Visiting Terracotta Warriors

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  1. #1

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    Visiting Terracotta Warriors

    My parents are coming to HK for 3 weeks next March, and whilst they're here would like to take a short trip somewhere else in the region, possibly to see the Army of the Terracotta Warriors.

    Now they've never travelled in Asia before, and whilst HK is a very easy introduction I'm thinking some parts of China might be a bit "full on".

    What is Xian like to visit? Would a tour be an absolute must for people who aren't seasoned travellers in Asia? If so, are there any tours you can recommend. Budget is a concern.

    Thanks


  2. #2

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    Xi'an is worth a couple of days or so. If you want a longer trip, combine with Beijing which has much more to see.

    Easy to get there,with direct flights from Hong Kong. If you want cheaper flights, cross the border to Shenzhen and fly from there. There are direct buses from Kowloon station to Shenzhen airport. Look on sites such as travelzen.com for internal China flights. Look on sites such as ctrip.com and elong.net for booking China hotels.

    get a good guide book which has Chinese characters, and then travel around by taxi once in Xi'an. If you go to Beijing the subway is easy to use.


  3. #3

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    I'll give you a few suggestions.

    I recommend the Diamond International hotel (you can get a twin room normally for about 40 US or thereabouts) - it is one block from the train station and the number 2 airport bus goes straight there from outside the terminal. 28 yuan each person - takes about an hour and 20 minutes. I book the hotel through Octopus travel and have stayed there a few times. It is OK - however the only English TV channel is CNN - no CCTV9 even.

    For the Warriors you can catch the public bus - number 306 - from outside the train station. It takes about an hour or so to get to the Warriors and costs 7 yuan each way. Bumpy ride - but you get to see alot of Xian and the surrounding countryside which is quite nice. The bus can drop you off at the Huaqing Chi - or Imperial Springs - if you want to see them as well. They are near the Warriors but not a must see.

    Entry to the Warriors is 90 yuan last time I went (August 2008). May be cheaper off peak. The Warriors are amazing - no matter how many pictures you see, when you enter Pit 1 - wow - breathtaking. Also make sure you take the time to go to the onsite cinema for the 360 movie.

    A day tour can cost upwards of 300-400 yuan per person.
    - so I really do stress that the public transport option while slightly less comfortable is the way to go.

    Food wise in Xian as long as you are staying inside the city walls you have tons of options. I recommend heading into the heart of the city to the Muslim Quarter for some amazing ethnic food. There is no shortage of local eateries - or my favourite - Dicko's Chicken! Best fast food in China! Ha!

    Other things to see include the Big Goose Pagoda. It can get crowded but the gardens are nice and the view from the top on a clear day is outstanding - a cab is the easiest way to get there. I was underwhelmed by the Bell Tower but again its worth a look. I also was impressed by the huge statue to the west of the city wall that marks the start of the Silk Road.

    There is easily enough to do to fill a couple of days - and if you wanted to visit Hua Shan I recommend just paying for a day tour.


  4. #4

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    Great, thanks for the replies. Do you think it will be tough for people who haven't travelled in Asia before? I travel independently myself, but I've travelled quite a lot.


  5. #5

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    Good advice by the guys above.

    I went there earlier this year and did a day tour through the sofitel which we stayed at.

    Beaniskis, I wouldn't do it independantly if they've never been to asia before, I'd try and do it through a tour group though.

    Once you're at the terracota warriors though, The tour guide will speak in mandarin and you'll either need to hire an english speaking one which we ended up doing for a small cost, sadly I forgot how much but it wasn't more than a few hundred rmb. They also have these headsets which you could use that plays a tape.

    To be honest you don't really need either as all you'll want to do is take photo's pretty much.


  6. #6

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    If your parents are travelling alone, then perhaps book a package including flights and hotels from Hong Kong. Look at Cathay Pacific or CTS holidays. Then they can book a tour from their hotel.


  7. #7

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    CTS tours to China are terrible. The guide will try to hard sell optional programs to you. I have better experiences with Hong Thai and Wing On Travel.

    Last edited by Drunken Master; 17-10-2009 at 02:24 PM.

  8. #8

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    English speaking tours from Hong Kong are going to be expensive, while I wouldn't recommend a Cantonese speaking one. A package just including flights and hotels is probably a better idea. Then once in Xi'an (or Beijing or wherever they end up), they can go on their own tours, or just hire a taxi to take them to the place they need to go.


  9. #9

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    They are definitely worth seeing. I hate the word awesome, but in its real meaning that is what they are especially when you realise what is yet to be unearthed.

    Can't give many tips as I was taken by work colleagues. We did hire an English speaking guide when we were there and well worth the money. I enjoyed the Imperial Springs as well.


  10. #10

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    you can just hire a taxi driver for the day and if you get a good one they will just sit and wait outside whatever your looking at no hassles.


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