A few years ago I was fortunate to be able to travel out to China’s oldest city. Xian, the capital city of the Shaanxi Province. Xian is known as one of the four ancient capitals of China. The tour took us around the surrounding areas of Xian and finally finishing off with the Terra-Cotta Soldiers. I took over 800 pictures and had to summarize this leg of the tour into about 30. Some of the major destinations were the Iron Pagoda, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, The Shaolin Temple, and the Terracotta Army. The journey took about 5 days by bus and foot. I’ve taken many courses of Art History in college and it made me appreciate art from all over the world especially in Asia. China is rich in culture and art and I value everything I learned and saw from this trip. Art and History is one of my other passions and inspiration. The stuff I saw was mindblowing.
(I do apologize for watermarking and tagging the pictures. I’ve had many sites stealing and using my photos for personal and monetary gain. If you would like a high res copy of any, please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to provide them to you.)
The flight took me first to a short layover to Canada. This was the first time I’ve ever stepped foot on Canada. Never left the airport to see the beautiful of Vancouver though. I will go back just to see it one day. The airport was clean and modern. Very inspiring design.
From Canada to Hong Kong. I stayed in the south shore part of Hong Kong called Aberdeen. This was about 45 minutes by bus from Central Hong Kong. This part of town is known for its harbor and fishing. According to sources, Bruce Lee filmed a few sequences here for the Enter The Dragon movie. My small little flat:
View from the window during the day…
View from the window during the night… it was pretty damn awesome
Getting into China required a Visa. It also required an open mind as it was a complete culture shock. It was an awesome experience to see the culture, the art and the history of China. We flew into the ZhengZhou and started the journey from there. Not knowing the native language (Mandarin) it was kind of hard for me to understand the locals. My broken Cantonese wouldn’t of helped either. Most of the time, I didn’t speak because I was just in awe with the colors, art and history that was presented in front of me.
One of the first stop was at the famous IRON PAGODA. This structure had an inner structure where I was able to climb to the top. The Pagoda itself was covered with a rich texture of ancient Chinese art. This Pagoda stood approximately 13 stories high. It was not made of Iron, but of bricks. It was given the name Iron for the color of the structure. This Pagoda was built in the year 1049! It still stands strong today.
A closer view…
A close view of the texture that covered the Pagoda. Keep in mind, this was all hand made back in 1049!
A view from the top of the Pagoda 13 stories high. To get up there, required squeezing through some tight spots and climbing some steep ancient steps.
When we left for the next destination, I saw this. I didn’t know what to say. Tinky Winky?????!!!
On our way to the next destination I had to snap a picture of this Giant Buddha. It was like something straight out of a movie. The lighting, the serenity, the way it just sat behind the plantation was just awesome.
Another random shot. This was the outside of the Emperor’s bath house. It sat next to a mountain and forestry. It was awesome site to see.
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Nearby was the Pagoda Garden
Here is another one of destinations that I was excited for. It was a quite a drive to. There’s no Reza, Method Man, ODB or Ghostface Killa 36 chambers here. This is the real deal Holyfield Shaolin Temple…
One of the Buddha’s outside the temple. Reminded me of the Sagat Stage in Street Fighter 2
The Shaolin Monks demonstrating some moves. That little kid can kick some serious ass.
The next destination was the one I was waiting for. The Terracotta Army (Soldiers). The Terracotta army was built by hand and highly decorated. They were buried with the Emperor in his tomb to watch him into his afterlife with his army. Each soldier had a rank and were individual like a real army. There was estimated to be more than 8000 of these soldiers, horses and chariots buried with the emperor. Only a few hundred had been excavated.
Some well preserved high rank soldiers and chariots
This is a map of the excavation area. The small little square is where the huge jet size hangers we were in. The small tabs are estimate where the other 8000 soldiers are still buried underground today.
If I was a Terracotta Soldier. I might be a little short for a Stormtrooper 😮
The last stop before heading back to the airport was to some stone wall sculptures. This was a site to see as all these sculptures were carved out of the Limestone on the mountain. Insane!!!
I was speechless seeing this:
I highly recommend seeing these places for yourself if you have the opportunity. If you appreciate history and art, this will totally blow your mind. There are no words to describe the experience. From flipping pages of a history book to actually be seeing them with your eyes is priceless. Till the next blog, I hope you enjoyed by summarized coverage of Xian. 🙂