UNESCO Monday #12: Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Fountain of Youth

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor WM

“You won’t believe it until you see it!”

If you have been following this blog for a while, you would know that one of the things I dislike more than anything (when it comes to travel) is over-inflated hype. I like an honest assessment more than anything, which is the reason why I started the idea of ranking world heritage sites in the first place. The Terracotta Army definitely lives up to the hype.

About four years ago, I arrived in Korea for the first time. Since I was going to be here for a while, I don’t really consider South Korea my first trip abroad. Mexico doesn’t really count either since I am ethnically Mexican, and no one in their right mind would claim that Canada is that different from the US to be considered “a trip into the wild.” This was it, China…my first true trip.

Although I ended up getting scammed, I finally did make it to the Terracotta Army, which was built by the order of the first Emperor of China: Qin Shi Huang. My friend (quoted above) was right, no TV special would do this place any justice and I really didn’t believe it until I saw it!

The most incredible feature of the Army, visible in this picture, is how each of the 7000 soldiers is unique. Click on the picture to enlarge… go ahead… look closely and I will wait here.

Okay done?

Notice how all of the hair styles are different, the shoes are different, their facial features and even their expressions differ from soldier to soldier. The man power, drive, and perseverance is just mind-blowing.

Qin Shi Huang is credited by unifying China for the first time, and starting the construction of what became the Great Wall. Even though he seemed to have it all, this was a man who would do anything to escape the inescapable, his own mortality. Given the beauty of his mausoleum, I think he succeeded.

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2 thoughts on “UNESCO Monday #12: Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Fountain of Youth

  • December 18, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I had heard conflicting opinions on whether or not visiting was worth it. A few were years ago when they were still being excavated though. The pictures definitely make it seem like a great visit.

    • December 18, 2013 at 1:14 am

      I went on December of 2009 and I totally thought it was worth it. Last year though, they discovered 250 more, which are thought to be the most preserved ever found. I don’t know if those are being displayed, but definitely worth a look.


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