Xi’an – Terracotta Army

Xi’an (pronounced Shi-an) is one of the oldest cities in China.ย We decided to go there to see the Terracotta Warriors and have a general browse around the city quarter/Muslim area. I wouldn’t recommend it as a permanent stop, but one or two days to get a feel is great.

The number one thing, no doubt, to see are the Terracotta Warriors. They are a collection of sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang who was the first Emperor of China. The museum complex is a little out of Xi’an so you have to take a bus and it’s around an hour long journey. Once there you’ll battle through market stalls and people trying to sell all kinds of crap before you get to the entrance. Inside the museum I’d recommend an audio guide or a tour guide as there is limited information on display to read yourself. There are three pits that have been excavated and you can visit them all. The figures include various soldiers, horses and chariots (and it is breathtaking). When you first walk into pit one you will be blown away by the sheer number of sculptures staring back at you. The detail and intricacy of each one is amazing and every single one differs to the others. At the back of pit one you can see their restoration process and knowing they’re constantly finding more and more is just baffling.

As for the city the main spot to check out would be the Muslim Quarter. I had Israel flashbacks here as the streets are really narrow and the markets spill out into them. Admittedly we had no desire to buy anything there but you can definitely get a bargain – haggle haggle haggle. If you follow the market maze you’ll end up at the Great Mosque which is in the middle of all the madness. The markets then lose their roof cover and go out into wider streets and food vendors appear. Go here hungry as there are tons of great options to try out and taste. We got flatbread, spicy potatoes, watermelon juices and yellow cake – but there are more exotic options like deep fried scorpion and green jelly (not sure why it’s green).

Justย a little note on how exactly we got to Xi’an from Beijing – the overnight train! You can get from one to the other in around five hours but they do offer a night train so you a) don’t have to pay for accommodation somewhere and b) are rested and not waistingย the day. We booked two beds in a four room sleeper and ended up sharing with two dads who were on a group family holiday. Our little sleeper room was very concise and let’s say ‘cosy’. It had two bunk beds and all bedding was supplied when we got there. There is ample storage for suitcases under the beds and also in a cubby hole above the door. Each room had plugs, light switches and then each bed had a TV but they didn’t turn on. I was worried it was going to be noisy but actually the whooshing of the train and the rickety tracks were quite relaxing. As for the rest of the carriage it was full of other rooms and then had two bathrooms on either end, one was western and the other a squat. There was a separate room with three sinks to brush your teeth and get ready, as well as a hot water dispenser just outside. The conductor came by just before we departed to ask if we wanted hot drinks in the morning and to tell us the time of arrival. Rumour has it that there was a food cart lady going up and down the train but I never saw her, it wasn’t like Harry Potter. Overall, it was a really cool experience and I’m glad I did it (I’ve done an overnight train before in Prague but I had a seat not a bed). Next time I think I would fly considering it was pretty much the same price and would be much faster but heck give it a go and see what you think!


Nicosia - Borders & Mosques

Day Out - Aphrodite's Rock

Paphos - Castle & Sights

Day Out - Cinque Terre

Florence - Duomo & David

Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day Out - Mayfield Lavender Farm

Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

Yangshou - Li River

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

Flรฅm - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima



Kyoto 2


Tokyo & DisneySea


Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Naรงรตes

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff