China
Sunjiaping

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36 travelers at this place

  • Day64

    Xi'an - Terrakotta Armee

    November 3, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Wir haben entschieden uns einer, vom Hostel organisierten, geführten Tour zur wichtigsten Attraktion in Xi’an anzuschließen. Und zwar zur Terrakotta Armee, die für den ersten Kaiser Chinas ca. 221 v.chr. als Beschützer seines Grabes angefertigt wurde. Sehr beeindruckend, doch zum größten Teil liegen die Soldaten noch unter der Erde begraben. Neben Wissenswertem zur Geschichte, gab es auch ein chinesisches Mittagessen. Nach einer langen Rückfahrt wegen Staus (alle Autos dürfen am Samstag fahren - an Wochentagen sind abwechselnd einzelne Nummern ausgeschlossen) kamen wir im Hostel an und tranken noch mit anderen Leuten aus dem Hostel, die wir auf der Tour kennengelernt hatten, ein paar Bier.Read more

  • Day8

    Terracotta Warriors

    September 4, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    Exciting day today, and one that I'd been looking forward to for a long time! We'd heard it was best to get there as early as possible, so it was again an early start, catching the subway underneath our hotel to the main station and then picking up a bus from there. Although the Warriors are synonymous with Xi'an, they're actually about 60km outside the city, which made for an hour-long bus ride.

    Picked our way through the carparks and stalls, bought our tickets, and headed on in.

    The official name for the site is the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, and he's the guy who was buried nearby (not actually here with the army). His name was Qin Shi Huang, and he was essentially the first emperor of China, having unified the earlier kingdoms in 221 BC. When he died in 203 BC, his burial was enormous, and his nearby tomb is essentially a scale model of his capital city, Chang'an (these days Xi'an).

    This scale model is complete with buildings, palaces, canals and waterways, lakes, and of course a garrison, and this is where the Terracotta Army was found. It's actually a few kilometres away from the tomb itself, and isn't so much to guard the emperor in the afterlife as it's a representation of one part of his world when he died. It must have been standard practice, as the records of the burial don't even mention the army, and it was completely unknown until the random discovery by farmers digging a well in 1974.

    The first room you enter is an enormous aircraft hanger type building, with the army stretching out in columns in front of you. It's very striking. The front rows are all arranged in neat lines, glaring forward while behind them the columns stretch into the distance. As you spend an hour doing a lap of the huge pit, you realise how little has actually been excavated - even now there are teams of people digging and cataloguing. About 6000 figures have been found, though only about 2000 have been assembled, which is also something that dawns on you. What you're looking at are rebuilds - other sections are just piles of fragments where the figures haven't been put back together yet. What a painstaking task.

    Outside, we headed for pit two where there was much less to see in the actual pits, but you could see (behind glass) some of the figures up close. There was an archer, a regular soldier, and a high-ranking general, and it was fascinating to see the detail in their armour and facial features. It's said that no two figures are exactly alike, and I'm sure that's true though slightly less impressive when you remember they aren't working from moulds - everything is done by hand. And they were originally brightly painted too!

    Pit three had a small chariot house, complete with horses, and is the only completely excavated pit. It was interesting enough, but we then headed for the exhibition hall where you can see a prize find - a pair of bronze scale models of what's believed to be the emperor's funeral cortege. Exquisite detailing on the horses, which were ornately decorated as well which was very impressive.

    Happy with our morning, we emerged from the darkness of the exhibition hall into a heavy downpour! First one we've seen in China. Waited a few minutes for it to blow over, before we scurried back to the carpark via an immense shopping and dining precinct. Thankfully I've learned the Chinese for "do not want", which comes in handy. Annoyingly, they don't actually have a simple word for "no" - saying no is entirely about context. For example, "is it raining" "is this yours" and "do you want breakfast" can all be answered in English with "no", but in Chinese all of those would have a different way of answering in the negative.

    Anyway. Got the bus back to Xi'an, though we couldn't find the return of the bus we'd caught. My maps app said we could also catch a similar bus, but it turned out to be a local bus that ended up taking 20 minutes longer while it waited to pick up passengers in all the various towns along the way.

    Back in Xi'an we grabbed a quick lunch and then headed south of the city walls to our second World Heritage site of the day. The enormous Silk Road that stretched across China and central Asia to the Middle East and Europe had its terminus in Xi'an, and there are a couple of relevant buildings in the city to check out. First up for us was the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, an ancient Buddhist temple from the 700s AD. As silks and spices flowed west along the road, ideas like Buddhism came east, and it was around here that Buddhism really took hold in China.

    It was a lovely peaceful spot, with gardens and a nice tall slender pagoda, though difficult to film thanks to overcast skies. From here we headed to the other component of the WHS in Xi'an, the Large Wild Goose Pagoda. Slightly newer than the Smaller pagoda, this was also an important Buddhist shrine. A famous Chinese monk named Xuanzang spent 10 years travelling to India, meditating and learning along the way. By the time he returned he was famous, and the Pagoda was built to house the important texts and relics he brought back - some of which are still there.

    This one was a lot larger and felt a lot more commercialised since it's basically in the middle of the city. But it was still nice enough and we enjoyed the visit. Tired, we headed back to the hostel and grabbed some meat skewers for dinner.
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  • Day185

    Xi'an, belle du nord

    September 11, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    A Xi'an, où je passe quelques jours, il y a bien sûr la célèbre armée des soldats en terre cuite de l'empereur Qin Shi Huan (plus émouvante en vrai qu'en photo, même si le site est très rempli de touristes). Mais aussi de goûteuses spécialités locales, issues du savoir-faire des populations musulmanes, que l'on déguste au marché ou dans de petits restaus, d'imposantes enceintes sur lesquelles on se promène à pied ou à velo (pour ma part je suis contente de marcher) et de nombreux musées, dont une "forêt de stèles", où il émouvant de voir des Chinois de tous âges déchiffrer des textes millénaires. Ceux-ci traitent aussi bien du mauvais arrangement des sièges lors d'un mariage, de la "forme" des montagnes sacrées du taoïsme, des classiques confucéens que de la beauté du vent qui souffle dans les feuilles un jour d'automne... Les Chinois brillent bien sûr par leur longue tradition d'intellectuels, calligraphes, hauts fonctionnaires, poètes, ou un peu de tout cela à la fois. Des humanistes bien avant les nôtres ! Je suis jalouse de ne pas pouvoir jouer aussi au déchiffrage, tant les visiteurs ont l'air absorbés et émerveillés par ce qu'ils (re)découvrent.

    A mon auberge, des animations sont organisées presque chaque soir - ateliers raviolis, calligraphie, Mah-Jong... Je ne participe bien sûr pas à tout mais c'est sympa d'y croiser d'autres voyageurs. J'ai une affection particulière pour les Néo-zélandais et Allemands, dans les yeux desquels le voyage à vélo semble déposer des étoiles !

    Le côté plus "casse-pieds" de Xi'an, et peut être de la Chine en général, est la surexploitation commerciale de tout site historique/ patrimonial. Starbucks, Mc Do, Burger King ne sont jamais loin des palais et musées, de même que d'immenses centres commerciaux dernier cri, qui font rêver les foules à coup de Cartier, Vuitton, Lancôme, etc. Le côté tapageur et agressif de ces grandes marques aux alentours d'un beau site ancien comme "la grande pagode de l'oie sauvage" me rebute. Je préfère me perdre dans des quartiers anonymes dont je fantasme peut-être l'authenticité mais qui semblent moins... dévoyés et aller me faire masser dans un hôpital, où la dame m'arrache des cris de douleurs et me recommande de revenir tous les jours (je revenais juste d'une longue rando à escaliers et le retour à la marche après le velo est toujours délicat).

    Les avantages à ce capitalisme mondialisé ? Au-delà des Starbucks, on trouve de bonnes boulangeries ! J'ai aussi pu m'acheter un pull dans une chaîne bien connue (made in China donc pour une fois, localement !) et, avant de repartir par train de nuit, trembler au cinéma face aux exploits de l'intrépide Alex Honnold. Quelques jours plus tard, je gouterai mon premier KFC dans l'Empire du milieu. Secourable, quand on a besoin d'une pause des plats étranges parfois trop epicés et au contenu non identifié...
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  • Day106

    Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors

    September 18, 2018 in China ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    The main reason why we went to Xi'an was to visit the Terracotta Warriors. They are located about one hour away from Xi'an by bus and were discovered only 40 years ago. It was good to see all these warriors, but nothing we need to visit again. Especially all these Chinese tours are really annoying.

    Der Hauptgrund warum wir überhaupt nach Xi'an gefahren sind ist die Terrakotta Armee. Die Armee würde erst vor etwas mehr als 40 Jahren von Bauern entdeckt und auch noch heute wird hier weiter gegraben. Es ist schon beeindruckend zu sehen, auch wenn es heute wohl mehr eine Massentouristen-Attraktion als eine Ausgrabungsstätte ist. Vor allem auch der Eintrittspreis von ca. 20 Euro ist eine ordentliche Hausnummer. Fazit: Sollte man sich mal ansehen, aber einmal ist auch vollkommen ausreichend. Vor allem die ganzen chinesischen Bustouren machen einen Besuch hier wirklich anstrengend. Chinesen in Massen sind nämlich leider extrem laut und extrem rücksichtslos. Hierbei gilt je kleiner und älter, desto schlimmer... Definitiv ein Volk mit dem ich auf Dauer nicht klar käme.
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  • Oct18

    Greater Dead Than Alive

    October 18, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Can an emperor be more important dead than alive? Around 205 BC the first Chinese emperor died. Though he had ruled for only fifteen years, he spent most of that time and most of his country’s revenue building his tomb. His mausoleum covered an area about four miles by five miles and contained more lavish treasures than one can imagine. Spreading out for more than twenty square miles, eleven stories underground, the tomb was laid out in the pattern of a miniature map of China, including two rivers and an ocean made of mercury. After two millennia they still contaminate the soil here.

    He buried his army with him, or at least a replica of it. While only 1600 terra-cotta warriors have been found, researchers estimate that when all have been unearthed a century from now, there will be over eight thousand infantrymen, cavalrymen, horses, chariots, archers and officers. Each face is different. The uniforms are accurate, marking each different type of soldier. Originally their faces and uniforms were all painted in lifelike colors. All except for the snipers, that is. One archer was found with a face painted camouflage green. His hands held a crossbow with a bolt that could kill at three hundred meters. Even though the soldiers are clay dummies, the weapons they hold are the real thing. Spears, halberds, longbows and crossbows were all made with interchangeable parts. The trigger of your crossbow gets damaged, install a new one and continue to shoot. Arrows were made with arrowheads that were heavier and harder than the shaft or the fletch, though all were made of bronze and welded into one piece. A sword was found that had molecular memory. A heavy soldier lay on it bending it for two thousand years. When the soldier was removed, the sword straightened into its original shape. Another sword was found without a flake of rust upon it. Metallurgists discovered that the weapon was made of bronze clad with chromium. The western world did not learn how to weld chromium to other metals until the twentieth century. To this day the only way we know to complete this process requires electricity. We don’t know how the Chin dynasty did it.

    The outfitting of this tomb and the conscripted labor required to build it so alienated the subjects of the Chin dynasty that they rebelled. Tens of thousands of workers died building the tomb, and their bodies were simply thrown into the nearest pit. At the emperor’s death the workers rebelled, smashed the clay statues, stole the weapons and revolted. Afterwards all that remained were the fragments of the clay warriors. Only one, the green-faced bowman, was discovered intact.

    The statues were found by accident in 1978 when a group of farmers dug a well. They found a clay soldier’s head and decided not to tell anyone about it. One farmer, however, did tell a local official, who notified the Chinese department responsible for archaeology and antiquities.

    Another minor miracle accompanied the discovery of these artifacts in 1978. Mao Tse Tung died in 1976. Had these remarkable remains been discovered before his death, they would have been obliterated as a part of his Cultural Revolution, and neither their discovery nor their destruction would have ever been reported to the outside world.
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  • Day60

    Terracotta Armee

    May 17, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Wenn ein 13-jähriger Kaiser so was haben will, dann kriegt er es. Die Terracotta-Soldaten sollten ihn nach seinem Tod beschützen. Das könnten sie dann auch ... nur 11 Jahre später. Kaiser Qin gab übrigens auch den Startschuss für den Mauerbau. Wenn das kein Vermächtnis ist, dann weiß ich auch nicht. Reinhard will heute übrigens nicht fotografiert werden. Es gab einen "Unfall" beim Friseur. 😂Read more

  • Day65

    Terracotta Leger

    September 13, 2015 in China ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Het staat ook wel bekend als het 'achtste wereldwonder'. Meer dan 8.000 levensgrote krijgers en paarden van klei, bedoeld als leger van de keizer na zijn dood. Verdeeld over drie sites staan ze al eeuwen in battle formation. Je zou er het liefst tussendoor willen lopen om alle prachtige details te bewonderen, maar helaas mag je alleen van bovenaf (meter of 10 afstand) tussen 40 miljard duwende Chinezen kijken. Scheelt dat we nét iets langer zijn dan de gemiddelde Chinees ;) Gelukkig staan er ook een vijftal beelden in vitrinekasten om van dichtbij te aanschouwen! Het was een wederom een behoorlijk reis heen en weer, maar het is een indrukwekkende ervaring!Read more

  • Day10

    Armee de Terre Cuite

    May 12, 2017 in China ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Ou comment 3 paysans ont découvert que le premier empereur Que Qin Shi Huang avait fait construire une armée complète en terre cuite pour le protéger dans l'au-delà.

    Les soldats sont en taille réelle (entre 1m74 et 1m99), tous ont des expressions de visage différentes, plusieurs classes sociales sont représentées, du simple fantassin avec un chignon au général avec une coiffe)).
    Évidemment tous n'ont pas encore été reconstitués mais les quelques 2000 qui sont présentés suffisent à de rendre compte du gigantisme du projet!

    Incroyable!!!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Sunjiaping, 孙家坪

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