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gb Apr 22nd, 2004 02:49 PM

Warriors or Great Wall
I have to choose between the Terra Cotta Warriors and the Great Wall. Which is best to see?

rkkwan Apr 22nd, 2004 02:56 PM

I find it odd to compare them this way.

The Great Wall is a day trip (or 3/4-day trip) from Beijing by car. Terracotta warriors usually mean a two-day trip to Xi'an (along with other sights there) by flying.

Lindsey Apr 22nd, 2004 03:30 PM

I agree with rkkwan. I think that's why no one else has responded. You can't really compare the two, in time required, expense involved, etc.

If you are already in Beijing, then the Great Wall is one of the major things to see. If you are in Xian, you are probably there specifically to see the warriors.
Two completely different cities, a 90 min plane ride apart.

brendon Apr 22nd, 2004 08:41 PM

Both are world wonders,to choose which is more spectacular is a personal choice.
Having seen both I feel that you can get more personal with the Great Wall. You can climb on it, walk on it, touch it. Experience it.
The Terra Cotta Warriors you can only walk around a warehouse and look down at them.

easytraveler Apr 22nd, 2004 08:56 PM

The Great Wall.

The Great Wall symbolizes China. It is the struggle of China to keep the "barbarians" out and the success of some "barbarians" to penetrate through - only mostly to be swallowed - "sinicized" - by the very culture they tried to dominate. The Great Wall is the ebb and flow of Chinese history.

The terra cotta warriors, on the other hand, altho notable, is the ego of one man. Interesting. Monumental. But not as interesting as the Great Wall, IMHO.

gard Apr 22nd, 2004 09:21 PM


I would say the Great Wall. My wife and I went to China in March last year and we had the pleasure of visiting Beijing, Xi'an and Hong Kong. We were quite surprised by Beijing because it had lots to offer. So if you have limited time I would suggest that you concentrate on Beijing. I have posted a trip report with pictures from our trip on my personal homepage :-D Maybe you can get an impression about our trip there.

Stavanger, Norway

gb Apr 23rd, 2004 06:39 PM

Thanks. I will be in Shanghai. I only have the time to make it to one other place.

rkkwan Apr 23rd, 2004 07:06 PM

How much time you actually have away from Shanghai? And are you interested in other sites in Beijing, cause there's so much to see there.

And you think you'll go back to China in the future?

gb Apr 24th, 2004 03:09 PM

I have 6 days before I go to Nanjing to teach for 2 weeks (one day for jet lag in Shanghai and one day in Shanghai at the end of the trip). I don't know if I will be in China again. I'm surprised I'm there this time. I'm 53, so maybe, maybe not. And I've traveled enough that I prefer not to rush just to see sites, but to have quality time versus quantity in my time. I'm not sure if I am interested in other sites in Bejing. I always want to see something. But, I do have a vague interest in hiking Mt. Huangshan (sp) near Xian. Maybe hiking the Great Wall is a better choice. Just asking for your opinions.

rkkwan Apr 24th, 2004 08:32 PM

gb - 6 days is enough to cover the best of both Beijing and Xi'an, but that requires three flights from Shanghai, of course. Spend about 3.5 days in Beijing (including 1 to the Great Wall), 1.5 in Xi'an, and the rest on travelling. I say it's worth the trouble, since you've already gone so far to get to Shanghai and may not travel to China again in the near future.

Huangshan is actually closer to Shanghai and Hangzhou; not near Xi'an. To really visit Huangshan and do all the hiking will take days. You probably won't have time for that.

gb Apr 25th, 2004 11:50 AM

Thanks, That is helpful. The mountain I am thinking of is Hua Shan. Maybe two hours east of Xian. What about the train instead of flying since you get a night on the train, and not have to deal with airports?

ThinGorjus Apr 26th, 2004 12:04 PM

I don't completely agree with Brendon's statement about the Terra-Cotta Warriors only being in a warehouse with limited access. The warriors are housed in a "complex" that includes two museums and a theatre. One museum showcases prototypes of the various warriors (general, archer, chariot driver, etc.). The other museum showcases the treasures (miniature bronze chariots, crowbows) and utensils found with the buried warriors. The theatre shows a short film about the emperor Qin Shihuang. There is also a bookstore in the complex.

Having written the above comments, I would still prefer to walk on the Great Wall; it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

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