, which we soon regretted after our tour guide told us that he hadn’t washed his hands in years since he shook Bill Clinton’s hand. Turns out, it was a joke (we didn’t get any diseases, don’t worry Mum). 

After this funny experience and a couple of purchases from the shop, we moved on to the actual tourist attraction; the Warriors. Once entering the room, we experienced the large crowd that our tour guide informed us about earlier. Brianna, Lucy and I found ourselves stuck between another large tour group, where we were pushed and shoved in the wrong direction from our tour group. We managed to escape by grabbing onto one another and briefly becoming WWE Wrestlers and tackling many people to the ground (just kidding, but am I?). Despite the pushing and shoving, we persevered and joined the rest of the group to take photos.

After this, we went back on the bus and went to visit the pagoda near the restaurant. It was a beautiful sight, with lots of greenery and sculptures. Plenty more photos were taken, and we then hopped on the bus on the way to the History of the Tang Dynasty dance show.

We arrived to the show and sat down to eat. We tasted some traditional dumplings of many different kinds from the Tang Dynasty, as well as a variety of different vegetables and meats. The dumplings were shaped like the filling inside, such as a duck for the duck dumplings. While we were eating, Happy Birthday started playing and we assumed it was for me, so we were singing along and waiting for the cake when, to our surprise, the cake wasn’t mine and it was someone else’s birthday! Eventually Happy Birthday played again and this time it was actually for me, so we sang and I blew out the candles and ate the cake, which was very delicious.

While we ate the cake, the History of the Tang Dynasty dance show started. Lots of ladies danced on stage in piao liang dresses (piao liang means beautiful), and men in war outfits joined them. The dances represented the history behind the Tang Dynasty and gave us a better look into Chinese culture through dance and song. 

After the dance show finished, we left the theatre, went back on the bus to the hotel and had a well deserved rest after a very busy day and a great birthday that I’ll never forget.

Molly Colaco

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