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Xi'an, at Terracotta Army-Warriors site

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

As the sun peeked over the horizon, my excitement and curiosity were matched only by my energetic 3-year-old, Loreva. We were embarking on a grand adventure to Xi'an, and our destination was the legendary Terracotta Army-Warriors site. Armed with hats, sunscreen, and a backpack full of snacks (the essentials of any toddler's expedition), we set off on a journey through time.

The moment we arrived at the site, it felt like we'd stepped into a history book come to life. Rows of vendors offered everything from mini Terracotta Warrior figurines to ancient-themed ice cream cones. Loreva's wide eyes darted from one colorful display to another, full of wonder.

With tickets in hand, we entered the excavation area, and Loreva's tiny hand tightly gripped mine as she caught her first glimpse of Pit 1. There, thousands of life-sized terracotta warriors, archers, and chariots stood frozen in time, like a massive army awaiting orders. Loreva's jaw practically hit the ground, and I couldn't help but chuckle at her adorable reaction.

Xi'an, at Terracotta Army-Warriors site
Loreva amazed by the Terracotta Army-Warriors site

We joined a guided tour to get the full scoop, and our guide, Mr. Li, was a master storyteller. He spun tales of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and his ambitious quest for an army to protect him in the afterlife. Even Loreva, with her 3 year old vocabulary, seemed captivated, pointing at the statues and babbling in excitement.

But the real magic happened when we got up close and personal with these ancient clay soldiers. Loreva couldn't resist trying to mimic their stoic expressions, making us both burst into giggles. We even attempted to decipher the secrets behind their intricate armor and weaponry, which sparked Loreva's imagination in delightful ways.

We spent hours exploring every nook and cranny of the Terracotta Army Museum, from Pit 2 to Pit 3, uncovering more treasures and soaking up history like sponges. At the end of our adventure, we treated ourselves to some well-deserved Terracotta Warrior-shaped ice cream cones and her favorite Jiaozi (Dumplings) which seemed to make Loreva's day even sweeter.

Xi'an, at Terracotta Army-Warriors site
Beautiful memory :) mum and Loreva @ Terracotta Warriors site

Terracotta Army-Warriors site
2,000-year-old army of clay statues that guarded the tomb of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang until a chance discovery in 1974.

Terracotta Army-Warriors site

One lesser-known fun fact about the Terracotta Warriors is that each warrior originally had a full head of hair and was painted with vibrant colors. Over time, exposure to the elements has caused the hair and paint to fade away, leaving the statues in their current earthen appearance. This means that when Emperor Qin Shi Huang's army was first created over two millennia ago, they would have been quite colorful and lifelike in appearance, unlike the monochromatic terracotta statues we see today. This aspect of their history adds an intriguing layer to their story and showcases the advanced artistic techniques of ancient China.

As we headed back to our hotel, tired but bursting with excitement, Loreva turned to me and said, "Mommy, I like the old soldiers!" And I couldn't have agreed more. Our visit to the Terracotta Army-Warriors site had not only been educational but a day full of laughter, awe, and unforgettable memories shared with my incredible little explorer, Loreva.

Has anyone been to the Terracotta Army-Warriors site ? Share your thoughts, tips, fun memories below in the comments!


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