AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 6: Apr 16th - Xian/Terracotta

Chinese watch Museum and travels to China

AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 6: Apr 16th - Xian/Terracotta

Postby AlbertaTime » June 27th 2018, 5:02am

AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 5: Apr 16th - the Xian Walls and the Terracotta Warriors

Last episode had us (my friend Sky Han and his parents, and MioMio, our driver, and me) finally arriving in Xian, finishing a late night meal and then heading back to our hotel, leaving only the very late snack carts and the cleanup crews active...

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Nest morning came quick.

We were all pretty eager to see Xian and timestamps have us up and out of the hotel by 7:30AM, wandering around on a clear, crisp and early cool morning to find a good place for breakfast...first on a nearby main street...

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...where we found some promising breakfast carts...

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...but that was only egg flatbreads, and we were on a personal quest: doufuhua or 豆腐花 or "bean curd flower", but colloquially called "tofu nao" or "tofu brains" (you'll know why when you see it), a savoury, spicy breakfast soup that's a perfect wake-up for a cool morning, so we decided to hit the nearby alleys...

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...and even though it's not what we're looking for either, it's a sure sign there *is* food to be found in these parts :-)...

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...so we keep hunting...

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Not here (flatbreads & eggs), but this area still looks promising...

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...amd moments later: we found our quarry: rich, brown tofu nao and youtiao 油条 (the bread sticks)

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Our bowls of food and bread sticks cost us about 10RMB each, or about $2.00 each :-)

Well fortified, we returned to the main street, walked the underground crosswalk (complete with a map of the walls and amazing posters), and were on the grounds of the Xian Walls...

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I didn't realize till later that Sky had used my phone to grab this photo while I was helping some local folks take a tourist shot. I had noticed they were a party of three , but only getting "two at a time" shots because someone had to hold the camera, so I offered to shoot all three together. I do that occasionally when I'm in China because it's a great --and helpful--way to meet people.

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Anyways...on to the Wall. I'd wanted to walk this 14th Century construction ever since I first heard about it.

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To provide a sense of scale, here's a short video of the entryway from inside the arch. The walls are earth-filled, which means that, among other benefits, they can very effectively displace the effect of artillery fire.



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Sky shot this video and took the photo of MioMio and me at the Walls...



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Sky shot this video and took the photo of MioMio and me at the Walls...

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After a couple of hours wandering the walls, we headed back to the hotel (passing the tour busses--and a reminder of how China's streets remain so very clean, most of the time) and headed to the Xian Stop #2, the TerraCotta Warriors...

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[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=1XklcLR65wE[/youtube]

...but people gotta eat, so first, we passed a nice market area and decided to stop there to look for a restaurant. With that much food around the place, it was a safe bet someone would be serving it hot and fresh...

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It was about noon now and it wasn't morning cool any more. It was a clear and bright 24ºC with a breeze, and stayed that way for the rest of the day.

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...and sure enough, there was an inexpensive but very tasty place to eat right next to the produce area. This meal was about 16RMB, so about $3.00 :-)

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Here's a short video of the market area. The restaurant we ate at is at 1:30 where you'll see a man with a blue jacket leaving the place...



...and then it was, very well fed, back to the car, and off to see the Warriors!

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The world famous Mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang (259 BC- 210 BC) , Lintong District, Xian, of which the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses is a part.

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This video shows the ticket office, part of the walk to the Mausoleum area, and into the entrance plaza area of the whole mausoleum complex.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=168&v=4nC2RmI4OLY[/youtube]

The Warriors are directly behind me,and may I present:

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The Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses...

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Video...



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One of the better known aspects of the Terracotta Warriors is the fact that they have not yet found any identical faces--they're all different. But there are, I found out, 8 basic head shapes, and a range of known expressions...

Details here: Face Shapes of the Terracotta Warriors

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This is a the repair and restoration section of the site...

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The excavations at this site are still very much a work in progress. This an active dig.

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The scale of the Terracotta Warriors display is huge. From Wikipedia: "755 feet (230 meters) long from east to west, 203 feet (62 meters) wide from north to south, covering an area of 153,493 square feet (14,260 square meters)," so about two football fields long, and about a half again wider than a football field.

These next shots are the walk through the tourist refreshments and souvenirs concourse on the way out of the Mausoleum area.

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The "moving picture" version...



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It had been almost disorienting coming back out into the very bright light of this gorgeous Xian day, but we had the Wall and the Terracotta Warriors off our respective bucket lists, now, and it was time to head back to Sky's home city of Xinmi.

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I was looking forward because I like Xinmi; it's a quieter city in Chinese terms, about half a million people, and it has a long history.

So, next installment is: re-visiting the rest of Sky's family in Xinmi, the "hotel mix-up" adventure, time spent in Xinmi's 1500 hundred year old historic "old town" area, visits to two temples, a return to Qingpingshan Park, and spectacular eats at the "under the tent" downtown...well, it's kind of a food court, you'll see...

Then, after Xinmi, scenic Shanghai for:

- Dinner with collector, watch historian and friend Joel Chan of Micmicmor Vintage Watch (the west's first VCM website)
- A visit to Maison Celadon's world-class Silk Artisans in nearby Suzhou
- A visit with AHCI member Guo Ming at
- The Shanghai Industrial Technology School watchmaking program, and
- VCM hunting with Shanghai-based actor and collector Eric Heise.

All coming up...

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Last edited by AlbertaTime on July 8th 2018, 10:52am, edited 3 times in total.
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 5: May 16th - Xian/Terraco

Postby artman » June 27th 2018, 1:06pm

What a badass trip! The warriors were incredible. Thanks again AT for sharing another epic adventure.
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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 5: May 16th - Xian/Terraco

Postby AlbertaTime » June 27th 2018, 2:38pm

artman wrote:What a badass trip! The warriors were incredible. Thanks again AT for sharing another epic adventure.


You're more than welcome, artman, but I tell ya: it's me who oughtta be (and is) full of gratitude. One, because I actually got there to see this, but also for the support I get for my trips here at 'Lords. You folks rawk big-time!
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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 5: May 16th - Xian/Terraco

Postby conjurer » June 27th 2018, 3:37pm

Another fine and illuminating travelogue from our resident correspondent!
I checked you out, and I now want you to take the journey to lick my taint. It's small, but vast.


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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 5: May 16th - Xian/Terraco

Postby Hawk » June 27th 2018, 6:01pm

Yup. Better than the Travel Channel.
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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 5: May 16th - Xian/Terraco

Postby biglove » June 28th 2018, 4:57am

Hawk wrote:Yup. Better than the Travel Channel.



I could cut. Better photos of the warriors I have not seen. What an amazing visit.
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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 5: May 16th - Xian/Terraco

Postby AlbertaTime » June 28th 2018, 7:53am

Hawk wrote:Yup. Better than the Travel Channel.


biglove wrote:I could cut. Better photos of the warriors I have not seen. What an amazing visit.


Thanks, all of you!

As for the photo quality, I gotta hand it to my Samsung S8+. The way the Warriors are set up in the museum, visitors can only get so close, and the best I had for close-ups was the phone's digital zoom. And the lighting is kinda weird inside, too--but the phone did admirably in my books.

I'll add that almost everything I shot on this trip, video included, was using my S8+ phone camera and there was only a couple of times I wished I had one of my compacts with me (really only for optical zoom). I generally left my compacts back at the hotel because the phone seemed to be doing everything I needed.
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