As well as visiting the Great Wall of China, Mum, Dad and I also flew out to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors.

I am constantly astonished that people know little about the warriors- they are truly one of the great ancient relicts.  Emporor Qin, who unified China, had thousands of larger-than-life statues produced of warriors that were to guard his tomb.  In 1970-something, a local farmer was digging a well and discovered the first fragments.  They have since discovered 56 sites in which something was buried, though they have only excavated two.

Tourists come from all over the world, flying to Xi’an especially to see the warriors.  The three excavated pits are open for the public to view.  They are amazing.  Case and point:

Anyway, imagine my surprise when, after we travelled thousands of kilometres to see this incredible place, the entry fee was 60 RMB.  60 RMB!!  That is $12.78AUD or  $8.77USD.  And I know, it’s China, but two days later we went to the top of a building in Shanghai and it was 150 RMB!  It’s commendable, I suppose, that they have kept it so affordable, but I think the facilities could do with some upgrading (a decent museum that presents the history of the excavation would be great, and I really think they should have a bit where you can walk down steps and be on the same level as the warriors, looking at them through glass, a bit like the Penguin tank at the Zoo), so perhaps charging a little more- which I am certain people would pay- would make sense so that facilities might be upgraded.

Anyway, from now on, everything will be gauged, in my mind, by how many times I could have gone to see the Warriors for that price.  For example, at current movie prices in Sydney, I could go see the warriors 1.5 times.  That’s absurd.

You want to know the best bit:  There’s a display of 15 of the warriors that will be shown in Washington DC from November, at the National Geographic Museum, which is charging entry for the first time.  Guess how much?  $12 USD

More of my photos from the Terracotta Warriors here.

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