This trip was hosted by United Airlines, Spot, and Banyan Tree Hotels. I am and was excited to work with them and I am thankful for your support on this job. Thank you for supporting the hosts that made this trip happen and are allowing me to bring you such wonderful photos & stories. <3
See my recommendations for Xi’an on Spot right here!
The first stop on my whirlwind tour of China was to visit Xi’an. A historic city, this was an exciting and interesting place to visit. Xi’an is most well known for the terracotta warriors found there – over six thousand clay warriors built 2,000 years ago to protect the first emperor from harm in the afterlife. But more on that in a minute.
Our first night, we arrived to luxury at the Angsana Xi’an Lintong. The room was gorgeous, the view was lovely, and the luxury was fantastic.
I definitely took a bath in the round tub. zomg. So good.
The property was beautiful, too. Modern, fresh, interesting, cultural. All that and luxury, too.
The pool was a favorite spot and I was so stoked to see the inflatable, completely massive flamingo and swan floaties. So fun. Also, the entire swim area is indoor/outdoor, meaning the indoor pool is connected to the outdoor pool. You can swim from one to the other, haha.
The breakfast buffet was excellent; almost everything was made on demand. I had noodle soup and other Chinese treats for breakfast each day.
One of the main reasons we visited Xi’an was to see the famous Terracotta Army Museum. The soldiers, discovered in 1974 by a poor Chinese farmer digging a water well in the middle of a drought, were built and buried in 210 BCE for the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. There were over eight thousand of them uncovered: foot soldiers, archers, horses, and more. They are still learning more about them today and continuing to uncover, explore, and restore the area.
Each warrior is about 6 feet tall, so they’re larger than life. On top of that, each one has individual facial features, expressions, and unique garments (well, they wear uniforms, but each was individually made and small differences can be seen).
We didn’t see any other white people in the museums, but there were tons and tons of Chinese tourists and it was an experience to see them … and to see everybody else seeing them.
While we didn’t get a chance to explore Xi’an proper, the collection of shops, people, and small vendors outside of the museum gave me my first glimpse of “real” China.
On our final evening in Xi’an, we went to see the show “The Song of Everlasting Sorrow.” The show was in Chinese, but we’d read the story summary before we went and, well, honestly not much of it was dialogue anyways.
In fact, the show was more of a Chinese outdoor opera show… and it was fantastic. Hundred and hundreds of dancers, beautiful costumes, an *underwater* stage, and more. It was such an experience and so fun to see.
Also, we were again the only white people there… and a few people took photos of us and many waved and said hello. Too funny!
And that’s it, for now! More to come on this trip, including Hangzhou, Shanghai, and the new United SFO-Hangzhou direct flight. Stay tuned! xx