Xi'an--September 5, 2004--Xi'an City Wall, Museum at the Tomb of Hang Jing Di
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Xi'an's city walls (53-55), which form a rectangular enclosure around the old city, are considered the best-preserved city walls in China. The walls were built during the early Ming Dynasty and are surrounded by a moat which is under renovation. It is possible to ride a bicycle around most of top of the wall.
After leaving the wall, we went to a revolving restaurant atop a tall building and talked the management into turning on the revolving mechanism (which probably was turned off either due to the overcast weather or the few customers present). That did not help much--given the weather, there was not much of a view.
From the restaurant, we left for the museum at the tomb of Emperor Hang Jing Di (56-57). He was emperor from 157-141 B.C. This emperor was sent to the afterlife with his own terra cotta army but this group of figures is only one third life-size. The tomb was discovered in 1990 by workers building a nearby highway.
Artifacts from his tomb are in the museum but, unfortunately, no photos were permitted inside. In the exterior countryside, one can see mounds of earth housing additional tombs, but some of these tombs have been discovered to contain large amounts of mercury and, as of now, are considered too dangerous to excavate.
After leaving the museum, we went to the Xi'an airport and flew the 640 mile distance to our next stop, Guilin. We arrived in the evening and found the airport to be surrounded by a large number of multi-colored lighted landscaping figures (58).
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