Friday 12 September 2014

A Touch of Adventure

China is one of the few countries that Westerners still feel a sense of wonder about. Not having traditionally been seen as
a tourist attraction, there are not many Western travelers who have ventured into this mysterious land.  Today, however,
guided tours of China are more plentiful and cost-effective, making seeing China all the rage with adventurous travelers.
Guided tours of China most definitely will take you to Beijing, China’s capital city.  You’ll visit the Forbidden City, an
ancient city built for China’s emperors, the Great Wall of China, a must for every traveler, and you’ll still have time for
bargain shopping with Beijing’s street vendors or at Silk Alley, a bargain hunter’s paradise.
Because China is such a large country, guided tours of China often include several intra-country airline flights.  The
airplane flights are exactly like those in the US and Europe, with the exception that the in-flight meal is inedible and
you won’t understand a word anyone is saying. 
The next stop on many guided tours of China is the ancient capital city of Xi’an, the beginning of the historic
“Silk Road”—a trading route extending from Asia to parts of Europe. Xi’an is famous for being the site of the
“Eighth Wonder of the World”—the famed Terra Cotta Warriors of Xin.
Most guided tours of Xi’an will take you out to the countryside where the archeological site and museum for the life-size
terra cotta warriors exist.  There are three archeological pits containing thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers,
horses and carriages.  These soldiers have been painstakingly recreated from fragments of pottery and the work at the site
is ongoing.
The best guided tours of the Terra Cotta Warriors will tell you a little secret.  In the gift shop, there are stacks of a
beautiful picture book of the warriors, written in several languages.  Next to the stack of books sits one of the original
farmers whose well-digging first uncovered the soldiers in 1974.  He’ll sign your book for free, giving you a wonderful
keepsake to take home.

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