Xian & the Terracotta Warriors

Why you should visit Xian

  • To see one of China's most important sights, the Terracotta Warriors
  • Xian is the gateway to the Silk Road
  • Walk, ride or take a buggy on the city walls
  • Explore the Muslim quarter of the city home to the Hui community

Our specialists ‘Must Do’

Visit the Han Jing tombs and museum, home to the miniature terracotta warriors. Discovered in the early 1990's by road workers this tomb is still under excavation and is much less visited than the larger and more famous Warriors at Xian. The terracotta figurines uncovered here are much less imposing (but no less grand) than those of the Army of Terracotta Warriors and the museum houses most of the artefacts excavated from the tomb which include examples of male and female warriors, eunuchs, dancers and various farm animals.

A short drive from the museum is the Underground Museum, which is the first of its kind and was opened in April 2006. Here you have the chance to walk around the actual burial chambers (which are glassed in to protect the relics) and observe the excavations of the Miniature Warriors taking place.

A little more about Xian

Chang An, as Xian was once known, was the start of the Silk Road to Europe through Persia and the Sub continent.

Shi Huang Di is perhaps the best known Chinese Emperor, largely because of his remarkable tomb. Buried along with 5,000 terracotta warriors as representations of his own army, along with rumours that his yet undiscovered tomb itself is studded with stars of precious stones, Xian is one of China's most extraordinary sites.

An army of miniature warriors was also discovered in the early 1990's and is now on display, this is the tomb of Emperor Han Jing. April 2006 also saw the opening of the first underground tomb museum where visitors can sometimes observe continued excavations of this smaller army taking place whilst walking above the glass covered tombs.

Xian is one of the few towns in China that is still surrounded by a fortified wall and, with two pagodas, a museum and a mosque that resembles a Chinese temple, it is packed with fascinating sites yet feels small and is easy to explore.

When to go to Xian

The best time to visit the region is either mid-March to mid- June or September to November, for the simple reason that this is when the weather is at its best.

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