Welcome back to China week. Yup, it's a thing (I just decided it. No vetoes allowed).
Our next stop is Xi'an, west of Beijing, and China's former capital city for thousands of years spanning the rule of some of the most important dynasties (Qin, Han, Tang, Zhou, to name a few).
Whereas Beijing was focused largely on modernization (although many historical sites remain) Xi'an felt like a city stuck between the two worlds of technology and tradition. The city wall remains intact, one of the only ones left in China from imperial times.
One of the more well-known places I saw while there was the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor, the location of the Terracotta Warriors.
The Terracotta Warriors were found in 1974 when a farmer was trying to dig a well. He started digging up pieces of terracotta!
They were originally built in 210 BC and each warrior is unique, built to resemble someone in the emperor's army. Each is a little bigger than life size (about six to six and half feet) and were painted as well. The army was destroyed by the emperor's enemies after his death; they were all set on fire and smashed. Archeologists have been putting them back together, but out of over 8,000 estimated warriors most remain buried.
This photo came out a little blurry, but you can still see the different faces of each warrior:
I also visited the Wild Goose Pagoda...
... where I had a great view of the city.
And yes, it was quite smoggy.
Next, I went to Chengdu, home of spicy food and...
My afore-posted photo with a year old panda:
And another panda just being adorable, as they tend to do from time to time:
I also saw the world's biggest Buddha while I was in Chengdu... the Leshan Buddha:
It took 90 years to carve, and I didn't even reach to the top of its toes!
And we shall continue tomorrow.
If you have any specific questions to ask me about anything, don't be afraid to ask!