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My visit to Xi'an E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Leyla Lopos
It must be depressing living in a city like this, at least it would be for me--Xi'an would be one of the last cities I want to move to. It seems the environment of Xi'an has been badly polluted, and the climate isn't that good. Most of the time, the sky is grey, and the pollution is causing poor visibility, the city looks foggy.

Xi'an is an old city. During past 3100 years of development, 12 dynasties held it as their capitals. But Xi'an doesn't look as old as Beijing. Since Beijing was the capital of Ming and Qing Dynasty, only a couple of hundred years away from today, many old stuff like some palaces, imperial parks, temples, The Great Wall... are still kept well. But Xi'an was the capital of Western Zhou, the Qin, the Han, the Sui and the Tang, between 1000-3000 years ago, most ancient stuff was already destroyed and gone over time.

And the modern side of Xi'an is a little boring to me. Xi'an is pretty much like many other cities of China. Walking in the streets, I forgot where I was sometimes. Xi'an makes me realize that I'm not just getting tired of Hangzhou, but also big cities of China.

"One can't claim to have visited China unless one has seen these terracotta warriors." That's what Jacques Chirac, the former president of France once said. Are famous Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses really that impressive? I don't think so. I guess to him, saying something complimentary was just a diplomatic strategy, and it worked-- today Xi'an people and Chinese people all happily remember his words and consider that's a big deal. If Shirac told the world what he really thought of terracotta warriors, he might be in trouble. Also, another guy-- Bill Clinton is being remembered there as well. Because when he visited Xi'an 1997, he once took a picture with these terracotta warriors.

This memorable picture is hanging on the wall of the museum there, and must be helping Xi'an get many tourists overseas. I think terracotta warriors is an overrated spot. The work Qing people have done 2200 years ago is awesome, but the problem is what we could see today is only a small part of the whole work, most Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are still underground and intact. There are three pits opening to tourists. Only the Pit No. 1 looks all right. But what we see is not the original works, many warriors and horses have been fixed by workers today. That nothing, because today, a farmer living near by could make better looking terra-cotta warriors. I believe ancient Chinese people have done many incredible things, but I'm not surprised to see what we discovered.

We're all human beings, they must be not as stupid as we think. The more we underestimate their intelligence and abilities, the more we'd be impressed by what they've accomplished. A few hundred years later, will the smarter future people put computer in the museum, and go like, "see, ancient people invented computers and the Internet! That's not easy for those retards! " We're not retards, of course. The technology is getting developed, I don't think human beings are getting that smarter though.

Back to Xi'an. What I like Xi'an most about is The Xian City Wall, and I really miss it. The city wall is in an oblong shape, it took me four hours to finish the whole trip (13.75km). There're four watchtowers and four city gates at each corner, they're all preserved well. The wall is 12 meters high, 15-18 wide. Outside the wall are moats, today they build parks along the moats. The first two hours of my trip, I didn't see any other tourist passing by. The road seemed to belong to me. I was walking in the middle of the open road, the whole city was below me, and the real Xi'an was in front of my eyes. I enjoyed the trip a lot that day. Stealing their words, I think one can't claim to have visited Xian unless one has seen Xian City Wall.

Our valuable Editor Leyla Lopos has been with us since Sunday, 17 April 2011.

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