When your train arrives at Xi’an railway station, meet your guide and enjoy an air-conditioned transfer to the UNESCO-listed Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, located on the city’s outskirts.
As you travel, gaze at Xi’an's bustling streets and hear snippets from your guide about the extraordinary terracotta army, whose life-size warrior figurines were accidentally discovered by peasant farmers in 1974.
One of the world’s greatest archaeological finds, the clay army consists of more than 7,000 sculptures of soldiers and hundreds of horses and chariots, and was buried alongside China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang in about 210 BC, to accompany him in the afterlife.
On arrival, view the warriors and horses arranged in battle formations in their earthen pits. Different pits contain different types of figures, from archers to musicians, acrobats, and strongmen. In the main vault, the figures are ranked in 11 columns of officers, soldiers holding spears and swords, and others driving horse-pulled chariots, all as if ready for the next battle.
If time allows, move on from the pits to see other museum exhibits, including displays of artifacts and a film telling the story of the mausoleum.
Having explored here, take a break for lunch at a local restaurant and then continue to a Xi’an arts and craft factory. Watch skilled artisans carve out miniaturized versions of the terracotta warriors, and if you wish, purchase some as mementoes (own expense).
Finally, hop back inside your air-conditioned vehicle and conclude your tour with a drop-off at your downtown Xi’an hotel.