We’d booked tickets from Beijing to Xi’an on China’s high-speed rail. The tickets were relatively cheap – around $85 each – and the route was nearly a straight shot from Beijing to Xi’an. We’d reserved tickets prior to our trip, but we still needed to pick up our physical tickets at the station. Our train left from Beijing North train station in the early afternoon.
The ride itself was relatively smooth, but not particularly scenic. I’d taken the high-speed rail once before – from Shanghai to Beijing – and the views from both rides were largely the same: wide open farmland and half-constructed buildings.
When we arrived in Xi’an, we checked into our hotel – The Westin Xi’an - and met our coworker Hanchi and some of his friends for dinner.
Perhaps Xi’an’s most well-known attraction is the Terracotta Warriors (兵马俑). These statues were buried along with an emperor around 210 BCE, and discovered by local farmers in the 1970s. The site has since been excavated, covered, and made into one of China’s most popular tourist destinations.
The excavation site is actually located a fair ways outside of Xi’an, and our journey there took about an hour and a half and no fewer than two public busses.
The warriors themselves were housed in individual airplane-hangar style buildings. We walked each building’s perimeter and had a snack on the grounds of the park. We meandered through a few neighborhoods surrounding the park before catching a bus back to Xi’an.
That evening we met up with some of Hanchi’s friend’s to throw a bit of a bachelor celebration. Bachelor parties aren’t really a custom in China, but we put together a night of karaoke, beer, and barbecue.