Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Xian and the Terracotta Warriors Part 5

It was a pleasure to move on to a different hotel from the one in Beijing but even there there was a slight issue. On the first night we wandered in to the in-house Chinese restaurant and seeing the food looked good asked what time they took orders to. 
"9.30pm"  came the reply.
We went for a drink at the bar before returning well before the deadline only to be told the chef had gone home!
Ah well, the Western restaurant was open so we settled for a burger. Those little issues we can take with a smile but I have to say, the big day at the Terracotta Warriors might have been organised better.
We were after all on a Bucket List tour, the purpose being to see these famous sights.
Why then was the first stop in Xian here?
Gift shop
No those aren't the actual warriors, we were taken to a gift shop some distance away.
Not only did they make pottery models they had a furniture shop too!
Gift shop
We spent far longer there than we did in Pit Number One, the one houses most of the warriors.
I could have spent far longer than the 45 minutes we were allocated to wander around the vast building the size of two football pitches.
The Warriors are indeed amazing.
Each one unique, a different face and it's spooky to think that those people have all been brought back to life nearly two thousand years later.
There are three buildings in total but Number One is the main attraction. Maybe there was a reason other than a scheduled lunch on the complex for having so little time but it was a disappointment , longer would have been appreciated. The lunch was again unmemorable and afterwards the offer of a cup of tea was in actual fact a sales pitch to buy some packets to take home!
All these organised tours are the same it seems, more interested in a sale than actually seeing what you came to see!
Yes, there was one last pitch too. We were told we were lucky as today the man you discovered the warriors was actually on site and we could meet him in person!
His reward for discovering the Warriors on his farm was he now has a job signing books instead of farming. Not much of a reward considering it's a multi billion pound tourist attraction that has helped make China the fourth most popular visited country in the world!
The man who discovered the Warriors
In fairness that was quite a nice souvenir and they sold quite a few copies to the Bus 2 gang!
Oh well, after this we were back on the coach to visit the city walls which are indeed impressive, must be 25 metres wide at least and built just as high too!
City Wall Xian
Not much to do otherwise though and we were happy to be taken back to the hotel.
Our guide suggested everyone on Bus 2 should take the optional extra tour that was on offer. For a price we would be taken on an after dark tour of the city by coach to see the lights etc. Only half the group wanted to go, we had spent too much time on coaches and crowded roads already.
City traffic
That was it then, there could be no tour as there weren't enough people.
Claire and I didn't want to go but I suggested that there would probably be enough if the three bus loads all joined together. Pretty damned obvious but of course they would only need one bus, one driver and one guide. They had all wanted to make money and now the opportunity was cut. 
Am I sceptical? Me? You bet, these guides are doing very nicely thank you very much. Our's regaled us with tales of exotic trips abroad she had been on with her family and she always travelled business class too!I noticed she had her son staying in the hotel with her too, living locally she wanted to make sure he had a good breakfast before going to school!
Ah well good for her. We were flying budget class on a budget airline to Hong Kong the following day!

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