Jill and I interrupt this trip to Turkey and Greece for a short sojourn into China.
In case you didn’t realize, I tend to write my blogs after the event has happened.
Obviously this is a necessity because if I wrote them before they happened it would just be fiction and this is a, in as much as possible, a non-fiction blog of Jill’s and my journey through China and other countries that we will visit as we live in Beijing.
With that in mind, I want to jump into our trip to Turkey and put up some posts about our trip to Xi’an.
This actually happened just a few days ago, unlike our journey to Turkey and Greece which ended over a month ago at this point.
I could wait to write about Xi’an, and keep things strictly in chronological order, but this was a very short, yet powerful, trip.
Jill and I heard about EACHAM (European/American Chamber of Commerce) through our friend, Mike Shaw.
EACHAM sets up expatriates for 2 or 3 day trips, to major industrial conferences and expositions, and pays for our transportation, hotels, and meals.
Basically the expos want to have foreigners there and this is where we come in.
It is a heck of a deal, for us, because we get to see a different part of China and don’t really have to pay much for it other than some added extras of going to see things that aren’t on the tour.
This is where the Terracotta Warriors made our decision regarding going to Xi’an a very easy one.
We’d both seen lots of pictures of the Warriors and had set seeing them as a “must do” before we leave China.
When we were offered an all-expenses paid trip to Xi’an, about 1 hour from the Warriors, we jumped at the chance.
EACHAM paid for an overnight train to Xi’an, which took about 11 hours, and there were 4 bunk beds in our cabin. We shared the cabin with a mother and her adult daughter and had a very nice time other than the beds being pretty hard.
We also met some of the other expatriates going up to Xi’an for the same conference and talked about life in China.
After we arrived in Xi’an, we set out to hire a cab and get out to the Terracotta Warriors.
It took about 1.5 hours to get there, as traffic was bad and there was a lot of construction, and $60 USD, but it was well worth it.
After exiting our taxi, and making sure the driver knew we wouldn’t pay until we returned to Xi’an (something we’d been told to do by others that have done the trip because the taxi drivers tend to leave if they get a better offer) we walked to the entrance of the attraction.
We saw that we could get a ride on a little electric tram and hopped right in to save time.
There were 3 different buildings to choose from and we decided to see the last one first (Pit 3) as the other two seemed incredibly packed and we were hoping they would empty a little bit before we visited them.