The following day we went to see the famous Terracota Warriors.wow! These 2200 year old figures were discovered in the 70’s by a farmer (they are still excavating). The tomb of a rogue emperor (which remains closed as it is believed to contain mercury and god knows what else) was surrounded by this army of warriors, horses and weapons to protect him after death. This has also been declared as a wonder of the world by Unesco and we feel privelaged to have visited it for ourselves. We went to the big goose pagoda where thousands of people go to visit the water show at night and came back on a motorbike taxi (bit like a tuk tuk but more knackered) We were surprised we returned in one piece but was worth the laugh!
We took a night train to Shanghai (16hrs). We get a new leader here as ours has a bad back (Ste and i have been carrying her bags as well as our own) The people are nice apart from the impatience but still can’t get over the toilet thing it is horrid! The loo on the train is a hole on to the track literally! They are squats which are normally full of allsorts, we went to one the other day and there were no doors! They smell worse than the tiger pen at Beijing zoo (this was bad) and generally not a nice experience. It’s a wonder people don’t get really ill. The healthcare is so expensive here. In Xi’an there was a man lying in the floor with some of his insides hanging out from his tummy. His son was collecting money for an operation. Sometimes these are scams but later an ambulance was called to tend to him.This was a very upsetting sight for us.
We walked along the Bund (famous river promenade). Here is the famous tv tower and other impressive buildings with a mix of traditional Chinese feel too. Later that night we went to see the Shanghai acrobats.They were good. The next day we went to the French concession and Yu gardens and went through the tourist tunnel (under the river in a pod with a light show 50 yuan). Shanghai is expensive so had a card tournament that night. On our last day here we visited Jade Temple and went for lunch Still trying to find something i can eat and lots of places don’t look clean enough to contain any food!
We took a 23 hour train journey and bus to Yangshou. When we eventually got to sleep in the morning as the train felt like it was de-railing frequently, we were awoken by about 20 Chinese clearing their throats (they do this alot – during the olympics the government are fining people for spitting but no-one seems to be taking any notice!) Ste and i slept on top bunk in a cabin of 6. They are surprisingly comfortable and the views can be good through the rural areas. We got to see some locals houses . They are so dark and dirty looking (not meaning to sound mean). The people wash outside. It makes you so thankful to be British, we have so many choices.
We have a new leader -Yolander. she is better than the last one