#23 See the Terracotta Warriors

There are some sights that no matter how many photos of them you’ve seen, it still absolutely takes your breath away when you see them for the first time. I was totally in awe when I saw Macchu Picchu for example and when I went diving in the Great Barrier Reef, doing the real thing was a million times better than just seeing it in photos. But then on the other hand, there are those that don’t. Some famous landmarks you see and just think: “Yep, that’s exactly how it looks in the pictures.” And I’m afraid the Terracotta Warriors was one of those place for me.

I know it sounds really bratty and don’t get me wrong, the story of how they weren’t discovered until the 1970s by a farmer digging a well is pretty remarkable and the fact that every single warrior has a different face is amazing. But you’ve read it so many times that the facts seem a bit diluted by the time you actually get there. (I think this is my China equivalent of Karl Pilkington describing the country’s most famous landmark as The Alright Wall.)
Yep, there they are, just like in the pictures.

Also, I know this may sound a bit stupid, but I had expected the 6000 warriors to all be standing. The professional photographers certainly take their pictures from a good angle, making it appear so.
I’d kind of expected these guys to be standing.

But in fact most of them are still in pieces and many are even buried. And while it’s very interesting to watch the archaeological work take place, you can’t help feeling you expected a bit more. Which maybe explains why alongside the halls containing the warriors there is also such an array of tourist souvenirs – such as getting your own face imposed onto a model of a Terracotta Warrior. Personally I couldn’t think of anything more creepy. Where would you put it? Right beside your mini replica of The Alright Wall I assume.

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