Time flies. I was a backpacker in China in 1983. Two currencies, no food after 6 pm, the high rise skyline of Pudong in Shanghai was rice paddies, there were no cars (all bicycles and lorries that were often broken down along the roads) and everyone was dressed in Mao suits.

The Terracotta Warriors at this time were housed under a metal framed fabricated building to protect them from the elements. No photographs were allowed but a few sneaky ones were taken at waist height on small film cameras. There was a small number of shacks selling a few poor quality souvenirs in a dusty dirt car park a short distance from site. There were only a few tourists and almost no local Chinese tourists as they were not able to travel at this time. It was an exhibit almost lost in the fields. Now there is a purpose built building, technological interaction and exhibits allowing close up views of the clay figures.

The warriors remain as commanding as ever, over forty years on from their initial discovery and are a highlight of any holiday to China.

Recently shown on BBC2 The Greatest Tomb on Earth: Secrets of Ancient China investigates fascinating discoveries that unveil even more about this vast tomb.

Why not also visit the miniature warriors at the Han Yang Ling Mausoleum – these less imposing but no less fascinating warriors are far less visited yet are a highlight for many of our clients.

Thanks for reading

Author: Steppes Travel