During October and November 2007 I set off on an adventure that took me from Australia to Japan, then on to Russia and China before returning home to Australia. I have kept my travel emails from that trip, so I thought it might be fun to repost them here and add a few photos. This blog is Part 7 and the final leg of that journey (China).
November 4th, 2007
Well today is my last full day in China – I am catching a morning flight back to Melbourne, Australia monday.
The last few days have been hectic but fun. In Xi’an on thursday I went to the Terracotta Warriors – the “8th wonder of the world”. Such an impressive place, so many warriors, horses etc, and they do not even have them all restored/uncovered. On the way there I also went to the Emperor Qin’s tomb (first Emperor of China) where a traditional display of dancing was taking place and then to a nearby ancient village they unearthed from 6000 years ago called Banpo. Great day!
The Terracotta Warriors (dating from the 3rd century BC) were not actually discovered until 1974 when a group of peasants were digging a well and discovered some pottery! This initial find lead to archeologists heading there and to one of the most significant archeological discoveries of the 20th century!
Over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang the first Emperor of China have since been unearthed (they are funerary art buried with the Emperor to protect him in the afterlife). The site is now enclosed in massive buildings to protect them (the museum covers an area of 53,500 feet/16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: Pits 1, 2 and 3) and was declared a UNESCO world cultural site in 1987.
On friday before flying back to Hong Kong an American guy who was on the tour the day before with me and I hired a couple of bikes and rode around the massive wall that surrounds the old city of Xi’an – about a 8.7 miles/14km round trip. This was a fantastic way to see the city from above and it was a warm sunny day. This is the first time I have ridden a bike in a year or two – lucky it had the wide seat and not one of those arse numbing racing seats!!!! All went well and I lived to tell the tale – although funnily enough with only a few hundred metres to go we nearly crashed into each other!!!! long story!
Yesterday was a relaxing day in Hong Kong – shopping, eating, wandering around. And today I took the ferry across to Macau – totally different place to Hong Kong – the old Portuguese colonial buildings, local foods (man those sheets of hot pork jerky are awesome!) etc make it an interesting place for a trip – warm sunny day again today. Weather wise I have had it all on this trip – rain, wind, snow, fog, sunshine, humidity, freezing cold!!!!