Friday, August 6, 2010

China, days 3 and 4

Day three (which really felt like day two) was the day we set aside for seeing pandas. Pandas were one of the main reasons my friend decided to go to China with me, so this was an important activity.

Needless to say, just like everything else we did in China, this trip did not go as planned. It was so hot outside that the pandas were hiding inside in the shade. We did get to see a few, but my friend though she would get to touch one (no such luck). Additionally, the treatment of animals isn't exactly to the same standards as it in the U.S.

That afternoon we went to the Muslim Quarter of Xi'an. It was busy (like everywhere else), but it was a really interesting area.

On our last day in Xi'an, we went to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Even though it was boiling outside, it was a really interesting trip. We went to the three different pits that were open to the public (the recently discovered fourth isn't open to visitors). All of the pits are oriented toward the east, to face the rising sun. The emperor who commissioned the army is buried to the west, protected by the warriors.

The second pit is still mostly untouched, so there isn't much for visitors to see. It does have great examples of the four classes of warriors.

The third pit is almost completely finished, but it's the smallest. This is considered the "command center."

Our guide took us to the first pit at the end of the tour in order to save the best for last. Pit one is the largest and most recognizable.

Only one more day to cover, but it was a big one - the last day in Beijing!

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